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Re: [John Muir Trail] Appropriate length for fixed length trekking poles

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  • Ray Rippel
    Good day, John, First, just in case other folks stumble upon this, I should point out that I am a firm believer that adjustability is worth the extra weight.
    Message 1 of 9 , May 17, 2013
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      Good day, John,

      First, just in case other folks stumble upon this, I should point out that I am a firm believer that adjustability is worth the extra weight. But that isn't the question you asked!

      A little background (also for other readers). The putative reason for lengthening or shortening poles is to adjust to climbs, descents and level ground. The idea is to make them longer on descents, shorter on climbs, and adjust them so that your forearms are about level when on level ground. If you want to have only one length, here is the approach I would take.

         1. First, I would recommend analyzing when you feel you get the most benefits from the poles: uphill, downhill or level. (Another factor would be that there is very little "level" ground on the JMT. One is usually climbing or descending.)

         2. Then, I would fix my poles at around that length. 

      My theory is that you would be close to optimum length for the time you get the most out of the poles.

      Here's how this would work for me: by a substantial margin, I get the most out of my poles when I descend. I usually add about three inches to the "level forearm" length when descending. If I were to use fixed length poles, I would have them level-forearm length plus two inches. That way I am close to optimum for when I get the most out of the poles (when I descend) without being wildly out of whack the rest of the time.

      Bottom line: make sure the poles are set to do the most when you get the most out of them.

      Good hiking, Ray

      Ray Rippel
      Author, Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail




    • John
      I m 5 10 and got the 120cm Black Diamond fixed-length Z poles. FYI the grips on my BD s actually have two, foam hand positions so I can choke down and
      Message 2 of 9 , May 17, 2013
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        I'm 5'10" and got the 120cm Black Diamond fixed-length Z poles.   FYI the grips on my BD's actually have two, foam hand positions so I can "choke down" and shorten on the uphills. 

        A good compromise are the BD "FL" Zpoles which incorporate a single flick lock and allow for about 10cm of adjustment. 

        John

        On May 17, 2013, at 4:54 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:

         

        I'm a fan of adjustable trekking poles, but I did want to experiment a bit with using fixed length poles (by adjusting my poles to that length and just using them without adjustment that way, over some up and down hiking with a pack)

        What length do you think would be an appropriate choice for someone just under 6 feet tall? I see Black Diamond recommends 130 cm. Does that seem right?

        John Curran Ladd
        1616 Castro Street
        San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
        415-648-9279

      • Ralph Alcorn
        I m 5 11 and have the Black Diamond ultra distance 120s. I used adjustable poles for a long time, but quickly adapted to using the fixed length poles. The
        Message 3 of 9 , May 17, 2013
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          I'm 5' 11" and have the Black Diamond ultra distance 120s. I used adjustable poles for a long time, but quickly adapted to using the fixed length poles. The body is pretty adaptable. My hand positions vary a lot. When going downhill, I frequently have the top of the pole in the palm of my hand. When I want it to be shorter, I can place it out a little further. Not quite as efficient as the ideal length, but I don't have to stop and deal with readjusting it.

          --
          Ralph Alcorn
          backpack45.comtimecheck00.blogspot.com
          Shepherd Canyon books, Publisher of: Patagonia Chronicle: On Foot in Torres del Paine, Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago, We're in the Mountains, Not Over the Hill: Tales and Tips from Seasoned Women Backpackers  - all available on Kindle


        • Joe MacLeish
          John: I use my poles as tent poles in my tents (Tarptent or SoLong 6) so for others who do the same, fixed lengths don t work so well. Actually I start out
          Message 4 of 9 , May 18, 2013
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            John:

            I use my poles as tent poles in my tents (Tarptent  or SoLong 6) so for others who do the same, fixed lengths don't work so well.  Actually I start out at the recommended length for the tent and then later when the material stretches a bit I add another 2-3 cm to the length of the poles to tighten the tent up.  But for the data base I am 6 ft and set my poles a 130 cm and only change them when I am scrambling and need my hands free (I close them up and hang them from the pack).

            Joe

             

            From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dan C. aka Thumper
            Sent: Friday, May 17, 2013 5:10 PM
            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: John Ladd
            Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Appropriate length for fixed length trekking poles

             

             

            John,

            I would measure against your adjustable poles to determine what fixed length you should select.

            Thumper aka Dan C.

            ---- John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:

            > I'm a fan of adjustable trekking poles, but I did want to experiment a bit
            > with using fixed length poles (by adjusting my poles to that length and
            > just using them without adjustment that way, over some up and down hiking
            > with a pack)
            >
            > What length do you think would be an appropriate choice for someone just
            > under 6 feet tall? I see Black Diamond recommends 130 cm. Does that seem
            > right?
            >
            > John Curran Ladd
            > 1616 Castro Street
            > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
            > 415-648-9279

          • Don
            I have two sets of fixed length poles, both 120cm. I m 5 11 and shrinking. I m almost afraid to measure again having peaked at 6 . Frankly I could never get
            Message 5 of 9 , May 18, 2013
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              I have two sets of fixed length poles, both 120cm. I'm 5"11" and shrinking. I'm almost afraid to measure again having peaked at 6'. Frankly I could never get my head wrapped around the pole adjusting deal. I just change my hand position and/or pole placement for changes in terrain. I do use a pole for shelter support like Joe mentioned but find a rock to put under it to re-tension my sil-nylon shelter.
              Going to a fixed length pole cut the weight of the poles by about half and greatly increased my hiking pleasure.


              John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
              >
              > I'm a fan of adjustable trekking poles, but I did want to experiment a bit......
            • Chris
              John: I m 5 10 and I keep my difficult-to-adjust adjustable poles set at 115cm. Based on all the responses you ve gotten, 130cm seems like it might be a bit
              Message 6 of 9 , May 18, 2013
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                John:

                I'm 5'10" and I keep my difficult-to-adjust adjustable poles set at 115cm. Based on all the responses you've gotten, 130cm seems like it might be a bit too long for someone your height, IMO.

                Chris.

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                >
                > I'm a fan of adjustable trekking poles, but I did want to experiment a bit
                > with using fixed length poles (by adjusting my poles to that length and
                > just using them without adjustment that way, over some up and down hiking
                > with a pack)
                >
                > What length do you think would be an appropriate choice for someone just
                > under 6 feet tall? I see Black Diamond recommends 130 cm. Does that seem
                > right?
                >
                > John Curran Ladd
                > 1616 Castro Street
                > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                > 415-648-9279
                >
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