Carbon fiber poles cost more than aluminum poles, but have a small weight advantage. They are stronger, but also harder to "fix" in the field if broken. Mtnguide called it about camp placement, and that should be the primary concern about lightning strikes. I guided for 7 summers in the US & Canada, and in the canoeing areas we went there were often more fatalities from lightning than from drowning. A good insulated pad has made a difference in some cases. We've diverted from your original thread, but it's all good stuff to be aware of.