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REPOST: Owner Review: REI Hiker Anti-Shock Staff

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  • Ronin92122
    Owner Review: REI Hiker Anti-Shock Staff Reviewer Bio Name: Carl Maeda Age: 30 Gender: Male Height: 5 9 (1.75 m) Weight: 160 Pounds (73 kg) Email address:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2005
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      Owner Review: REI Hiker Anti-Shock Staff

      Reviewer Bio

      Name: Carl Maeda
      Age: 30
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5'9" (1.75 m)
      Weight: 160 Pounds (73 kg)
      Email address: carl@...
      City, State, Country: San Diego, California, USA
      Date: February 17, 2005
      Backpacking Background: I started backpacking in 2004 but I've been
      hiking on a pretty regular basis since 1993. I usually hike and
      backpack in Southern California, mostly in L.A. or San Diego but I
      have been further North to Yosemite and Sequoia. I have also been
      around other random spots as well such as Red Rock Canyon in Nevada.
      I try to be a lightweight backpacker but I carry whatever I could
      afford to buy. I prefer a tent and a lot of my gear, especially my
      clothing is homemade by my wife, who is a costume designer.

      Product Information

      Manufacturer: REI
      Year: 2003
      URL: http://www.rei.com
      Weight: 11.4 oz. (323 g)
      Shaft Material: Aluminum
      Minimum length: 29" (0.747 m)
      Maximum length: 56" (1.422 m)
      Product Description: The REI Hiker didn't have any packaging aside
      from the usual tags.
      The Hiker Staff has anti shock springs, which can be turned on and
      off pretty easily. The grip is foam and the top knob is made of cork
      and unscrews to become a monopod. Like all staffs and trekking poles,
      it has a basket right above the carbide tip. The staff also has a
      hand strap but mine did not come with a cover for the tips. However,
      on another visit to REI, I did notice that the Hiker staff did come
      with a cover for the tip.

      Field Information
      Locations: Yosemite, Sequoia, Palm Springs, All over San Bernardido
      and San Diego, Red Rock Canyon (Nevada)
      Description of location: Mountains/Forest (Yosemite between 5,000 ft
      (1500 m) to 12,000 ft (3600 m) and Mission Trails Park in Santee,
      California, USA at about 50 ft elevation (15 m)), Desert/Canyons (Red
      Rock Canyon, Nevada, USA and Indian Canyons in Palm Springs,
      California, USA)
      Weather Conditions: Temperatures ranges from 120 F (48 C) (Summer at
      Red Rock Canyon) to about 35 F (1 C)(Fall Yosemite). I have used the
      staff in light and torrential rain but I haven't used it in snow yet.
      Field Experience:
      The REI Hiker has served me well. It has very good grip and I use it
      as a third leg when boulder hopping and stream crossing. This is
      probably my single most used piece of gear. I take it with me
      anytime I go hiking or backpacking. It is pretty durable and very
      easy to use. It has a few scratches and scrapes but I think that is
      expected. There are no dents yet or anything else that would
      compromise the integrity of the staff. I lean on it a lot especially
      when I'm crossing streams and boulder hopping but I have never put
      stress at a perpendicular angle to the pole. The staff is fairly
      easy to use, I simply twist it clockwise to tighten and counter
      clockwise to loosen. Once loosened, the staff's height can be
      adjusted. To engage the anti-shock, I just tighten the upper section
      a little more until I feel the staff click. The padded hand strap is
      extremely comfortable and I like how I can hold it from the top and
      from the side. I usually hold the staff on the top knob when I'm
      really using it and from the side foam grip when I'm not really using
      it. The foam grip is very easy on my hands. I have a mild case of
      carpal tunnel syndrome which is caused by repetitive behavior in my
      hands. Carpal tunnel makes my hands numb or causes pain if I use my
      hands too much. People with severe cases can't even use their hands
      at all and have to have surgery. Whenever, I hold something for more
      than 10 or 15 minutes, my hands usually start hurting but this staff
      is very easy to hold. I think it has something to do with the foam
      grip and the diameter of the grip. I have never experienced pain
      holding the staff by the foam grip although I have had some pain if I
      hold it by the cork top for a long while, maybe 30 to 45 minutes but
      I can just switch hands if that happens. The hand strap is
      adjustable, there's a wedge at the top of the strap, I simply pull it
      out and adjust the length of the strap. When I'm done adjusting the
      strap, I put the wedge back in. The strap is about 1 inch (25 mm)
      and tapers out to 2 inches (51 mm) at the middle of the strap. The
      wider section of the strap has a fleece like padded material on it
      that makes the strap more comfortable. The basket is useful,
      especially during and after it rains. It keeps the staff from
      sinking into the ground. The carbide tip has surprisingly good grip
      and I use it all the time when boulder hopping. It grips granite
      very well but I still have to be careful as it can slip if I don't
      make sure it has a good grip. I use the staff for stream crossing. It
      can be a bit tricky because sometimes, I can't see the bottom of the
      stream and the strength of the current is deceiving many times. One
      useful trick I found is to use the staff to determine the depth of a
      stream while I'm crossing it. Sometimes, the water is too murky to
      accurately determine its' depth. I can also see how strong the
      current is just by dipping the staff in the water.
      After testing out the antishock feature, I prefer to keep it off.
      The anti-shock mechanism works much like the suspension on a car. It
      cushions the staff's impact on the ground. This is supposed to
      reduce fatigue on the knees when going downhill. Turn it off when
      going uphill because the suspension will work against you. I simply
      prefer a more rigid staff, which is why I keep the anti-shock
      mechanism off. I feel less sure footed with the anti-shock on
      because the staff compresses a little more when I put more of my
      weight on it.

      The only downside is that if I lean into the staff too much (for
      example, when I'm going downhilll on a steep incline), the telescopic
      staff will shrink so I will have to readjust it periodically. I
      didn't have this problem when I first purchased the staff but it
      doesn't bother me too much. I'm not sure why this occurs. I took
      the staff apart and everything looks like it's still ok. My guess
      would be the little yellow plastic piece that exerts pressure on the
      inside walls of the staff is just too worn.

      This is a very good staff and I prefer it to trekking poles. It is
      simple more convenient to have one of my hands free. I like to munch
      on stuff while I hike.

      1. Foam Grip
      2. Durable
      3. Hand Strap is comfortable
      4. Light

      1. After about a year of use, my telescoping staff shrinks if leaned
      into too much.
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