Author Topic: The correct way to use walking poles  (Read 5303 times)

Hugh Westacott

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Re: The correct way to use walking poles
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2014, 09:21:42 PM »
Ian

I've never understood why spikes on poles are considered necessary. Quite apart from causing erosion on heavily trafficked paths, the clink of metal on rock is irritating. I always keep the spike covered by superglueing the protective rubber cap. I have a second pair of poles to which I have glued baskets for use in the snow.

I think it unlikely that a spark from a spike could cause a fire.

Hugh

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Oakleaf

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Re: The correct way to use walking poles
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2014, 08:25:47 AM »
Another interesting subject and one that has drawn out the incredible depth of knowledge on here.

I can't contribute a great deal other than from deer stalker perspective.  There are two types of hill clients - those who WILL be off to buy a stick and those for whom the penny has already dropped! ;-)

Uses are varied, not least is stability when traversing rough ground, testing ground ( I stalk a lot in Caithness on the flow country ), marking where you left your lunch/ rifle slip etc, support for glassing or use of the drawscope.

But the elements I haven't seen covered in posts yet - pulling clients out of/ over burns, boggy bits etc. My stick probably gets used for this about 25% of the time.  And in the finest tradition of grumpy Scottish stalkers - 'client control'!  The odd poke with the stick works wonders.  When I started out, my lead stalker was not above issuing sharp 'thwacks'  on clients and trainees alike for any transgression!

Sparks - I suspect the metal used for tips/ spikes isnt high enough carbon to produce a good spark.  In any event, such sparks tend to run about 800 C for fractions of a second. I'll be teaching a class this weekend where people will be trying to make fire using flint, purpose made fire steels and charcloth - it can be a fraught process even with all that preparation.  I would never say never, but think the chance is miniscule that such a spark - if produced - would catch even the driest peat in such circumstances.

Lost Soul

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Re: The correct way to use walking poles
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2014, 05:13:16 PM »
For those of you who want to know a bit more about Nordic Walking then check out these links.

http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/blog/2014/03/a-beginners-guide-to-nordic-walking/

http://nordicwalking.co.uk/

Locus

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Re: The correct way to use walking poles
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2014, 07:51:50 PM »
What you have described is in effect Nordic Walking.

Interesting subject, Lost Soul. Cheers for the links.

Given that by habit I often hike way too fast anyway, this would be disastrous in slowing me down  ;D


....hundreds and hundreds of these holes do their unnecessary bit to increase erosion.

It sounds like a valid concern to me, and one that I admit probably doesn't flag up in my mind enough when in sensitive areas as a cumulative effect. In my immediate area though, the places where people can walk are very limited to rights of way across land and up until late summer the word erosion just takes on a whole new meaning due to everyone being funneled onto the same routes.

Below are two photos taken yesterday that show how it is to walk in my general area at the moment, because the trails are used simultaneously for horse trips, off road bikers and hikers. Due to this multi use, we get a cumulative 'stomp, squish, slide and slice' effect which turns nearly all the trails around here into porridge and means using foot wear less than ankle height leather boots is not fun.

Funnily enough, it makes hiking poles essential to prevent falls, and to find out if some water around a farm gate is only an inch or two deep or going to engulf boots up to the tongue ;D





I've never understood why spikes on poles are considered necessary.

My findings were that a narrow tip gave me far better hold than the rubber tip particularly on descents and especially when things were very wet. However, these were my findings when first starting to use a pole and maybe this would be less of a problem now that I'm so much more familiar with using them.

But the elements I haven't seen covered in posts yet - pulling clients out of/ over burns, boggy bits etc.

Good point. Now that you mention it, I can think of a day where this was used by myself and a friend on an area where ideally we should have both been using at least some kind of light crampon but hadn't taken them along that day :-[

MoonMan

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Re: The correct way to use walking poles
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2014, 07:07:00 AM »
Ian,walking poles are tipped with Titanium Carbide, so little risk of sparks; & yes, they do poke holes in turf & scratch rock. I use a wooden pole with a rubber tip.
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