Trekking poles-yes or no?

D1gger

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Nov 12, 2017
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I'll post this here as the team rifle page is about dead. I just signed up for my first team sniper competition in February. I've been training with about 35lbs on my back for a couple of months to try to simulate my match load out. We are doing the non-camping version.
In a lot of the Mammoth photos, I don't see guys using pole. I don't have any right now, but I wonder if they would be a benefit. I've also considered leaving the tripod at home and using the poles banded together if needed.
thoughts?
 

König

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Sep 16, 2020
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I've never done a team sniper competition, but I've done a lot of hiking and trekking in my life so far. I'll echo oldfart's statements - make sure you buy collapsible poles. Price range will vary based on materials/weight but you can get a decent pair new or second hand for cheap. I'm in my 30s, don't have a bad back/joints and still use them when I'm getting in a decent day. The bottom line is that they reduce the impact on your joints and can allow you to hike further, faster and with less of the achy pains that everyone gets after a long hard day on the trail. I'm not sure what terrain or distances you're doing, but you can make a judgement call on whether they're worth it after you get a fews days in with them.
 

D1gger

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Thanks for the replies. I think I might give them a shot. I don't have the greatest knees, every little bit will help.
 

Forward543

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I use them hunting. If you have to pack alot of weight, or go up/down nasty steep shit, they kick ass. They are cheap and light. Most the time they are collapsed in my pack, then out they come, and up I go.
 

Kamerad

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I used to view them like umbrellas; for wussies. Then I tried some, and yes, they are great. To echo others, give them a try during training hikes/treks, and you’ll find out if they are worth it to you.
 

jb0311

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So, i am also not familiar with that competition but from a hiking perspective (which I am familiar with).... treking poles are proven to be more efficient over the long run. Ever so slightly, so just depends on how long the hike whether that advantage is worth it. I see people using them in the National Parks on 1/4 paved trails which is not worth it. You want to of course make sure you use them correctly. Make sure you can stow them easily, either collapsible or have a pack designed for stowing poles. Buy the best you can afford. You can buy different tips (think bipod spikes) so know what type of terrain you will be in and choose accordingly.
 
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Elnicko

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I use them for hunting and they make a big difference, especially going downhill. I’d say give them a try.
 

Kopfjager1

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I do a lot of backcountry hiking and won't ever go on a hike without them again. If not for stability on austere routes, then the benefit of reducing swelling in your hands during long treks wearing a pack should be a consideration. Which if you have to hike a long distance to get to a stage, and there is little or no prep/rest time, being able to grasp your rifle comfortably and have proper trigger control will be a huge advantage. Trekking poles have a few uses for them as well, field-expedient bipods for rifles or optics, lightweight tents that use the trekking poles or field-expedient shelters, etc. There are carbon fiber trekking poles that are extremely lightweight, Costco has CF poles for 40-50 with interchangeable baskets for dry terrain, snow, and rubber feet for hard surfaces.
 
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USMC mustang

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I have a well used set of collapsible Lekis. They are a good piece of gear and I’ve used them on every serious hike I’ve done over the past 6-7 years. I wish I would have bought them sooner, they do make a difference in challenging terrain.
 
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König

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I have a well used set of collapsible Lekis. They are a good piece of gear and I’ve used them on every serious hike I’ve done over the past 6-7 years. I wish I would have bought them sooner, they do make a difference in challenging terrain.
+1 for Leki's. I had a hand me down pair from my Dad that had maybe 20yrs of intense use between the two of us? Before I couldn't get one to collapse on a backcountry summit... It got caught by a tree on the ride down and slingshot into space. I still think about that pole from time to time...
 

Huskerhunter

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I use them for hunting and they make a big difference, especially going downhill. I’d say give them a try.
SPOT ON. I can live without them going uphill, but your knees and quads will thank you on the way down. There is a learning curve to using them properly so they actually help. You'll be at a bit slower pace until you get the rhythm down.