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Trekking Poles

My husband and I signed up for the RS Best of Italy tour and are thinking we would like to do some hiking at Cinque Terra and the Dolomites. Please respond if you have taken poles or know of someone who has. Just wondering if poles would be essential, or more of a hindrance when not in use. We are both seniors, and regularly use poles on hikes with elevation gain and/or uneven surfaces.

Posted by
2525 posts

Since you need them for managing uneven surfaces and elevation changes, you should take them to hike trails in the Cinque Terre.

Posted by
767 posts

I pretty sure that you would have to put the poles in "checked" luggage, so if you plan on "packing light" and just using a carry on then you would need to buy them once you got to Italy. I was in Cinque Terra last May and hiked the trails and rarely saw anyone using poles.

Posted by
226 posts

Carol. I've taken my Pacerpoles to Spain and plan on using them again this summer in Switzerland - they're indispensable! The pacerpole dismantles into 3 pieces (the longest is 22"). However, airlines do not permit the poles as carry on items. If you're packing your gear into a small roller back for the RS adventure you may need a shipping tube or similar vessel for your poles; a larger piece of luggage may be suitable for packing poles that collapse or dismantle. Craig

Posted by
11613 posts

Just looked at the pacer poles site, they offer free worldwide delivery (didn't look for any "catches" or prices). You could have them shipped to your destination?

Posted by
561 posts

We used hiking poles in the Alpe di Suise, and while not necessary we were glad we had them. We put them in a very sturdy shipping tube sealed with duct tape and fashioned a handle with duct tape to make them easier to transport. Since you say you regularly use poles, then I would take them as you will be more comfortable.

Posted by
53 posts

I have taken my collapsible walking stick (don,t know brand) on 3 European trips. It is very helpful over coblestones or uneven surfaces. It came with its own carry case which is is about 3 " in dia by about 18" long. Fitts very well in the bottom of my roller bag. I have never been denied entrance anywhere, even art museums. Take them along!

Posted by
172 posts

We have taken poles to Europe a few times, especially for the Camino. The rules of taking collapsing poles on carry on are very nebulous. You should break them down and take them in your checked luggage. The Cinque Terra would be a place that your poles could really enhance your hike. There are some steep, narrow sections where they would be invaluable. We did not have our poles when we hiked the Cinque Terra. It had rained and was threatening to rain. The trail was very slick. A young college girl ahead of us slipped and slid down about 15 feet and had several ugly abrasions. After hiking about a mile and a half we decided the trail was too treacherous in those conditions and stopped. We only wished we had had our poles.

Posted by
242 posts

i was in the Cinque Terra last fall on a RS tour. I happened upon a shop in one of those cities that can outfit you with whatever you need to hike. Sorry, I'm not sure of the specific city, but it was a shop dedicated to outfitting hikers. You will have to buy the renting.

Posted by
285 posts

I appreciated all of your comments above. Our tour is not until September, so I/we have lots of time to decide. However, if we take the poles, we were planning on buying new ones that "break-up" into sections (like tent poles), and even though we use carry-on size luggage, we usually check our bags, because we have 2 other carry-ons. So we won't be dealing with them onboard the airplane.
"Traveling light" is still a learning process for us." This is our very first RS tour, so we have read the requirements.
We'll think about how we want to divide our time in Cinque Terra. Hiking the trail vs window shopping/people watching/eating gelato in towns. Same as for the Dolomites area. "My weakness is wanting to see and do as much as possible."

Posted by
835 posts

I have Black Diamond Z Trekking collapsible poles. They look like this, though I'm not sure they're this exact model. They weigh 11-12 oz and fold up very small. They also do not have sharp carbide tips, just round hard plastic, so I have carried them on the plane my last two trips to Europe with no challenges. I used them several times in the Swiss and Umbrian countryside and was glad to have them. I didn't use them in cities, due to some embarrassment over hauling them out, and wished I had, especially when climbing hills inside Florence and Rome

My two cents: take them and use them without embarrassment anywhere you want. No one will remember you anyway.

Posted by
1814 posts

I brought trekking poles when I sprained my knee right before a trip to Greece, in anticipation of doing lots of walking uphill and on rocky surfaces. They were useful when I would remember to bring them with me, but mostly they just stayed in my suitcase.

However, since you already regularly use poles, you might find them helpful.