Ahh…the outdoors. If you are an outdoorsy person, but you work and live in the city, chances are, you wanna get out of the concrete jungle as much as you can and breathe in the fresh air and scenery of a hiking trail, a dirt track in the forest, or even just a leisurely stroll in your local park. These are dangerous times we live in and even a simple walk in the park can injure you if you are not properly equipped, especially if you have mobility issues (leg or foot injuries, or if you are old enough to remember what it was like marching for peace when Jimmy Hendrix was still playing his guitar)
When it comes to hiking, you need to be properly equipped, from your pack to hydration, to your clothes, and most especially gear for your feet. But then again, more often than not, that is not enough. You are gonna need additional support to negotiate the more treacherous trails out there.
Walking sticks. Now that is something that you don’t see every day, except perhaps when binge watching Lord of the Rings, or if you wanna go biblical, the Ten Commandments starring Charleston Heston (yeah Moses had a walking stick). The list below has some awesome walking stick, although none of them can vanquish a Balrog or part the Red Sea, they still are pretty cool.
BAFX Products – Anti-Shock Hiking / Walking / Trekking Trail Poles
These babies do not shoot lightning from their tips although you can use them to make a lightning-quick strike when a bear comes charging at you (not that it would do you any good). Made of durable, lightweight aluminum, they weigh next to nothing for a more comfortable trek (you don’t need heavy trekking poles when your pack weighs a ton already). They even have springs integrated into them that act like shock absorbers. They also come with a small basket like an add-on that you attach to the carbide tips for use in mud, snow or any other soft ground cover so your poles do not sink.
Sminiker Professional LED Folding Walking Cane With Light
Getting old sucks, we all know that, and not everybody ages gracefully like Angelina Jolie. There will come a time when your legs will start to give up on you and a walk to your front yard to get your paper feels like a trek across the Grand Canyon. Have faith though. Help is here. This walking stick for older people is made from lightweight aluminum and has a rotating head that mimics the natural action of a human foot for that stable and comfortable support that you need. The handle is also extra plush to be easy on those hands that have seen too many winters. It also folds neatly and small enough to fit into a handbag when not in use. It also comes with a led light in the handle for night time use.
3-Section Natural Wood Walking Hiking Stick
For a bit of a classical touch, this walking stick is made out of good old fashioned wood. Hand carved with a weather-proof finish, these are made from tough Bianbai wood. They break down easily into 3 18 inch pieces, each with a hardened steel insert for added structural strength, they easily fit into the included canvas bag you can attach to your backpack. Perfect for hiking, or handing out a beating to would be muggers when you stroll through the park during the wee hours of the night.
KevenAnna Trekking Poles
These spring loaded trekking poles are made from lightweight aluminum. Inert, and stable, they are not influenced by temperature fluctuations, perfect for high altitude treks. They also come with a snow basket so your poles do not sink in mud or snow. Height is adjustable so you won’t have any problems storing them, or if you are what we would politely call petite or a big person. Tips are tungsten carbide, which, coincidentally, are the same material used in armor piercing tank gun rounds, so you know they will and can take punishment.
Perfect for hiking, climbing, mountaineering or just simply taking a stroll down a forest track, these poles will not let you down.
Trekking Poles by Vive
Trekking. Now that is an activity that is not for the faint of heart or lame of limb. Even then, the strongest among us usually need some device to help them on their journey. And devices, we do have. These poles are lightweight and portable (you can adjust its height) and it comes with separate attachments, depending on the terrain and conditions.
With its shock absorbing capability (it has springs inside the tubular body), even older people can use this, and it reduces arm fatigue. The soft covering of its anti-slip grips will keep your hands cool and dry for those long walks outside, in any terrain or condition or weather.
What to Look For When Buying a Walking Stick
Choosing your trekking pole or walking stick isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You just have to keep in mind a few things like where are you going to use it, what terrain, the conditions of the terrain, and your fitness level. Some walking sticks are designed to be used by those with mobility issues like elder people while some are specifically designed to be used when hiking or climbing. Here are a few pointers on what to look at when choosing.
- Materials – Wood or aluminum? Either one of the two is appropriate. The former lends a classic touch to your walking stick or pole, while the latter has a more modern and space age look. Wood has a tendency to warp and lose its shape when exposed to the elements unless of course it was coated with a weather-proof finish. Wood also will break and splinter given enough abuse so you might want to think about subjecting it to hard wear and tear. The upside is, you can now bring to life your fantasies about being a great wizard and you can start wearing your hooded robe and grow out your hair and beard. Aluminum, on the other hand, is one of the most durable and lightweight materials known to man. Used in making everything from airplanes, to baking pans, to vehicle engine blocks, it is inert and stable and will not get affected by temperature. Its finish will make your pole look like something Captain Kirk will use if ever Spock gets out of line and needs a whipping. And no, it won’t go well with a gray robe. Gandalf used wood, not aluminum.
- Size, or more specifically, is it adjustable – How tall are you? Your height determines the type of walking stick that you need to purchase. If you are a person of average height, then trekking poles that do not have adjustable heights may be your best bet. However, the taller you are, the longer the pole that you need so you might think about purchasing those with adjustable lengths. But then again, you may also prefer a longer pole even if you aren’t that tall so personal preference still plays a big part of the decision-making process when buying a trekking pole.
- How long will they last? – Most of the items here have some sort of warranty so that should give you an idea of their longevity and reliability. Generally speaking, inert materials such as aluminum will last longer and will not warp or deform due to the elements. Wood on the other hand, when properly treated, can be pretty reliable and last just as long. Wood has the added bonus of looking cool because they can be hand carved either upon delivery or you can have it personalized.
- Color and design – Ok, I admit, there isn’t really much choice here. Wood finish or aluminum gray. Space age modern or wizard badassery. Decals/printed or hand carved. You go and pick your poison.
- Where are you going to use it – Terrain plays an important part when choosing your trekking pole. Does it come with attachments that help it negotiate snow and mud, or doesn’t it? Your pole is gonna be pretty much useless if it just sinks into snow or mud the first time you use it.
- Fitness level – Are you the type who goes for a 10-mile hike for fun and barely breaks a sweat? Or is this purchase going to be a gift for your grumpy grampa who still can’t bring himself to admit that he is too old to go walking around unassisted?
- Price – Of course, you should look at the price tag. There aren’t many people who can make a purchase without looking at the price and, chances are, you aren’t one of them.
Making Your Own Walking Stick
If you’d prefer a more customized approach to owning a walking stick, you can always make one yourself. It may take more time and effort but you may be able to save a small sum or just enjoy the process of making one yourself. Here’s a video on how to make one!
Here are the top walking sticks/trekking poles. Choosing one always comes down to personal preference and your fitness level. Look at the material. Wood or aluminum. Lightweight or something more hefty and solid.