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This paper introduces PARO, a power-aware routing optimization that helps to minimize the transmission power needed to forward packets between wireless devices in ad hoc networks. Using PARO, one or more intermediate nodes called "redirectors" elects to forward packets on behalf of source-destination pairs thus reducing the aggregate transmission power consumed by wireless devices. PARO is applicable to a number of networking environments including sensor networks, home networks and mobile ad hoc networks. In this paper, we present the detailed design of PARO and evaluate the protocol using simulation and experimentation. We show through simulation that PARO is capable of outperforming traditional broadcast-based routing protocols (e.g., MANET routing protocols) due to its power conserving point-to-point on-demand design. We discuss some initial experiences from an early implementation of the protocol in an experimental wireless testbed using off-the-shelf radio technology.