My most recent mountain therapy excursion included checking out the two Osceolas this past weekend. I usually don’t do 4000 Footer day hikes and I haven’t ever done one without camping. Mainly because driving 5 hours in a day to hiked for 6 is for yuppie trash and people that don’t own tents. However, it was December, an exception to my own rule and I found myself alone and with a free day and I figured I would do a quick cold weather gear check and test the legs out on something short and simple. By that I mean the mileage and vert is less than I am used to, however I loaded up a 30lb pack and the conditions were definitely a surprise…
Hiking Camping Gear
These are the first poles I ever bought or even tried. Next to getting hydraulic Cyborg legs these are the best thing for hiking. Ever. They instantly turned me into a four legged mountain goat.
Took them on a 7 mile fastpack initially, and I was flying down wet rocky trails faster than I could free fall. These give you the balance and confidence to make some INSANE steps and jumps you would have never tried without them! If your into crazy technical hiking these are must haves. I also have a questionable ankle that always gets sore and this negated that completely. Also great for skirting around a large muddy or wet section of trail and for water crossings.
Upper body workout is impressive as well, I read they take 25% of the work off of your legs. Spreading out the exertion kept me from taking breaks every 20 minutes. The shock absorption is a nice bonus, grips are great. On downhills I was putting 20-30 lbs of pressure on each pole and they held it like champs. Putting that much weight on them GREATLY diminishes leg impact. Pairing them with my Osprey Aether (60) with its pole storage straps made coverting to scrambling or walking flats super fast.
Some tips I picked up: Use the wrist tethers correctly and spread your weight through your wrist as well as your hand; you can make your lead pole longer than the other; sometimes using one pole is better than both; alternating your leg and pole arm on hills is clutch – try to maintain that form and you will crush uphills and get a serious workout.
If you are on the fence with a pole purchase ask yourself this: Would you go skiing without poles? Its really the exact same difference. Also if you go hiking with a friend that doesn’t have poles or good gear, letting them use one will greatly improve the odds of them hiking with you again.
Very Versatile Pack…
Honestly most of the time I forgot it was even on my back which is perfect when you are riding or skiing. Plus it has a built in chest strap whistle that is loud as all hell in case of a backcountry emergency.
When my trip ended, I turned this inside out and packed all my dirty clothes into this and put it in my suitcase, segregating it from my clean clothes. The stuff sack dual-functionality make this a genius little bag and the price is nice at around $30.
5 stars already and I haven’t even used it for hiking yet! This is also hydration compatible (probably could handle 1-2L) and has two small interior mesh pockets. Will likely use it for a reserve pack for friends when day hiking or a beach bag for sure. Recently been using this as a gym bag for my keys and jump rope.
These are so comfortable that they’ve replaced my come-home-from-work slippers. The shoelace system is the SHIT. One pull and they STAY PERFECT, pop the lace cinch into the hidden tongue pocket and it doesn’t bounce around, get loose, or get snagged. I have had mega issues in the past keeping my shoes and boots tied while hiking and snowboarding.
I’ve taken them trail running and boulder scrambling and they’ve been great; lightweight, breathable, and awesome grip.
Just did some post blizzard city running and they performed impressively. Sprinting on ice and snow, I hardly slipped once and feet did not get wet. Only thing to watch out for is getting sweaty feet in the cold, they are so breathable my feet get chilly, not a fault of the shoe though and a positive in the summer when it will be hot. Another option is the midtops of the same design. I tried these on as well and they are very light and just as comfortable but not high enough for good ankle support. After getting these I also got the Salomon Quest 4D boots which are incredible as well as a great pair of Salomon Boa Snowboard boots (to replace my old Salomon boots).