In the past 10 years, Hiking Poles have become indispensable tools of the trade when traveling or camping in the back country. While they are slightly heavier than a one-piece pole, when telescoped down they conveniently fit almost anywhere- even strapped to your backpack. They can distribute up to 25% of the downhill impact from your legs and knees up into your arms and shoulders. On snow and ice, or in rough terrain, they can save your balance or allow you to self arrest if you fall. And they make a great platform for your camera. We recommend LEKi and Black Diamond.