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never thought i would say it. but Trekking poles are a game changer! i had a coupon for REI. i had nothing i needed, so on a whim i picked up a set of alum trekking poles. not to expensive. they had carbon fiber ones that cost around $170! the very cheap ones you can collapse when you put weight on them. so i opted for a middle of the pack pair. solid locks,,but i dont get the lightweight benefits. well, i hiked recently and let me tell you they saved my knees. we had one section where we dropped from a summit of 11k and the trail just kept going down and down. my knees ached, but using the trekking poles prevented those unstable stumbles. i was solid going down. uphill? i worked them like a cross country skier. i poled myself along. i know i was doing something because the first morning after a long hike, i woke up with very sore tricep muscles. there were four of us in a group. one had no trekking poles. i loaned him mine for a section and he was impossible to keep up with. he went from slow to fast..and i did the opposite. i'm not sure how i will work them into my hunts. maybe just use them to get to my destinations. i know i will collapse them and store them on my elk hunts. packing out hind leg will be much better with the poles. you bivy hunters. look into them. game changers. on a side note. all long distant hikers that we met doing the Pacific Coast trail had poles. they were doing 25 miles a day..and going from mexico to canada. insanity..pure insanity..
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