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I’ll be honest in that I have learned the hard way that there are some pieces of equipment that you really need to do your homework on before you dive into a purchase. Trekking poles are one of those products. Several years ago I purchased a cheap-o set from Wal Mart for general purposes, and found myself in a situation where I really had to rely on my poles for support.
Last winter a friend of mine and myself went winter camping in a state forest. We were “totally” prepared for the weather that was predicted, and so we were slated to have a good time out in the woods. One thing we failed to prepare for though was if the weather man was wrong (which he was). That night a blizzard ended up rolling through and brought the temperature 40 degrees lower than we had prepared for equipment-wise. The weather man predicted 20 and it ended up getting down to -20 with the windchill. Needless to say, we had to do an emergency bug out somewhere between midnight and 1AM.
As we were bugging out, I realized how important my trekking poles became to me in that blizzard. They were a huge help to me in maintaining balance and avoiding potentially dangerous footholds that were covered by the snow. The situation could have been a lot worse had I not invested in a pair of poles.
Now, those poles were great and all, but they weren’t the kind that I was going to stake my life on in the future, and so I went pole shopping once more. I fell in love with a set of Swissgear poles I saw at Gander Mountain that had a built-in LED light and cork-like handles and decided to purchase them out of impulse.
Boy was I disappointed. They came with no instructions as to how to install the batteries, and a week after purchasing them, the “cork-like” handles slipped right off without any effort! I hadn’t even taken them to the trail yet! Shortly thereafter, I did take them on the trail for a week in PA. After the week was done, I was done with them. The ring protectors that cover the ends of each pole section wouldn’t stay in place, the screw-lock system became unreliable, and the batteries/LED lights kept giving me problems. All in all, I would stay away from Swissgear trekking poles if at all possible.
Needless to say, when I went home, I found myself pole shopping once more. This time though, I did my homework. I wanted to get the best bang for my limited buck and after reading several reviews I ended up purchasing a set of the Black Diamond Trail Back trekking poles. I couldn’t have been happier. These things are amazingly rugged, are very simple to adjust with their flick-lock system, and are more compact than most comparable trekking poles. Once more though I put these to the test by taking them on the trail for a week, and have to say that I would highly recommend them to anyone. They are about the best pole in their price-range, and I would even put them against poles much more costly.
Check out the video and let me know what you think! What poles do you use on your adventures?
If this is your first time with us, my name is Dave, and David’s Passage is the name of my vlog. This passage in life started with a desire to share my love of the outdoors with the world. My hope is that those who tune into my videos will be inspired to venture out and enjoy all of creation for what it’s worth. This video blog features videos on an array of outdoor-related topics, as well as DIY projects that might just help you more fully enjoy the outdoors. New videos come out on Tuesdays at 3pm EST, so please subscribe and be on the lookout for new content soon!
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The song sample you heard in the intro was from the finger-style guitarist, David Youngman. I highly recommend you check him out.
I obtained full permission from the original artist to use his music in my videos.