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Application to Test Lightrek Trekking Poles - Michael Lissner

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  • 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2004
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      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
      cm length.

      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
      Age: 22
      Gender: Male
      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

      Equinox Katahdin

      McNett Micronet Microfiber Towel

      Outdoor Research Hydrolite Stuff Sack

      LEKI AirErgo 2 ELS Backcountry Non-Probe Pole

      CamelBak Omega 100 Bladder

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