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Don't forget to hike with poles when you're walking to the North Pole (or you could take the Polar Express.) Although the use of hiking poles in uphill backpacking does not change the amount of energy expended during walking exercise, many people say they make the hike seem easier.
Yes it does make the hike easer - going up hill and down hill...
Walking is nothing but a sereis of falls as we grow we learn how to prevent them - so why not have an extra leg to stand on! it has saved so many knees!!!
It is a well know medical/sports fact that walking poles, when used properly, can decrease up to 30% of knee strain especially on down hill treks/runs. I have used them for years and my knees swear by them.