Trekking Poles in the UK...Where to buy

Old Jul 12th, 2013, 11:11 AM
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OK, let's divide this up into separate topics.

1. Where to buy in the UK. There is no shortage of choices as the above links show. So let's leave that topic and back up a bit.

2. Will the poles you buy fit in your suitcase? That is another question. You say you already have collapsing poles that will not fit. So that begs the question what will fit? What is the diagonal length from top corner to opposite bottom corner of your suitcase?

The average length of poles collapsed is around 26". Will that not fit on the diagonal in your suitcase? Another approach is to disassemble your existing poles. That reduces the length considerably since you then have 3 shorter pieces rather than 3 stacked pieces if you see what I mean. This is a commonly used solution for people who want to travel with their trekking poles.

I'm still looking at the possibility that you will not find any cheaper poles of the right length in the UK vs. at home. I have lived in the UK and visited numerous outdoor equipment shops there. I have spent a lot of time in hiking stores in the UK, Canada, France, Switzerland and I can't stress enough, I don't see why you should expect to find something smaller in the UK.

From my experience, I would say it is better to find a solution to this problem at home rather than expecting to find something in the UK you can't find at home. They all sell the same brands with few exceptions. I'd first try disasembling your current collapsible poles. It isn't that difficult to do.

A side note for Toucan. Trekking poles are NOT a must for walking long distances or any other distances. They are simply a preference for some people.

With over 4 decades of experience in hiking/backpacking in wilderness, all over the world, I would say I am somewhat knowledgeable about the activity. You mention planning a Swiss trek. I've walked across Switzerland from North to South and twice from East to West. No where did I use trekking poles. I use a wooden walking stick that unscrews in the middle for packing. It fits in a 26" carry-on, on the diagonal.

All walking sticks and trekking poles are not created equal. People who use them a lot find things that they like or that annoy them about any of them. Finding the one for you is a bit of a trial and error game. I have owned probably 10 walking sticks. Since I found my current one in a shop in Zurich, all the rest just gather dust. It just FEELS right in my hand, moreso than any other. My point is, just buying another pair of poles isn't necessarily the best answer if you have already have a pair you really like. I would be very hesitant to just buy a walking stick when I got somewhere. In fact, I would be a lot more than hesitant. I'd be looking at every possible way to avoid that.

In Europe, walking sticks were being used by many people long before trekking poles came into fashion. It is also where trekking poles first started. The first person I ever saw using a 'trekking pole' was on a scree slope on a mountain in Switzerland sometime in the 80s. In fact what he was using was a one ski pole without the basket on the bottom. He was sliding down the scree and using the pole to aid balance. It was quite a few years later before 'trekking poles' and their supposed efficiency etc. came into vogue. I know many experienced hikers who don't buy their story at all.

But walking sticks or trekking poles are NOT a necessity. You're trying to tell your grandma how to suck eggs when you try to tell me that.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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I have gone through this exercise, and I decided to get high performance light weight collapsible poles. The primary driver was that I would do this again. Also, comfortable poles are not easy to find even at large stores. Too much shock, too heavy, bends too much, uncomfortable grips, wrong length, etc. I chose acceptable models and waited for the end of the season sales.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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We currently have good quality carbon fiber collapsable trekking poles or walking sticks. They do not fit in my carryon even if I take them apart. If I buy some in the UK they don't have to fit entirely in my suitcase. They can be stuck in my pack with the handles sticking out. Since I won't be on an airplane until I return home, this is what works for me. Yes, I don't need them, but I've used them for years of hiking here in the states and I want them for my walks in the UK, Switzerland and Germany.

Some links for sporting goods stores I got here and on another forum have some very inexpensive poles which will serve our needs and I won't mind giving them away before we fly home.

But then I'm repeating myself.
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Old Jul 13th, 2013, 12:35 AM
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Well said, dgassa! I think just about everyone other than Improviser understood what you intend to do.

My link to Lillywhites shows some very inexpensive poles, but they may not be in stock (or at that price) in the Piccadilly Circus shop. Online prices are usually lower. Still, if you are on Piccadilly Circus during shopping hours you may as well pop in to have a look. If you do find what you want it may save some time not having to go out of your way.
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Old Jul 13th, 2013, 06:07 AM
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I think I understood perfectly what dgassa plans to do Heimdall. Do not try to speak for me or suggest you know what I understand or don't understand. I find your comment offensive.

I travel with my walking stick often. I would not want to try and find/buy a substitute every time I wanted to fly somewhere. Instead I would want (as I have in fact)to find a stick (or trekking poles in the OP's case) that I can take with me EVERY TIME. Dgassa's proposed solution may well work THIS time. What about next time? Buy new poles yet again?

It is of course up to you dgassa, I simply wanted to suggest a more permanent solution. Find poles that fit your bag or buy a bit bigger bag. Now you mention 'carry-on' rather than 'checked bag' which you originally indicated.
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Old Jul 13th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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>>I simply wanted to suggest a more permanent solution . . .
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Old Jul 13th, 2013, 11:15 AM
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I always use poles when I hike. Love them don't go on any trips with out them. Found a Great pair at REI that collapse down to about 14inches. They do fit in very small suitcases. But check with the airlines to see if you will be allowed to carry them onboard.

I would prefer to get them before I go if I were you. You might end up paying a heck of alot more there then if you were to bring them with you.

We had one set that we use to use all the time even got a piece of luggage (duffle size) that they would fit into. Got smaller luggage and decided on getting these other pole that are lightweight and very compact.

REI had them on sale last year for around $80. Check out their summer sale sometime in August.

Here is a link to the make I bought. Very pleased with the have used them in Colorado and Italy so far. Taking them to France in Oct.
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Old Jul 14th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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Now there is a solution that works ALL the time if you find the poles comfortable for you. Well done 6abc.

Janisj, do not presume to know what my intent is when I write. You cannot read my mind. As for how many words I use, I am a touch typist which means I can write 10 words in the time it takes a 'hunt and peck' texter to write 1.

Stick to the topic instead of attempting to annoy me and posting off topic remarks directed at a person (me) which are contrary to the terms of use of this forum.
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