So I have two big hikes planned for this year (and some medium length trips and a whole bunch of shorter hikes). 7 day Salkantay to Machu Pichu and my 7 day Mt Williamson/Whitney trek.

I have used a wooded hiking stick for the past 5-6 years ever since buying one on impulse before hiking down the Panorama trail in Yosemite and finding it helped this old body stay vertical.

While they work well for me and has saved my bacon many, many times, I was wondering if trekking poles might work better for the long trips.

After doing a snowshoe trek last weekend in Yosemite (got out before the big Sunday storm, fortunately), I started to wonder if using two trekking poles might be useful.



Wood hiking stick benefits:
*Single stick leaves one hand free
*I can shift hands to avoid obstacles and balance better on a slanted trail.
*On some hikes, having two poles may cause problems on narrow trails, especially on the edges of rock faces.
*Easy to attach my medallions to keep track of my victories. smile

Drawbacks:
*A little heavier than trekking poles
*Most don't have molded grips and can sometimes cause discomfort (I have to choose them carefully when buying them-but only have had one that wasn't that comfortable and was quickly replaced)

Trekking poles benefits:
*Lighter
*Can collapse to be smaller in order to pack in backpack (when not being used) or luggage
*Can use them for short rests without sitting down (this was useful in winter, since it wasn't always easy to find a place to sit down smile but not sure if it really applies for non-winter hiking)
*I can also stash one pole in my backpack if I only need one/find I don't need two.

Drawbacks:
*Extra pole to keep track of.
*Second pole sometimes gets in the way.
*I found my snowshoe poles caused some discomfort on my palms when I wasn't wearing gloves during warmer parts of the day (might just be cheap grips that were made for winter gloves).



Any comments or experiences from people who tried both?
_________________________

http://wandering.earth