Trekking Poles, LEKI Carbon Micro Vario
by Darren Choate
I grew up in the Desert Southwest. During the winter, I spent weekends and school breaks at my grandparents home in southern Arizona. On hikes, almost everyone carried a walking stick made from a Saguaro rib. At the time, I didn’t consider the benefits of a walking stick–I just thought it was cool.
Later in life, my good friend, and owner of Babbitt’s Backcountry (Flagstaff, AZ), Keith Harris, introduced me to the concept of trekking poles. On shed antler trips, he would take the poles, using them when the need arose. Even then, I did not fully comprehend the benefits that trekking poles offered. It wasn’t until this past fall that it finally donned on me.
While hunting Coues White-tailed deer with my son, we spotted a good buck, and decided to try a stalk. We had already hiked in almost a mile just to get to our glassing-vantage point. The stalk would require us to hike another mile, and then traverse over 1,200 feet in elevation over a quarter-mile run through rocky, cactus filled terrain. Luckily, our hunt was successful, which also meant we had to descend the same 1,200 feet and hike 2-miles back to the truck, with the added weight of the harvested deer–albeit, just a Coues deer.
On the descent, my son and I took turns carrying the heaviest pack with most of the quartered/processed deer. Whoever had the heavy pack used both of our tripods as trekking poles. Without the tripods to help stabilize our movements, I am quite sure both of us would have taken several falls. We were amazed what four-points of contact–or even three-points of contact, using just one–adds to your ability to tackle steep, rugged terrain. As it turned out, we both survived. The following week, I went back to Babbitt’s Backcountry to discuss trekking poles with Keith one more time.
Now, I have a set of LEKI Carbon Micro Vario’s and use them on all my hunting adventures. The Carbon Micro Vario breaks down to fit easily in your backpack, and is just as easily re-assembled for use when needed. Additionally, it features adjustable height positions to fit both, the terrain and individual. The best feature though, is the energy conservation added from the balance, stability, and shock-absorption provided by a quality trekking pole(s). For more, see LEKI’s Trekking 101.
LEKI Carbon Micro Vario
Multi-functional. Perfect for reaching the Via Ferrata, for Trail Running and for smaller hiking or trekking tours. The Micro Vario Carbon with the innovative AERGON grip which stands out by its edgeless shape for comfortable gripping and extreme light weight due to shell cavity construction. The non-slip mid extension guarantees a variety of gripping options. Quick and easy to assemble and pack down with the Push Button Release Mechanism. Adjust to the perfect height using the SpeedLock adjustment system. Perfect stability is guaranteed by a high-performance tensioning cord with Kevlar reinforcement and sturdy PE coating for lifelong protection of the fibres. A spring in the lower shaft compensates the length automatically, thus keeping the cord in ideal tension all times. For more information, visit http://usa.leki.com/.
- 100% HM Carbon Shaft
- AERGON Thermo Extended Grip
- Air-textured strap wicks and dries quickly
- push button connector
- Speed Lock for adjustment
- 110 – 130cm adjustment
- 15.6 oz per pair
- 15 inch pack size
- Includes red nylon mesh carry bag
- Sold as a pair
Darren is the Founder of Western Whitetail. Prior to his career in the outdoors, Darren served as an Airman in the US Air Force. As a freelancer, his articles have been published online and featured in magazines such as Western Whitetail, Western Hunter, Quality Whitetails, Cabela’s Outfitter Journal, Fur-Fish-Game, and Rocky Mountain Game & Fish Magazine. Additionally, Darren spent time as the Editor In Chief of Whitetail Journal, Bowhunting World, Predator Xtreme, Archery Business, and Hunting Retailer magazines with Grand View Outdoors. He is a voting member and supporter of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Although he lives in elk and Coues country, Darren enjoys hunting across the country and writing about his experiences.