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32770Re: Trekking poles vs Hand loops

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  • ravi_jmt2013
    Jul 7, 2013
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      After hiking with trekking poles for the past six months and being saved from several minor mishaps, I was spared a potentially more serious incident yesterday during a stream crossing. I was crossing a creek that was perhaps 50 feet wide and running pretty well due to recent rains. However, it was only a few feet deep so I didn't treat it seriously enough. Also, there were attractively spaced rocks so I thought I could avoid wading by rock hopping (brilliant). Due to humidity and moisture, the rocks were more slippery than they appeared and I lost my footing. The trekking poles allowed me to recover to the point where I landed in the stream in a sitting position rather without a single scratch or any injury. Some of that was luck but a big part was being able to control my fall.

      The good news is that I learned that it is better to just wade through crossings rather than rock hop on what could be slippery surfaces. And my zPacks liner worked perfectly. Despite the bottom half of my bag being submerged for at least a minute while I struggled to get up, nothing inside including my sleeping bag got wet.

      Anyway, thanks to those who convinced me to start using trekking poles! I would encourage anyone on the fence to at least experiment with a cheap set of poles. My BD Carbon Cork poles are on the expensive side but worth every penny. Added bonus was that I lightened up my shelter making the poles dual use.
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