My house is littered with broken trekking poles. I don’t really know how to dispose of them properly so they pile up in the trunk of my car and in my office. The carbon fiber ones are the worst. They snap with very little pressure when I get them caught between tree roots or rocks. No doubt, it’s due to the extreme hiking conditions we have here in New England and the White Mountains.
If we assume that everyone breaks a trekking pole once in a while and multiply that by the number of trekking and hiking poles that have ever been purchased, that adds up to a lot of broken poles. How long does it take a carbon fiber trekking pole to biodegrade? What about aluminum poles? Do they all end up in a giant pile at LEKI Mountain in Buffalo, New York?
Anyway, it makes you wonder why a major hiking pole manufacturer like Black Diamond or LEKI hasn’t jumped on the outdoor sustainability band wagon and developed an environmentally sustainable trekking pole made out of wood. I’d buy them in a flash and I bet other people would too. Disposing of the broken ones would be a lot easier.
I’m not an engineer, but I have to believe that someone could develop a set of bamboo hiking poles that are comparable in weight to existing commercial hiking poles, and that have a lot more lateral flexibility in them to prevent the kind of sheering breaks I experience with carbon fiber poles. Wooden poles don’t have to be ultralight, like carbon fiber. People will buy them because they’re a more sustainable alternative.
If you decide to make some poles like this and want an industry advocate, give me a shout. I think this product idea has “legs.”
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