Don Erickson prefers to snowshoe with a pair of trekking poles.
Don Erickson prefers to snowshoe with a pair of trekking poles.

High spirits abound as Jim Joque and Don Erickson greet each other. Jim stomps the snow off his boots as he enters the rustic log shelter at the Hemlock Creek Segment trailhead of the Ice Age Trail in northern Rusk County, Wisconsin. Because both men are natives of the same area in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and now Wisconsin residents, there’s much to talk about. After catching up since last they met, the conversation of the two Yoopers turns to the day at hand. 

“Did you lose one of your poles, Jim?” Don asks.

“Not at all. Like Moses, I generally use only one pole,” Jim replies.

Don counters: “Jim, dual poles can give you an upper body workout and increased cardiovascular benefits” He points out that a Cooper Institute study found that Nordic walking, with poles, resulted in a 20 percent increase in oxygen consumption compared to regular walking at the same speed. 

 The entirety of the one-pole versus two-pole debate between Don Erickson and Jim Joque appears in the November 2013 print edition of Silent Sports. To order a copy or subscribe, call 888/706-4045.