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The jungles of western Belize are full of an amazing array of plants, wildlife, and insects. Malaria is a concern....more...

Leki Ultralite Ti Air Ergo Trekking Poles : Steady As You Go

I like to think I'm fairly agile, but on the hiking trails, I'm no mountain goat. I slip, slide, and stumble more than I'd like to admit, especially when I'm carrying a heavy pack. I'm usually so busy looking at the scenery, that I don't pay attention to my feet.

So I was eager to try out some trekking poles to see if they made a difference. I was also a bit worried that they would be too heavy and just add to my burden. Luckily, I was wrong.

At 18.5 oz, the aluminum and titanium mix Leki Ultralite Ti Air Ergo poles were light enough that I could use them without straining my arms or shoulders. They also absorbed shock well; I didn't feel reverberations or energy coming back into my wrists or arms when planting. Leki's densely padded handle is slightly angled--so I could maintain an ergonomic wrist position and hand grip, which helped me prevent fatigue and soreness in those areas.

I think my knees benefitted the most. Using the poles helped me maintain my stability when hiking up and down steep trails, which is usually tricky for me with my cranky old knees. I felt much more secure and in control going down those hills knowing I had extra support.

The Leki Ultralite poles are so easy to use. Right out of the box, I was able to adjust them (adjustable from 76-135 cm) for a custom fit in just a few minutes. When not in use, they're quite compact and easy to clip on to the back of my pack. Other bonuses: the baskets can be changed out for other styles ,and Leki sells a rubber knob that can be attached to the pole's tip for urban trail blazers who prefer concrete jungles.

Bottom Line: There's definitely a learning period involved with using poles effectively. But once you get the hang of it, they're real knee-savers! Best of all, good trekking poles can help you stay on the trail longer and cover more ground.--E.D. (August '05)

Price: $149.95,

Manufacturer's Site:


Worldwide there are more than 12,000 species of ferns. In New Zealand, the silver fern is the national symbol. According to Maori culture,the unfurling tip of the fern, called a "koru," represents the cycle of life and death. This image is often used in art and jewelry.

Source: 100% New Zealand, The Official Site for New Zealand Travel

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