Just to add my appreciation and compliments on solid common sense thinking in the face of what this so called 'guide' told you (irresponsible smurf, that one) I never ever go hiking without at least a SAK and a small FAK with a Mylar blanket. Skiing too, by the way. That helped keep my youngest from cooling out when he fell badly and had to be medevac'ed out 10 years ago too.
I've never been a fan of hiking poles by the way.Sure, they can prevent a fall, but when you do, they prevent you from grasping anything to hold on to and you might even fall on top of them.Furthermore, on the way too busy Preikestolen hike, I've had about 3 bashing into my shins.A single pole for use like you guys mentioned, sure. But please put it away when it's not needed!So many people keep them both in hand when they need their hands to climb up
I on the contrary is a big fan of hiking poles, and I will not go for any serious hikes without the pair of my poles.They will not 'prevent' the fall, but do help you to balance yourself in difficult terrain and give you an extra propulsion on each stride. I could easily covers 20-30% more distance whenever I am with the help of hiking poles. There is also a particular way to use your poles, such way that when you let go, you will not lose them and your hands are free to grab onto anything.As for alternative use, they could be used as a splint, tent pole repair, measure water depth, selfie stick, etc.The lady in this video did show what I think is the proper way to hold your hiking poles, and why the wrong way could damage your hand/wrist:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXUz1seCDlc
11 minutes into the video, the pole gripping part is.In case, wondering anyone was.
Now, if everyone would use the poles in a correct way instead of holding them as if they're used to draw lines in the sand, my case against them might alter.
In the words of Dr hibbert from the Simpsons " don't thank me , thank THE KNIFE " Top work of proving once again that a small amount of gear and a cool head goes a long way