Many people use poles without learning to handle them efficiently. Start be creating a 90 degree angle at your elbow with your poles firmly on the ground. As you incline, you will have to shorten your poles to maintain the proper angle and on the decline, lengthen your poles. This is especially essential on the decline as you need the poles to take the pressure off your knees. My next Hiking Tip of the Week will discuss how the straps work.