How to Get The Most Out of Your Walking Stick
A Walking Stick for Travel Makes All the Difference
How far do you want to go during your travels? While everyday walking, such as walks around the block and hikes are good fitness starts, it is trips that truly make a difference.
Whether you plan to do a road trip to see national parks, or a famous city, or you are simply doing a small camping trip close to home, take advantage of trips as a launch for a new walking regimen.
And, one of the most important gear items to help facilitate longer, more healthful walks are walking sticks.
The Best Walking Sticks
There are many walking sticks useful for year-round walking. Some collapse for easy travel. Some are made of natural wood, to resemble a staff. Others are high-tech and ultra lightweight; . . . useful for mountaineering.
For all-around, everyday walking, collapsible walking sticks, designed for strength support are a good option. They can collapse to a small size for easy stowe in a backpack, or luggage check-in on an airplane. In addition, their slightly heavier weight plays an advantage for you. They provide that extra support and security, with bend resistance, when going up and down stairs and inclines. Your knees and legs will thank you for it.
Among all collapsible walking sticks, Earth Trek Gear walking pole has a unique collapsible feature. Instead of telescoping, they fold, in multiple sections, all held together by an internal shock cord. This provides the shortest collapsible length of nearly any walking stick. And, it is easy to set up, without having to measure and use locks; unlike telescoping collapsible walking sticks. In addition, the adjustable handle gives the needed amount of height adjustment for nearly any walker.
A Walking Pole Designed for Leg and Knee Support
Maintaining thickness in the shaft body, along with balancing the need for lightweight use will give walkers the right fit. You don’t want too lightweight, such as carbon fiber, unless you are young, and plan to hike very high altitudes on long backpacking trips.
In addition, you don’t want a wooden staff. As decorative and natural as they look, they tend to be too heavy, and the grip too wide, to be comfortable.
The right balance is to have a trekking pole designed for everyday walking. Aluminum alloy is a good balanced material that achieves this goal.
Your knees need a pole that reduces impact. In addition, your legs need a “partner”, especially when doing a lot of travel walking during trips. Long treks, with lots of steps, create an essential need for walkers who are in their golden years.
Dual Use Hiking Staffs
Some hiking staffs can function as walking poles, if they are straight enough, narrow, yet strong. If they are wood, having them properly sanded and sealed, will reduce warping, and be easier on the hands. Some staff, you can wrap leather hand grips. Some artistic designs can also add to the desirability of the pole.
Collapsible Staff for Walking
If the staff is metal, it may be collapsible. These, as mentioned earlier, can include telescoping, as well as foldable staff. Foldable walking staff typically have shafts that fit partly into another shaft. The form “sections” that create a complete collapsible pole.
Walking Sticks Collapsible for Any Occasion
Some walking sticks are simply too complicated to use everyday. For example, there are walking sticks that have camera mounts. Some have a compass. Some have built-in storage containers in the handle. And the highly adjustable walking sticks have several locks, and adjustable levers. Yet, there are even walking sticks now that have a myriad of fittings and attachments like shovels, ice picks, and fishing line dispensers. Yet all of these options can make quite a complicated walking stick.
If your walking stick has too many options, it can easily become a burden. Whether the fear of theft, or keeping track of all of the gadgets and accessories, along with the obvious added weight, “deluxe walking sticks” simply are not useful for most occasions. They will deter everyday walking.
Walker Stick Amazon
Amazon.com has a flood of walker sticks from foreign imports all mostly the same design. They function like glorified canes. Walker sticks differ slightly from walking sticks in that they are for slower pace, and often have multiple points on their feet. This is primarily for assisted living, and replacement to bulky walkers. Do not get confused.
Hiking Poles Amazon
Amazon.com also had a wide selection of hiking poles. A recent survey found that many of them are direct ships from overseas; . . . primarily from China. While the price may be low, there is a possibility of long shipping as well as added taxes and duties upon arrival. In addition, these cheap brands are usually all made in the same factory with different names.
Purchasing a hiking pole directly through a brand or on the retailer’s website gives users the assurance of warranty. In addition, these longer-lasting poles differ Amazon.com poles by fitting the use directly; everyday walking.
