Trekking pokes are an absolute MUST for even a recreational "easy" hike. They can be used as a quick splint for a twisted ankle/knee. They can be a quick shelter pole in the event of a pop up storm to protect from the elements, they can be used to measure depth of water/holes/crevices. They can be used to measure stride distance to determine your travel time and can be used for tracking to determine direction as well as to ensure you are following the same track. You can build a quick litter if needed to haul someone/something in/out, they can be used to develop a signal flag of sorts. The possible uses of trekking poles just go on and on. Even the occasional hiker going to a well known trail should have a pair at least strapped to their backpack, right next to the camel back water pack :)
Mark and David, thank you for the replies. I absolutely agree, there really are so many different things that a good trekking pole can be used for.
Another use I recently used while hunting/scouting this summer and fall was using them to make a little nose on my way in or out at dusk or Dawn. I would either bang them together occasionally or clank then down on rocky surface as I hiked along ... Hopefully alerting any predators in my immediate vicinity without blowing all the animals out of that area.
I've been using my Leki poles for over 30 years I paid around $130 for them back in the 80s. They are worth every penny. I used to be an avid Rock/ice climber I am extremely large for a climber and my poles have been of great benefit to me in many ways.