Now, don't think I'm complaining here - I'm just letting you know that there's a short learning curve for any new piece of gear and gear should be used as intended. The rails-to-trails path I used today was flat with no need for the extra push or support from the poles - I was just trying them out. I'll just compress the poles and hook 'em on my pack when going along a path like this on my long hikes.
I expect I'll find them very useful when I start my rough trail practice next month. For now, I'd like to let you know my first impressions. And, basically, I think these would be great for scouts/scouters heading to Philmont or other backpacking treks.
Here's my thoughts on these Outdoor Products poles:
- They are aluminum with rubber handles and cam-locks. I like how the locks flip and hold rather than screw. You will need to adjust the cam-lock mechanism to ensure it clamps down hard enough to hold.
- There are three sections to the pole so they compress down to 25 inches which makes stowing on a pack pretty easy when not being used. Since they are easily adjustable, they can be shared with others without much hassle. The sections come completely apart so I really have 6 short aluminum tubes for emergency use.
- Without the rubber foot and basket, each pole weighs 9.7 oz. I don't plan to use the basket since it will just catch on brush and my pants.
- The rubber handles feel good to me, but the dense plastic makes them heavy and I'm anxious to see how they feel on hot, sweaty trails.
- The shafts adjust from 25 inches compressed to 54 inches extended. The carbide tips, baskets that easily unscrew, and rubber foot covers are all pretty nice.
- These poles will also be my shelter supports on my long hikes and they seem solid enough for that job.
- I like the metallic green color - it's pretty low-impact. They come in blue, too.
So far, I think I got a great present here! I believe they're a good item for folks like me that haven't used trek poles before and are learning how it all works. The $30 for the pair makes them a scout-affordable item as well. You can get poles that weigh half as much, but justifying the $$$ to ounces exchange rate can be a challenge.
Posted: 15:37 01-17-2012 733
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