Trouble With Trekking Poles…

What am I doing with my trekking poles in this picture?  Ohh just weighing them to see how much it would be to FedEx them back to home….

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I typically always use trekking poles hike because I am super clumsy.  I remember hiking with my dad a while ago – I was using them, he was not.  He kept making fun of me and then about 5 minutes down the trail as he was stumbling along (we have the exact same level of balance – zero) he said “Give me one of those dumb things!” and has used trekking poles ever since – haha!  Mine are really old, but still work great and are sturdy so why get a new pair (you can see they are still covered in mud from North Dakota).  I was planning on bringing them with me to Arizona, but never had to collapse them before.  They have the flick lock on the top and then there are these weird buttons on the bottom.  I don’t even think they make poles with those buttons anymore – here’s probably why:

I COULD NOT COLLAPSE THAT PART OF THE TREKKING POLE – no matter how hard I tried!!   I kept pushing the buttons and then the pole would just spin around and around.  There was no way it would fit in the suitcase I had while they were only 1/2 collapsed.  After Kevin and I fought with them for a while he finally got them to collapse as small as possible.  They finally fit into my suitcase, but I was worried that I would have a hard time fitting them back in for the plane ride home.

Fast forward to the last 2 days of my trip, Jen and I spent wayyyy to much time trying to get that button to work.  We were able to get it working on one pole, but the other was just impossible!  The tips of my fingers started to hurt after a while, but nothing we did worked.  Jen suggested I mail it back home so we took it to a FedEx in Las Vegas.  The guy at the counter weighed it, measured it and then had to go in the back to get a special size box.  He then gave me my quote after some hesitation – $50 to ship it back home – yeah, no.  I decided I would bring it back to the hotel to keep fighting with it.

Jen suggested maybe I could just carry it on the plane because some people carry on canes, but turns out that is a big no no as well.  We decided she would drive it home with her, see if her husband could get it and then bring it back to PA with her next time she flew there.

As I was waiting for my taxi to the airport I got a video text from her of her husband opening and closing the trekking pole – multiple times in a row.

“You’ve got to be S#!++ing me.”  I believe were the exact words that spewed from my mouth as I watched the video in disbelief.  I texted back the only thing I could think of; “WTF – well we loosened it – obviously”  She said she still couldn’t get it – you have to press the buttons way harder than we could to get it to work.  So this is probably why they have trekking poles with top and bottom flick locks now – which I will have to get for next time I take my trekking poles on a plane.

Anyway the entire trip wasn’t spent fighting with them – we had a great time walking around Vegas, watching the Bellagio fountains, getting vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and just hanging out people watching.  Here are a few pictures of the famous Las Vegas Strip:

Anyone else use trekking poles when they hike?  Why/why not?

HAPPY TRAILS!!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Trouble With Trekking Poles…

  1. I always used to think they were silly and then I bought a pair and love them! I only use one as my dog’s leash is in the other hand, but it makes a huge difference. I feel like I look like a baby giraffe when I hike and my legs are all over the place and I have zero balance lol so hiking poles really help me out! It just provides me a bit more stability on uneven surfaces. I went to Hawaii a couple months ago and we hiked there and of course I packed the poles. Mine collapse pretty small, but I loved that you even considered mailing it back to yourself!

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    • LOL- I hear ya on the no balance thing- I’m right there w/ ya!! Wow- I’d love to go to Hawaii sometime!!! As much as I love my trekking poles I think a new pair are in my future because I have a few trips coming up that I’ll need to pack them in my suitcase and this pair does not collapse reliably. New gear is always fun though!!! 🙂 thanks for reading!!! 🙂

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    • Oh no! That’s what I’m so worried about if I get a new pair- them breaking. Mine are so sturdy and I see a lot of new ones are “super lightweight” and I just equate that to not strong. I have my eye on another pair of black diamond poles, but sure I’d look into the ones u got -I love looking at gear! 🙂

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      • It was a real crisis since I’ve had my poles for 10+ years. Adding to the stress, I only had a few weeks before the next climb. Four of the five pairs I purchased were Black Diamond. I ended up keeping the BD women’s Trail Pro without shock, but haven’t used them for real yet. The ones I’ve been using and surprisingly love are the women’s poles from LL Bean.

        Glad you’ll get your tried and true poles back! Very stressful to change gear.

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      • Thanks for the tip! I saw the ones w the shocks and was wondering if I would like that or not- and yes I am a very routine person! LOL – love mine, but need something I can collapse for the inca trail!

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  2. I do use poles, yes. But I just got mine, and thus they are really easy to collapse. I like this as I can clip then onto my pack when I am not using them. I primarily use them in snow, or on a slippery or steep descent.

    Your story is funny (but I feel the frustration!!!). And I totally understand how you don’t want to buy new ones – I have SO much old cycling gear that is ‘still good’. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post! So funny!! I use mine depending on the trail. I’d like to upgrade mine too. Mine are about 10 years old and I have to turn the pole to unlock and lock and they are not always reliable. On a recent trip to Alaska, I got to use the newer poles and oh man, they were so easy to use! Those flick locks are great! I want those… 🙂

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