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Old 07-20-2006, 04:40 PM   #1
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Hey everyone, I am planning my 2 month western europe trip. My brother and I plan on doing tons of hiking, mt. vesuvius, the Dolomites, the Alps, the Black Forest in Germany.

Do I need hiking poles or will they just be a pain in the ass to carry around?

I currently do tons of hiking in the states, but always have my dog with me, so I never bought poles b/c I never have two hands free, however I definitely feel the pain in my knees on serious downhills, will I appreciate having poles or will I curse myself? Help tpers!
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:41 PM   #2
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To me good supportive boots are the key....on the other hand, poles do add support if you have trouble with your knees. So its a personal preferance I guess.
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Old 07-21-2006, 05:40 AM   #3
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Hey mate
Im in Europe right now and have noticed several packers with poles.
I would advise this, like King said if your knees are bad or you really need the support take them along most packs are easily compatible. however sometimes just finding a big enough stick on the ground might do the trick! lots of hikes I have herd of people doing were easy to moderate not many stories of hard treks. Really your call but they are common over here!
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:08 AM   #4
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Vesuvius isn't a serious climb - we did it with our kids (the youngest was two at the time) at Easter. There are people at the bottom of the hill who give you a walking stick (read, bamboo pole) as you start off - we dumped half of ours halfway up because the kids didn't need 'em. The path there is graded but gravelly so it can be a bit slippery, especially on the descent, but really, little old ladies were making the walk, it's not a strain. If you do take a pole, be sure to tip ON THE WAY BACK - I put in my tip at the outset and the guy got quite huffy when I didn't give him a coin at the end of the walk.

I don't know if they make telescoping poles, but that would be an easier option than a solid pole for packing, I would think. We live in a part of Germany that is popular with "wanderers", and see plenty of people using poles on their walks, so you will definitely fit in. We usually just pick up a sturdy stick, but we're not doing aggressive hikes.


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Old 07-21-2006, 08:55 AM   #5
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you can get telescoping poles that are very lightweight and small and are easy to attach to the outside of your bag...i found some for $10 each, but at camping stores they always seem to be way more expensive (like $50 a pair)
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:05 AM   #6
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^even more than that sometimes. ($50 each). i just recently bought 'eddie bauer' trekking poles @ target for $15 a piece for my brother because he has a bad knee. they helped him more on the incline than the decline. but they ended up really helping our dad on the decline because he had twisted his knee while climbing.

really, it's just preferrence. i've never really used them myself. like KCL said, sturdy boots are key.
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:27 PM   #7
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ya i meant to add 'and up' after the $50 a pair
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:15 AM   #8
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yeah, what is the deal with poles? I noticed the same high prices atthe camping stores then at walmart the other day found a pole for $9.50 which is much more reasonable. So what's the deal? Weight? Strength? What?

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