You can read about how my opinions of trekking poles were changed on our Virgin Falls hike. I don’t consider myself a gearhead. You might call me that but I won’t claim that moniker. Well, not completely. I appreciate things that work well, but I’m not the guy that has to have the latest and greatest.
That said, I thought hiking or trekking poles were a gimmick to suck money out of people. I mean, I’d used walking sticks before (and hated them). How could this be that much different?
I borrowed my brother’s poles, a pair of Leki Summit Antishock Trekking Poles, and loved everything about them except the locking mechanism. It is a twist lock system and twice while the pole was planted my hand turned unlocking the pole. It was mostly just slightly annoying but in the wrong situation it could be downright dangerous. I loved that they had cork handles. I wouldn’t have thought this would be a big deal but I didn’t get blisters or the warm spots that turn into blisters after using them for an entire day.
Also, they had a shock absorbing system that seemed worthless. It didn’t really help and just added complexity. I could actually imagine a time when the inner springs might get loose and hit the pole. This could be maddening on a long otherwise quiet hike.
Based on this, before my next big hike I plan to buy a pair of Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles. They are lighter weight than the ones my brother had, have cork handles and a cam locking system that seems much more secure than the standard twist lock that most poles have.