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Trekking poles - so good

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  • Trekking poles - so good

    I just came across this page while looking for advise on how to best use my new trekking poles.

    Forgive me if you will, there's a story...
    I was initially Dx way back in 1998 at the age of 20 with a few pretty severe bouts of weakness and optic issues. It took about 2 years of aggressive therapy *steroids etc, but I returned to 90% mobility and over the last two decades have stayed close to that with the obligatory relapses and scares we all endure from time to time.
    Unfortunately, the numbness, foot drop and fatigue have been getting worse bit by bit. So instead of continually doing less hiking and exploring (the trend the last few years) I decided to admit that at 40, I was getting older and should get a hiking stick. a trip to REI found a pair of Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles in my possession, not a day too soon.
    For the last 2 or three years my endurance has shrunk from 3 miles to under 1 mile, but last a couple weekends ago I managed to eek out over two miles before the heavy foot slap became too obvious and finished the three miles in OK form. I was sure that this was from having a third point of contact with the ground.

    Thte following weekend we went on another less strenous walk through a local a forest area and I forgot *didnt want* the pole. After 3/4 mile I knew this was a mistake as I started having foot slap so fast. I thought that It would net be so bad since I've been going to the gym regularly for a short while now... I was wrong. I now have one pole in each car so I cant forget them.

    I will admit that my triceps are very tired from constantly holding my balance with my arms, but its worth it.

    From rock climbing and looong hikes/backpacking at 20 to meds, short hikes, and kayaking at 40, the journey must continue. If this must include a walking stick, that's OK with me.


  • #2
    Jim, thanks for the post and welcome! I really dig trekking poles as a walking aid for many reasons. I recommend rubber tips so you can use them indoors. Also, using two instead of just one is better for a few reasons.

    1) Better for balance 2) Better for endurance 3) Better to generate proper form (essential if you need to graduate to more support like a forearm crutch) 4) Better for exercising both arms to avoid a one-armed Popeye tricep 5) Better for fatigue.
    Dave Bexfield


    • #3
      +1 for two poles. Long hikes in the woods with my dog was my favorite hobby. Last year I started struggling getting out of the woods. I started with one pole but found after awhile I was really favoring one side, added a second and now I'm covering more ground and definitely safer now


      • #4
        Well, I did a big hike last saturday, only one pole because I couldnt find the other one (probably in the pile of fishing stuff in the garage) and I wish I had both.

        2.2 miles down about 900 feet at a place called the Confluence of the American (river) in Auburn CA. then a short break and as we all know, what goed down must come up...

        I was very tired at the bottom (2.2 mile mark) but I knew I *could* make it back up. It was a long slog and about halfway up I was struggling with my left leg so I started that god-ol hip swing. We went slowly up and I did eventually make it but my hip joint is still sore.

        It feels good to do this in the middle of a relapse (Starting solumedron today for rapid loss of sensation in extermeties, onset of the hug and reduced mobility, even if I push through)

        Use the poles, both is best...


        • #5
          Welcome neighbor, I leave on the other side of the river in Placerville.
          I have a cane, poles and crutches that I use for different terrain or ms mood.