The pack does little to alter your centre of gravity, but it puts weight to somewhere where your feet do notstick out, it puts your whole balance of your skeleton out of allignment.

Poles i thinsnk some like and some do not, but 1 pole seems universal, pack or not. 20 year old shepard girl up the hills, no pack has one, and im not arguing with her. It seems very useful to her on st3ep inclines just to steady herself.