I have used everything from wooden repurposed shovel handles to carbon fiber collapsible poles, including trail side branches, slightly modified ski touring poles, etc.  They all are useful and are much better than nothing, especially when crossing streams and navigating slippery terrain.

I have never been bothered by the differences in weight among these different poles.  Improperly tightened collapsible poles, true to form, may collapse under a heavy load, but can also be stowed handily in a backpack'

These days, bothered by an arthritic hip (surgery postponed until covid-19 is handled) I find my ancient Chouinard Equipment Alpine Probe sticks are very handy.  These are trekking pole, if you please, and not canes.  Only the lame and halt use canes.


So, grab a pole,any pole and use it.  You will be glad you did.


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.