Bad news is that I checked out the hiking poles. You can't separate the sections to slip in supporting dowel rods. Those rods are necessary to keep from relying on the tightening mechanism to keep the pole extended. I don't think it matters what they are so much as it matters that we can pop open the pole to stick in dowel rods that really do the job.
So my sons have poles...I can try those, and if I snap one, well, happy birthday son, you've got new hiking poles...
from the shopping frenzy front,