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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 38,258
9/22/11 2:32 P

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I'm not a weather expert by any means but ever since I was knocked out and a close friend of mine was killed by lightning when I was a kid, I've paid very close attention to 'lightning stories' in the paper and from friends of mine. I know there are probably a million times nothing happens compared to the one time something does happen but lightning really scares me.

With that said, I've known people back in the old days of frame packs whose aluminum frames drew lightning - also a friend whose metal crampons drew it [thankfully in both cases the people were OK - the crampons were on the ground and the guy with the pack was knocked over but unhurt otherwise - I've known of two people [neighbor of a co-worker and relative of a friend of a friend with both stories also in the newspaper] who were struck and killed or injured when lightning struck a wedding ring on one and metal frame glasses on the other. I've also heard of aluminum tent poles getting hit - it really makes me think twice because of the trend of using trekking poles, which I adore, aluminum water bottles, which I also prefer, etc - I guess if it happened more often, we would hear more stories and/or warnings but as mentioned, I'm really scared of lightning [although not at all afraid of bears, snakes, cougars or many other things that seem to frighten others I've hiked with]. To each his own, I guess!

Has anyone ever heard of trekking poles or aluminum bottles drawing lightning?

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

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God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."
MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,467
9/11/11 7:19 P

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I recently bought a pair of poles myself, and noticed they were also selling replacement pole tips. Ultimately they are designed to be soft (to absorbed shock) and consumable (better the tips than wearing down the pole itself).

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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WISTERIALODGE Posts: 846
9/11/11 5:23 P

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I thought the tips should last longer, too. I discovered they were really pliable plastic and wasn't surprised it gave out. I'd like to find some stiffer tips of a more durable material to replace the originals or it will happen again and again (at a hopefully slower rate). My old (single) trekking pole is 5 years old and never had a problem, I just wanted a matching pair and they stopped selling that variety.

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KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 15,464
9/11/11 5:05 P

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Bring them back to where you bought them, they shouldn't fail that quickly. See if they'll replace them for you. If not, I do think you can get replacement tips. Just if these are new, you shouldn't have to.

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

H: 5''4" 53 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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WISTERIALODGE Posts: 846
9/11/11 2:45 P

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If there is lightening, I'm definitely not on the ridgeline! I know not to be the highest point. I didn't feel any real danger, because there were plenty of trees around and another 2000' of targets higher than me.

The pole tip blew out on one pole on the second hike after purchasing them and I removed the tip off the other so they would match (I couldn't stand the different sound between the two), and I began to rue the loss of them. I was shocked the tip died so easily, though it was a tough trail and I relied on it alot in my 2.5 hour non stop descent of 2700'. Are replacement tips sold?

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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,467
9/11/11 8:55 A

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My guess is that the electrical resistance provided by the rubber handles and pole tips is greater than that of your body anyway.

And certainly packing the away so that they are in your pack basically means there is no way that they help complete the electrical circuit anyway.

Probably the best thing you can do in such situations is to get down off the ridgeline.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


 current weight: 185.2 
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WISTERIALODGE Posts: 846
9/11/11 3:28 A

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Saturday I went hiking in the mountains nearby. There were some gray clouds, but there have been when setting out on other hikes and it has ended up being nearly cloudless. Today was not one of those times. About 40 minutes into my hike I heard the sound of distant thunder. I noted that there were more gray clouds and kept hiking. The thunder started getting louder, but I still saw no lightening, but I began to wonder about the wisdom about carrying metal poles in my hand during an electrical storm. It occurred to me to collapse them and stick them out of my pack, but would that be any better?

It began sprinkling, then raining in earnest and I knew that the risk of lightening was past, but still it makes me wonder. I know it has a rubbery plastic grip on the handle, but would that provide adequate insulation? I'd hate to leave the poles behind out of fear of carrying them in some manner or other, I really benefit from the added stability.

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