Author Topic: The Heavy Debate  (Read 5542 times)

Pete McK

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Re: The Heavy Debate
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2012, 01:46:49 PM »
Ron, listening to you more experienced navigators, Emma and me have already cut back our backpack weights and where we notice the difference is coming down hill. Added to this, the walking poles have made a massive difference to the care of our legs and joints.

Surprisingly boot weight is a consideration too. Before last winter, I bought a pair of Asolo Alpinists, which weigh a mighty 900g each! For this summer I have been wearing the brilliant TEVA Forged Pro hiking boot, what a difference and what a good boot.


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Re: The Heavy Debate
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2012, 11:52:20 PM »
Looking at the benefits of the using poles, below is a quote on the most reported study...

"The primary benefit that has popularized the use of hiking poles is their ability to absorb impact, lessening the strain on the knees and legs. In a 1981 study, Dr. G. Neureuther found that a hiking pole can absorb up to 20 percent of the strain off of the opposite leg. The hiking pole is able to do this by redistributing impact onto the arms and shoulders, alleviating some of the impact on the legs when compared with hiking with no poles at all. A 1999 study in "The Journal of Sports Sciences" indicated that hiking poles can relieve up to 25 percent of compressive force from the knees when descending hills." (from

This study on this links goes into a bit more detail on the anatomical side of things.
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Hugh Westacott

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Re: The Heavy Debate
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2012, 06:48:24 AM »
I started using poles several years ago and found them helpful on long, steep descents as they eased the strain on my creaking joints. I became quite enthusiastic and even used them on lowland walks. I soon realized that they were a hindrance when climbing stiles, and a wretched nuisance on unfamiliar routes when close attention to the map was required. Fortunately, I use a wrist satnav but I've sometimes wondered how walkers cope using conventional models.

I experimented, unsuccessfully, with a device for attaching a map to a pole. I attached elastic loops to the shoulder straps of my rucksack into which I could tuck the pole handles when I needed to take a pee or a photograph. I ceased using poles on lowland walks only to find that I had come to rely on them and that my sense of balance had been impaired. This took some time to improve.

Nowadays, I only use poles in upland areas. Most of the time they remain attached to my rucksack and are only used on long, steep descents and, occasionally, on steep ascents.

I wonder how many walkers have been injured by tripping over their poles?



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Re: The Heavy Debate
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2012, 08:02:19 AM »
Completely agree Hugh, poles used in hill/mountain areas only and when not in use folded down and attached to the back of my pack.


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Re: The Heavy Debate
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2012, 08:29:13 AM »

Bit of a tea jenny me being from Yorkshire although they are trying to ban it because it is now supposed to be bad for the prostrate!

On the lightweight note over the past year or so i have tried to lighten my load and even my MR sack is now lighter than it used to be.Having covered mountain marathons and being amazed at the kit the runners use including full body wet gear and basic safety gear then i have tried to be a bit more creative with what i carry.The first leap of faith was was walking with trail shoes rather than boots and i was worried about ankle support.However if i am doing hills with good paths i have used them and a massive weight loss already from big boots.Yesterday i did the Cobbler,Narnain and the ridge to A Chrois wearing my trail shoes and using a mountain marathon bumbag i carried map,compass,GPS,windproof top,butty and drink along with mobile phone.The shoes are not waterproof but dry out quickly and good with sealskin socks.Walking off the ridge down a rough corrie was a bit more difficult but i was just more careful with foot placements and got down ok.I am a real convert to travelling lightly and yes in winter it will be back to normal but i will still try and lighten if possible.



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Re: The Heavy Debate
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2012, 11:21:28 PM »
Just had to put my pennyworth in about walking poles. I mentioned in an earlier missive that last year I underwent a knee replacement operation and now have a fine titanium right knee that I have to say works really well! But, when I decided to test my new knee out in the Peak district it did occur to me that I was unlikely to be as successful as I might have wished to be without some sort of aid to help me maintain stability ascending and descending. So I bought a pair of Nordic Poles. Now guys and gals, let me tell you that these two pieces of equipment were incredible for me and helped me massively during a full day's walk over the hills. I concluded that hills and poles go well together, especially if you have something to get over - like a knee replacement op! But if you have no physical disadvantage, they are still one hell of an asset to have with you. And would you believe I haven't tripped over them even once yet.....  So, in summary "poles is good".

Barry G

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Re: The Heavy Debate
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2012, 11:25:45 PM »
Here in America this conversation would be centered around coffee!

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