While preparing for my first elk hunt several years ago, I had compiled several different gear lists I had found online to try and determine exactly what I would need for a week long elk hunt. One item that had made several of the lists, but not all, was trekking poles. Some lists went so far as saying they weren’t necessary, but instead fell in the category of a luxury item. Others simply called them hippy sticks – laughing at the thought of carrying a pair hunting in the backcountry.
Having no experience hunting the backcountry and hearing arguments on each side of the spectrum, I decided to spend very little time other than trying to find a pair that was somewhat lightweight and inexpensive to fit within my remaining budget. With that said, I ended up with a pair of Black Diamond Trekking poles. Fast forward a few years and now that I have a few backcountry hunts under my belt. I can say without a doubt that trekking poles are more than just a luxury item.
Searching for Something Different
The Black Diamond poles served their purpose for my first few backcountry hunts, but it’s become increasingly apparent I needed to spend a bit of time looking for a pair of poles better suited for my future hunts. After some time behind the computer screen and after soliciting a few friends with a bit more experience, I came across the S&S Archery Carbon Lite (CL) Backcountry Trekking Poles.
The Ultimate Backcountry Trekking Pole
The S&S Archery CL Backcountry Trekking Poles are a telescoping type, all carbon trekking pole featuring EVA foam grips and a carbide tip. Weighing in at a mere 12.6 ounces for the pair (without baskets or rubber tips), the CL trekking poles are the perfect ultra light trekking pole for the backcountry hunter looking for the lightest equipment possible. However, don’t let the ultra light weight of the poles fool you. Ruggedness is typically the first thing out the window when you start cutting weight. That being said, the CL Backcountry Trekking Poles are tough and more than capable of supporting substantial weight while making a climb out of a deep hole with an elk quarter on your back.
In addition to being ultra lightweight and durable, the CL Backcountry Trekking Poles compress down to a mere 26″ in overall length while having a usable length of 40″ (100 cm) to 54″ (135 cm) when fully extended. More than enough length for my 6’4″ frame when side-hilling or climbing. I would like to see a slightly longer version for extreme down-hilling. However, the CL Backcountry Trekking Poles worked great for me in every situations that I’ve needed them so far.
The CL Backcountry Trekking Poles feature twist lock locking mechanisms to adjust and lock in the length for each pole. While some may not be a big fan of twist lock mechanisms, I personally have found them to be extremely easy and quick to adjust while solidly locking the length of the poles. I have yet to have one of them slip while using them under a considerable amount of weight. My previous set of poles had the lever lock mechanisms, and while they too were solid, I felt the twist locks were much easier to adjust.
The soft EVA foam grips are very comfortable in your hands. Moisture wicking properties provide additional benefits when you are using them during a warm early season bow hunt or a heavy pack out. The wrist straps are wide, comfortable, and easy to adjust to provide the best fit. Out of the typical trekking pole grip materials, EVA foam is not typically the most durable, but I haven’t noticed any bit of deterioration of mine through their use last fall.
Where to Purchase?
The S&S Archery CL Backcountry Trekking Poles retail for $144.95 for a pair and can be purchased by visiting the S&S Archery store by clicking the button below.
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CL Backcountry Trekking Pole Features
** without basket or rubber tip