Trekking poles are a boon for security on sketchy terrain, and they'll keep your knees alive over hard-charging decades of hiking. To get the most benefit on flats, uphills and downhills, use adjustable-length poles and adjust them correctly. Here's how.
Poles can prevent falls and stress injuries, particularly on rough terrain with big loads. But, the constant 'click click' can drive you nuts. They leave poked holes in soft trails, and on rock slabs trek pole tips skate dangerously. Here, a simple fix.
A cheap, simple solution for secure tent-pitching on snow or sand. Note: The dowels work better for snow. However, by using a small disk (something like kid's play dishes), you can get the same effect for sand.
This method is popular with ultralight thru-hikers and requires two materials that you don't normally carry (cord and carabiner). Like all bag hangs, it can be foiled by smart, food-conditioned bruins. Check regulations to make sure bag hangs are legal.