Application to Test Lightrek Trekking Poles - Michael Lissner
- Well, with some trepidation I have decided to give these poles a go. I
have been looking at these poles for some time now, and I just haven't
been able to decide if I want to buy them. I suppose that makes me an
ideal candidate to test them. I have read the latest version of the
survival guide, the user manual and the warranty for these poles. I
understand and will abide by them all. I well understand the
principles of ultralight hiking, and if selected, I will need the 130
I first saw these poles at the ADZPCTKO (At Day Zero Pacific Crest
Trail Kick Off Party) in April, and indeed it is my planned thru-hike
of the PCT that drives me towards them. When I saw them at the kick
off, I was pretty impressed with them. But scared. Scared that if I
paid as much as they wanted for them that I would soon break them and
then be soon be sorry.
They looked breakable. Very breakable. I mean, they each weigh in at
about two ounces. My current pole is about four times that much, and
when I put my weight on it, it bends. It bends enough that it took me
many a trip to trust my weight on it. Can such a delicate pole really
do enough to warrant carrying it? I didn't know then and I still
wonder now. What about the carbon fiber? I've been a mountain bike
mechanic for a number of years, and I've seen what happens to carbon
fiber when it gets scraped up (it delaminates and quickly weakens).
Will these have that problem after their bases have scraped against a
number of rocks?
And then there was the way that they didn't have wrist straps! I mean
wrist straps are standard issue these days. At the time that I saw the
poles in person, the GVP people were being attacked by thru-hikers
from all angles, and I wasn't able to get a word in edgewise about the
straps. After the kick off I looked the poles up on the internet only
to find a little information at www.GVP.com. Now that the new site is
finally up, I've noticed that it says that users of traditional poles
have been known to recant their fears of wrist-straplessness. I want
to do that. I want to be convinced that I too can live without wrist
straps, but I have doubts in the deepest core of my mind.
Of course there is the fact that they come in sets of two. Any reader
of my somewhat ill-fated LEKI report will quickly learn that in the
past I have had problems using two poles at the same time. However, on
the GVP web site they specifically say, "After using these poles,
every other pole you own will seem clunky." That was the reason that I
couldn't use two poles - it was just too clunky. So, if their claim is
true, perhaps I will enjoy using both poles. I want to be comfortable
with it because my shelter sets up easier with two poles than with one
pole and a log, but past experiences have been negative. Will these be
so light that my hiker mind can negotiate it?
So, if selected for these most lucrative poles, I will test all of the
above (their strength, straplessness, duality) and I will also test
them in a couple of other ways:
1. I want to know if carbon fiber stands up to duct tape. I wrap duct
tape around my poles, and something is telling me that if I do this
with the carbon fiber ones they will delaminate when I take off the
tape. I will run this by Glen before doing it to make sure he doesn't
tell me it is a horrible idea to test it.
2. I want to know if they can really help me up and down hills without
a strap. I'm (pretty) sure they will help with balance, but can they
help with propulsion and braking?
3. I want to know how well they work with my shelter. I like the way
my current pole can be adjusted to whatever height I like, but I am
reasonably sure that I can get away without that feature.
4. On that note, will I hate the fact that these do not collapse? They
might strike fear into the hearts of people that might otherwise give
a guy with collapsed poles on his back a ride.
5. How will they perform in snow? Will I then wish that I could adjust
the length? Will they accept different baskets?
6. For that matter, will I be able to get the bottoms off these things
if I need to replace them or will I need to replace the whole shebang?
Like I say, I have been looking at these poles for some time wondering
if I should give them a go. They're so light it's unbelievable.
Name: Michael Jay Lissner
Trail Name: The Chemist
Height: 201 cm (6' 7")
Weight: 88 kg (195 lb)
Email Address: yourmothership at hotmail dot com
City of Current Residence: Berkeley, California
I have been backpacking for the greater part of my life. I started
with heavy weight packing with the Boy Scouts, but my current style is
a highly minimalist one relying on more skill and discomfort and less
on creature comforts and toys. Although my backpacking style is an
evolving thing, at this point I usually clock in 27.4 k (17 mile) days
with a base weight (without food or water) of about 5.4 kg (12 lbs),
including my tarp, frameless pack and homemade down quilt. My usual
stomping grounds are any of the terrain within three hours from
wherever I find myself living.
I don't remember the policy for listing tests at the bottom of apps,
but I'll list a few for the sake of this application's completeness.
Flex-Tex Low Gaiters
McNett Micronet Microfiber Towel
Outdoor Research Hydrolite Stuff Sack
LEKI AirErgo 2 ELS Backcountry Non-Probe Pole
CamelBak Omega 100 Bladder