How many of you guys use Trekking poles? I never used before but many people saying that once you try you hardly go back.. Reviews online are usually divided between Good and bad things about it. Direct experience with them? Especially from people that never used before and then they turn on it.
I use a pole - went from none to two then back to one. I use it for balance (steep terrain, rock-hopping, rivers, tussock, etc) but also for fending off (wet and/or prickly) scrub. Most of my NZ tramping is routes and foot-pads. The Aus bushwalking has a fair bit of off-track scrub - seems to work for me in most conditions. I hold it like a ski stock - hand up through the strap-loop and grasp the grip. That way, you can let the pole go to use your hand but still have the pole ready to re-grip. On the odd occasion when I need two completely free hands, the Aarn pack has very well designed holders that are quickly accessible without removing the pack.
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