I have never used trekking poles before - I'm 23 and my knees don't usually give me any trouble. But I read about the "pros" (Ryan Jordan, Andy Skurka, etc) who never hike anywhere w/o their poles, which makes me wonder if I am missing something. A few questions for any knowledgeable people out there:
1) Does a young guy really need poles?
2) Will using poles soften the wear and tear on my knees over the years? (i.e. - if I want to be 80 and still be hiking should I use them)
3) What do you do when you need both hands to scramble up a summit or cross some sketchy areas requiring hands? Anyone using a GoLite Jam2 pack found a good way to attach them?
And last... can anyone tell me the difference between the BMW Stix Pro and the GG Light Trek poles? What are the pros and cons?
Any advice is welcome!