Trekking Poles And Walking Sticks
Are walking sticks longer than trekking poles? What about hiking staffs and hiking sticks? Whatever you call them, and whatever their differences, they are supposed to help your knees more than anything. This they do very well, at least when you're going downhill.
What else are they good for? They help you keep your balance. You can use them as defense against wild animals as well. I use a walking stick to rest my head on from time to time, and I also use it as a monopod for steadying the camera.
Do You Need Trekking Poles?
What if you don't have knee problems, and you are hiking on level ground? Then maybe there is no point to using trekking poles. They can be just more things to carry.
Do they save energy? They take weight off your joints, but logic says you'll expend more energy by carrying them. I use a walking stick at times, when my knees insist, and it's fun to poke at things, but it's not a necessity. For what it's worth, Ray Jardine, the "father" of ultralight backpacking, doesn't recommend trekking poles.
If you decide to use them, consider the incredible Bozeman Mountain Works Stix Xls Trekking Poles. They're made of a high-strength carbon fiber and weigh 2.7 ounces each! That's is half the weight of the nearest competition.
Walking Sticks and Other Options
I often cut dead sticks and use them until I lose them. I always lose my walking stick - a good reason not to buy the expensive ones. If I do still have it at the end of the trail, I leave it for the next hiker. Hand-cut walking sticks are heavier than high-tech trekking poles, but you can just leave them behind when you get tired of them.
You can use bamboo to make good light hiking staffs. It's stronger than it looks, so use a piece that's only about 3/4" thick. I bought cheap decorative bamboo at Pier One Imports, and cut it to size. You can glue some soft scrap leather on for a comfortable handgrip.
Finally, ski poles work as trekking poles. It's best if you remove the baskets, especially if you're hiking in wooded areas where they may catch on something.
Steve Gillman is a long-time backpacker, and advocate of lightweight backpacking. His advice and stories can be found at http://www.TheUltralightBackpackingSite.com
Backcountry Safety ? An Essential 10-Point Checklist
The call of the wild can be seductive. The exquisite beauty of the wilderness, the incomparable solitude, the simplicity of life on the trail, and the rush of living a bit on the edge attract thousands of eager backcountry enthusiasts. Sometimes enthusiasm gets in the way of wisdom and adequate preparation. Hikers, campers and other nature lovers can find themselves lost, unprepared or badly hurt. Colorado's Mountain Rescue Association reports its teams respond to more than 1,000 search and rescues per year. Victims often suffer from frostbite, dehydration, shock or severe trauma. Not all emergencies can be prevented, but many can. Poor preparation, poor judgment and hubris can be a dangerous combination that can lead to pure misery, injury or even death. Be wise and commit to the safety rules established by the experts. The following 10 rules are promoted by the officials of The Appalachian Club (www.outdoors.org) and the Colorado Mountain Club (www.cmc.org) :
Ireland Golf Vacations ? Top Tips To Help You Plan an Ireland Golf Vacation
Live your golfing dreams on an Ireland golf vacation.
Mystic Seaport Captured ? Links to Our Past Guide, Part 3
Mystic Seaport celebrates the seafaring past of New England. Known as The Museum of America and the Sea, the seaport is an entertaining journey through 19th century nautical life.
Retired LoWs Do Yuma
Yuma, Arizona. In the winter, it's the best town in America with a year round population of some 50,000 and a winter population of 150,000. We retired LoWs make this a sure stop each winter. If you want to make next winter more fun, come join us!
Find Outdoor Camping Gear Online at Great Discount Prices
Before you take off on that great outdoor adventure, be sure to write a list of all of the outdoor camping gear you will need with you and your family when on that camping trip. Some of the most important items to remember to bring are backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and camping furniture to name a few items.
Japanese Garden of Monaco
Have you ever seen an authentic Japanese garden? Well, I had the chance of seeing the one in Monaco and was really impressed too. Wanna taste a little Japanese culture? Stepping on this ground is escaping from the real world into a fantasy land. You suddenly find yourself in a typical Japanese natural setting like the ones you see in marvelous paintings. The only thing that's missing is the fog. Instead, the Mediterranean sun reveals all minute details in a warm light.
Topographic Maps 101
The intricate details on a topographic map can be befuddling, even frustrating, if you are learning while out in the backcountry. But once you get familiar with the markings and symbols, reading maps will become a friendly aid, rather than a dreaded assignment.
