Who Knows About Walking Sticks?

Oct 4th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Who Knows About Walking Sticks?

My knees are 61 years old and I will be walking/hiking in Bhutan in December. I think I'd benefit from the support a stick affords (maybe I would not have strained my LCL in the Hmong Hills if I'd used one, duh!).
What brands are good for travel (packable, light)? Are there sites on the web that sell them? Are two sticks twice as good as one?
Thanks everyone. I'm getting very excited about our trip and will post when I get back.
Robbietravels is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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For hiking the Samaria Gorge in Crete last year (with 59-year-old knees, lol) I bought the lightest weight collapsible hiking stick my local REI stocked. When fully collapsed it just fit diagonally in my Eagle Creek convertible backpack. REI has a web site if you don't have a store near you (this is the link for my stick: www.rei.com/product/745687).

Using two walking sticks seems to be associated with something called Nordic walking, which I haven't tried (my local REI offers classes...) I found one worked fine.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 05:42 PM
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neither of you need a walking stick from what i remember from pasadena...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 05:54 PM
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Robbie, I'm really looking forward to your Bhutan trip report!
Kathie is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 07:55 PM
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I scoffed at using a walking stick (big mistake) until we completed New Zealand's Milford Track. Coming down from McKinnon Pass in a driving rain, over slippery rocks, and crossing rushing streams showed how wrong I was. A descent, I recall, of about 3,000 ft. in three miles. My banged-up knees and legs proved I should have used a stout walking stick. Get one!
USNR is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 09:06 PM
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Just wanted to chime & and give a friendly reminder to those who use sticks to please hold it on the opposite hand of the bad (or worse) leg for that matter. I have found a LOT of people, who are right handed, hold their canes, sticks with the right even if their bad leg is the right.


bmttokyo is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 10:40 PM
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About half of my weekend warrior friends and I use pairs of Leki poles for hiking in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains. We find that they have MANY benefits from assisting on steep and slippery downhills to providing for a more well-balanced overall exercise, etc. I suspect that 2 are much better than one because one can tweak your posture and provide uneven pressure. On the other hand, those which are sold independently often have a removable top knob which can be screwed off to expose a camera screw for use as a monopod.
Mediatorr is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 01:12 AM
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I hike in Hong Kong virtually every weekend and could not do so without my walking pole!!. I agree you will be glad to have one in Bhutan. I have a real and a fake Leki (sorry it is virtually the only fake I own), which you can buy in Hong Kong for about US, so if you are coming though Hong Kong, get one here. The fake is every bit as good the expensive one I bought in Switzerland a few years ago (to my everlasting regret). In my view, the ones which only have two collapsing positions are somewhat better than the ones with three positions, but they don't go quite as small; however the 2-position one will fit into a suitcase of average size. All walking poles should have a shock absorbing system (a little "give") for extra protection of you and the pole.

I think two poles are really for the heart rate benefits. That is Nordic walking, which is different than using a pole for knee support on hills when hiking. (Think Nordic track machine when you use your upper and lower body.) I believe you would like one hand free to hold water and to grab onto rocks, etc as necessary.

I think what you really want is a "trekking pole" not any of the Nordic walking poles which may not have the shock absorber feature. Look around and ask at an outdoor shop about the type of hiking you are doing.

If you have an old Swiss alpenstock hanging around, they work too.....just harder to pack.
Cicerone is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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many serious hikers, particularly backpackers, swear by their hiking poles. I got a set (I think it doesnt work out to more than the single pole with the knob) ahead of a trip to the amalfi coast where I expected to be hiking with a lots of ups and down - and I am fairly out of shape. I took one of the two, and I was extremely glad to have it as a walking stick - it was very helpful on the uneven surfaces, especially coming down steep slopes. It collapsed and fits just fine in my small nylon suitcase.
jjkbrook is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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HI All:
I've digested your suggestions and am bidding for a suitable stick on ebay. I'll let you know how I find it. Thanks for the compliment Bob. And hi to Kathie.
Robbietravels is offline  
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