I am a regular hiker, and find that walking poles really take the pressure off my knees on steep descents, and help keep me balanced on rough or slippery terrain. On easier going I tend to fold them away as being more hassle than they are worth.
There are claims that using poles burn significantly more calories, but the truth is that this is only the case if they help you walk faster.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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