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A place to share systematic reviews of bushwalking equipment, services and idea.

Forum rules

Forum rules
This is a place to share fair and systematic reviews of gear. Share the good, bad and ugly as well as including how you tested it and reviewed the gear. This is not the place to carry on about a bit of gear that failed, sometimes good gear has a lemon - this is more about systematic reviews. Although this can be a way to help gear manufactures with feedback, this is not the place to hassle them or ask for money back.

Start each thread with
[tag]Brand, product, RRP in AUD. The tags have two parts the type of gear and type of testing/review. eg
[Sleeping bag | Unboxing] Kmart Summit Hooded $29
[Stove | Field test]Jetboil, flash $150

Suggested review types. Unboxing, field test, 1 year on, stress test, teardown.
If someone else has already reviewed the same product in a similar method then please use the initial thread to include your review. Please note if the gear was provide to you for free, loan, discount or if you paid full RRP.
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Walking Poles

Fri 10 Jul, 2020 2:02 pm

I finally succumbed to Walking Poles.
Too many choices
Carbon or Aluminium
Collapsible or Z fold
Adjustable length
Weight vs strength

After discussions with other users I wanted a Aluminium (stronger?) Z fold (smaller space and packed inside pack and not too heavy.
I ended up choosing a Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles . They can vary from 105-125 cm length and weigh 445gm

My first trip was to Turon Gates along the Turon River. My first part of the walk was about 5.5 km along a fairly level route. I encountered walking through Lamandra about knee high, traversing steep slopes, crossing the river and level open walking. I started using one pole and that worked successfully. I kept my balance and didn't trip on any hazards like fallen logs or the Lamandra. On the return journey we decided to head up a steep ridge, no track and plenty of loose rocks. I brought out the second pole and headed up the ridge (approx 300m climb). Two poles certainly assisted in climb and helped me maintain balance. Along the top of the ridge I continued with two poles.

Next came the descent and again steep with loose rocks or gravel. The poles assisted me in maintaining balance and took load off the knees and calf muscles. I finished off with a 2 km road bash again using poles to maintain momentum. the walk was over 16km with total ascent and descent of over 600m.

The next day, after doing a walk like this I would have very stiff leg muscles and sore feet. With the poles my legs were feeling a lot better than normal. The only issue I had was I thought I was developing a blister in the palm of my hand from the descent and hold poles tight. That didn't eventuate. Gloves may help.

For a walking pole I am very happy that I decided to get some. The type that you want will suit your needs but I am happy with the Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles.

Re: Walking Poles

Fri 17 Jul, 2020 10:33 pm

A pole can mean the difference between falling over and hurting your self or twisting a knee
or not falling over at all. I have made few over the years out of broomsticks, pvc pipe etc,
but my favourite one and super light weight and totally indestructible is a Number 3 Wood golfing iron
with the head cut off, its already been tested with the don't slip down the cliff test.

Re: Walking Poles

Fri 17 Jul, 2020 11:03 pm

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Re: Walking Poles

Sat 18 Jul, 2020 9:57 am

wmholgate wrote:The only issue I had was I thought I was developing a blister in the palm of my hand from the descent and hold poles tight.

Good info on poles. I tend to carry just one for descents and I wished I had bought that can fit inside my day pack to keep it out of the way.

For the blister thing, I have seen people with blisters on their hands from gripping the handles (someone doing the Oxfam 100 kms came into a checkpoint at the 88 km mark and needed their hands bandaged). Using the straps for the main support it better.

Walking Poles

Sat 18 Jul, 2020 11:49 am

Having used alloy and CF poles, I’d take CF pole any day, except if one needs it to also act as a tent support for CF poles tend not to be length adjustable. The reason for CF is it’s light weight which dramatically eases the swing phase while staying strong. Whilst it has a little more flex (Black Diamond Z-pole), it’s more than stiff enough and is used as per skiing, to just dab and support. Further, CF can take an incredible load and flex while alloy just snaps dramatically at an earlier load. Yes, the additional cost is a consideration but well worth it.

Blisters? Poles should never be held in a death grip. Use the wrist strap as for ski poles and used in a similar fashion.
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