While on a hiking trip in the French Pyrenees i have taken the opportunity to share with you a tip on how to use a hiking pole as a monopod. The Quechua Forclaz 500 Photo hiking pole is the swiss army knife of the hiking pole. It enables you to screw your camera (even DSLR) onto it and use it as a monopod. This is brilliant since worth-using tripods are by nature quite heavy and carrying on on a hiking trip would be an awful cross to bear.
I am not going to extend on why one would need a monopod during a hiking trip but for the sake of giving a sample situation, while in the mountain one may be witnessing some very interesting animals that are so far they require a telephoto lens to be captured. Long focal lengths imply high Shutter speed to avoid camera shake and using a tripod or a monopod can be very valuable in giving that extra leverage in slower shutter speed where one needs some extra light (meaning longer Shutter speed).