Botswana Safari Top Five National Parks and Game Reserves
A Botswana safari is an excellent trip to undertake because the setting is as unique as you will find anywhere in Africa, the game viewing is exceptional and the accommodation is top notch.
Gambling Isnt the Only Thing to do in Las Vegas
Do you think the only thing to do in Las Vegas is gamble? Wouldyou believe that there are a multitude of great hiking trails ina place where all-you-can-eat casino buffets are par for thecourse? Southern Nevada is chock full of great hiking trailsready to be discovered. Hiking areas near Las Vegas include: Red Rock, Mt.Charleston, Lake Mead, and the Eastern Sierra. These hiking trails are interspersed between canyons, mountains,chutes, and gullies.
Hard Labor Creek State Park Earned Its Name
One afternoon during a trip across the country in our fifth wheel, we were racing the sun to an RV park before sunset. We were driving through Georgia and convenient RV parks near the highway were sparse. Hard Labor Creek State Park was near our path and reachable before dark.
Lake Jipe straddling Tanzania and Kenya
So unknown is this treasure of Lake Jipe not many Tanzanians know of its existence or location. Sandwiched between the Pare mountains and Kilimanjaro this small lake [30 km sq] straddles the border between Kenya and Tanzania. This lake has a many water birds and is one of the few places in East Africa that the Lesser Jacana and Purple Gallinule are common. Also Madagascar Squacco Herron, Black Herron, African Darter and African Skimmer are often seen here.
Journey to Haypress Creek
It was the end of my first year as a graduate student, and my personal stock had risen somewhat due to long hours of hard work. Now a fabulous opportunity presented itself in the form of a research project in the northern Sierras in a locality known as Haypress Creek, which fell into my lap as a result of shifting academic fortunes. The hapless fellow who had been slated to go began an academic tailspin despite the initial excitement generated in the department by his excellent undergraduate grades. Meanwhile, my long hours of diligent work that first semester, in contrast to undergraduate grades that had not only failed to generate excitement among the faculty, but had gained grudging admittance on a probationary status, captured the slot. Good, graduate school had been an all-or-nothing proposition on which everything was gambled on making a success of the first semester.
Bunbury Western Australia
The first recorded mapping of what is now Koombana Bay and the eventual City of Bunbury, was in 1803 by the French explorers Nicolas Baudin and Louis de Freycinet, from their ships the Geographe and Casuarina. In 1831 there was a temporary English military settlement with the first settlers moving to the area named after Lieutenant Henry William St Pierre Bunbury in 1838. A growing port serviced the settlers and the subsequent local industries that developed.
Hiking Safely on the Hills
SAFE WALKING TREKKING OUTDOORS
Eight Tips For A Bug-Free Summer
(NC)-With approximately 42,000 mosquitoes for every person in Ontario, most of us spend a great deal of our summers swatting away these pesky insects. Protecting yourself against mosquitoes will not only make your summer more enjoyable, it will help prevent you and your family from getting annoying and sometimes dangerous bug bites.
Ten Skills - A Backpacking List
Have you ever had a backpacking trip that was a disaster - even though you brought everything you needed? Maybe you had matches, but couldn't get that fire going. You need more than good gear to assure a safe and enjoyable wilderness experience. You need to know how to do a few things, and the following list will get you started.
Crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with an RV
New experiences make me nervous, and I assume that holds true for most of us. Towing our fifth wheel through a major tunnel for the first time was such an experience. To top it off, this tunnel was one of the biggest I know of: the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, or simply the Bridge-Tunnel, when speaking with locals.
Is The Workamper Lifestyle For You?
If you've been dreaming of traveling the highways in your RV, but see the adventure as something far in the future when you retire, then you may want to seriously consider giving the Workamper lifestyle a try. You can live your dream now; it just takes a little preparation and commitment.
Bicycling Down The River
My river-rafting adventure started on a bicycle. The small daypack I wore carried a hatchet, a saw, some scraps of rope, food, water, a garbage bag bivy sack, a hat, and odds and ends. It weighed less than fifteen pounds total.
Backpacking Journals ? Preserve Your Backpacking Experiences
Backpacking is a great way to escape the rat race and be one with nature. Alas, your backpacking experiences can fade with time. The best way to prevent this is to keep a backpacking journal for your adventures.
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