Jhaura: Sorry for the slow response. Thanks for the congrats!
You're right, I didn't take trekking poles. I never have. In my 12,000 miles of backpacking with tarps, I've always banked on finding at least on tree to hook up to. Although trails often go above the tree line, if you walk far enough and plan accordingly, you'll get through a treeless section during the day so you can camp in the warm trees at night.
I never looked for sticks along the way before picking my camp, because I would keep walking until I found an appropriate spot. When you're doing a yo-yo, or even a thru-hike, you're often looking for excuses to do a few extra miles. So I don't mind bringing out the flashlight and hiking for an hour or two more to find an appropriate spot.
On the other hand, if I knew the trail was heading up above the tree line, then I might call an early camp to take advantage of the nice spots. Then I would get up extra early to make up for being a slacker the night before.
What about when you're not trying to cover thousands of miles? I still don't look for sticks along the way. I always bank of finding two trees next near some semi-flat ground. I've backpacked for THOUSANDS miles, both alone and with a partner, and I've always found a spot without much difficulty.
However, if picky about where you camp and/or if you're in a place that doesn't have many trees, then grab a good stick when you can.
Finally, I have used, in deperate situations, my umbrella as a stick.
This picture below, for example, shows my setup in the Wind River Range, where I was on the Divide, high above the tree line. I jammed myself in a crevice, to block the wind, and put my tarp over the crevice. I used my umbrella as one anchor, and rocks as the other. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.