Two weeks ago we made the decision to get some trekking poles. This hit us as a necessity while we were slipping and sliding down the wet scramble at Upper Mohawk Lake noticing how much easier those with poles seemed to be doing. Plus my knees are constantly grumbling to me about all this extra weight and what I expect them to be able to do, poles are supposed to help take off some of strain on your knees. Since it was Labor day weekend and REI was having a great sale, we picked up their brand poles for an additional 25% off. It was a good deal and while they aren’t the best ones out there, I think they will give us a good idea of what we want to grow into, they are good training wheels so to speak. I went for ones that collapse with easy locks, made out of aluminum with cork grips. They are 8.8 ounces, which seemed so light in the store.
Last weekend we used them on the Butler gulch trail , not because it was such a steep trail and it made sense to use them, but to try to get used to them. I am glad we did it, it was surprising how hard it was to carry those stupid poles up and down the trail. By the end I was like a tired little kid dragging my teddy bear behind me and all the more grumpy by how easily Aaron seemed to be doing with them. He was just bouncing down the trail without a care in the world and he is already carrying extra weight with the backpack full of goodies(he did later confess that is was a little harder than he expected too). So what to do….
We already do weights about 3-4 times a week, elliptical 4 times a week ( at least) and walking 3-4 times a week as our standard exercise regimen outside of our weekly hike. Aaron suggested that with our elliptical sessions we should carry the poles( so smart)….so that’s what we are doing. I chickened out on Monday and Tuesday because I also increased my resistance for the first time in months, but I did do it this morning and it was exhausting! Hopefully after a few weeks of that my wimpy arms will start to buck up and deal with it since my knees have been carrying the burden of my bad lifestyle for some time.
I will let you know how the trekking poles work out, this weekend’s hike is definitely the type of hike that needs to have poles along!