A friend of mine sent me a list of easy hikes in Massachusetts.
Several of them really piqued my interest but after reading the descriptions I felt it would be wise to get another pair of trekking poles. I haven’t done serious hiking since I got hurt several years ago and although I’m feeling much better these days, I’m still not sure of my endurance or balance.
I had an inexpensive pair but I was never able to lock the length of the shaft. It always slipped. Those poles had the external twist lock. Eventually I gave them away. I used my monopod as a walking stick after that.
So having reviewed the type of terrain I’d need to maneuver to do these hikes I decided a pair of trekking poles would be better than the monopod but I wanted to be sure I could adjust them.
I decided to start at Dick’s sporting goods because it was the closest sporting goods store to me. When I got to the store I asked what department I needed and the clerk began to tell me they probably didn’t have any but if the did they would be with the camping equipment.
I headed toward the camping department with him hot on my heels and talking into his collar like a CIA agent. We were met by the employee assigned to camping.
The first set of poles I was offered had the twist lock. I asked the two clerks if they could show me how they worked. I explained that I was never able to get them to actually lock. Thus started a comical few minutes while they tried to lock the poles only to put pressure on them and have them collapse. While they fussed over those poles I spotted another set that had an external lever lock.
I picked those out and gave them a flip. They worked perfectly. I interrupted the twist lock testing to tell them I was all set and would take the lever lock set. A got a couple of blank looks and then the clerk from the camping department seemed to recover his wits. He asked some very good questions about my hiking needs and confirmed that these poles were probably better than the twist locks.
I have a feeling that at least one of the clerks is going to be looking into the locking mechanisms closer. The problem with the twist lock caught them both by surprise but Mr. Camping department clerk is also a hiker and before I left with my new poles, he and I exchanged information about local hikes in Massachusetts and the White Mountains of NH.
I hope the weather is nice next weekend. I want to take a hike with my camera and break in these trekking poles. Maybe Bash Bish Falls would be a good first hike of the season.