A Better Folding Stick for Walking
A better way to develop a walking pole would be to make a folding stick. This creates ultra-short length when collapsed, as well as easy setup. The shock-cord automatically pulls the sections together and “locks” them. Setup can be in as little as 5 seconds. Over the long run, this can encourage more walking, and reduce excuses to get outside. And, besides, you can leave the pole in full position as long as you need.
How Can I Find Hiking Sticks Near Me?
Sporting goods retailers are a good start for finding hiking sticks. Or if you prefer to order online, here are some tips when searching “hiking sticks near me”:
- Pay attention to the reviews that show use. How do people use these hiking sticks?
- Read any long and detailed reviews. This will give you a full picture of how the hiking sticks actually benefit the walkers that use them.
- Do they guarantee customer satisfaction? This is a sign that they have been tested and used long enough to have a loyal following.
- Are they based here, as a company, or are they simply a reseller? Most hiking sticks we found on Amazon.com are through resellers. Direct website purchasing gives you added assurance and peace-of-mind that the stick will serve you well.
New Option: Retractable Walking Stick
Some foldable walking sticks have a retractable option. That means they either have a height adjustment at the top, with the sections that fold together, or they may even have all sections fit inside each other. However, the second option usually leads to a pyramid-shaped pole that is quite awkward to hold, with metal thickness that is too thin for long-term use.
Can Telescoping Canes Function as a Walking Pole?
Walking canes have come a long way in the past 20 years. With adjustable heights, and added portability, they can function well as a walking pole. Ultimately, canes are usually designed for slow pace, on fairly even flat surfaces. While many of them are now designed as telescoping canes, they still have the wide thickness that look like a cane. If it is thin enough, it will not create the image of serving physical handicaps. Instead, it will be designed to look somewhat outdoorsy and sporty. The key is the handle and the rubber foot. The smaller, the better.
What are the Best Walking Poles for Seniors?
Seniors can benefit from using walking poles to support their everyday walking. Walkers and canes are not needed for the vast majority of elderly. Seniors who want an active lifestyle can benefit from a walking pole designed for them. The best walking poles for seniors are adjustable in height, and do not require too much strength to pull out each section (if they are folding walking poles).
In addition, seniors should stay away from ultra-thin, carbon fiber poles, which are too lightweight. They have a tendency to permanently bend if pressured the wrong way. Your legs and knees need the strength to support full weight when going up and down some surfaces.
Carbon Fiber vs Aluminum Trekking Pole
Carbon fiber is an advanced nano material mixed in with other metals, that creates an ultra lightweight base. This material is popular for its low weight properties. Its physical mass is much less, and uses air in between the fibers, at the molecular level.
However, one drawback is the tendency to bend under certain situations. If the pole is outstretched at too much of an angle, with heavy pressure at the top, or if you hit it too hard in the middle, a bend can occur easily. And it is virtually impossible to unbend or undent.
Their most useful benefit is for rock climbing tools and high elevation mountaineering tools. But unless you plan to be climbing in the Himalayas anytime soon, you might want to look at other options.
Aluminum alloy is slightly heavier, but has the potential for thicker material. This leads to a lot stronger and dent resistant surface material. When walking, whether bumping your trekking poles on a rock, or wall, an aluminum alloy material can put up with a lot more beating. And if you placed the pole wrong, going down steps, it’s not the end of the world. Typically will be resilient and resist bending.
“Can You Bring a Trekking Pole on a Plane?”
Finally, many travel walkers ask if they can bring a trekking pole on a plane. The short answer to this is yes, as long as it’s checked in your checked baggage. While many air travelers have found ways to have TSA security personnel let them take the pole on as a carry-on (with the obvious benefit of using the pole throughout the security cleared area of the airport), it is not a guarantee. Some show doctor’s notes. Others show their ADA credentials. Either way, there is no guarantee. But you can research more here.
Ultimately, as you use your walking stick, take advantage of its benefits for your legs, knees, joints and back. They have the power to add up to two more legs to your body. Imagine the reduction of impact and further enjoyment of walking you can have with the companion of a walking stick?
About the author:
Mike Cutler writes on active senior lifestyles and is a healthy lifestyle Blogger as well as product tester for Earth Trek Gear. He lives with his family in Reno NV and enjoys going to the Sierra Nevada mountains for hiking and family activities.
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