What do You Need in a Walking Stick?
In the past, walking sticks were not just used by elderly people for mobility problems, but also used as a status symbol. Nowadays canes are generally used more to assist in balance when someone is unsteady due to age or injury. While they are very helpful in this application, walking sticks are also a common tool among adventurers who use them to assist in strenuous hikes to allow for longer treks with less exercion.
With fasion ever changing, the world abounds with those who would choose another era for inspiration. And if one knows where to look, it is still possible to find anything to suit ones tastes. With the ever expanding dimension of the internet, it’s even easier. For those who love the look and feel of a proper walking stick or cane; antique, unique or even custom items are readily available here (hiking stick).
Some key point to Consider when choosing a Walking Stick are:
- STYLE is often overlooked. One is not required to buy the first adjustable cae they find at a drugstore just because they need assistance walking. Many canes are made not only with functionality in mind but also with style. Materials can vary from a vaiety of metals to wood, fiberglass or plastic; each has a different flexibility, strength, look and feel. Some are carved, others plain. Natural grain accentuated or designs painted on. Hikers will often mark their walking sticks with a pin or symbol to designate a particular trek.
- SIZE is not universal. Walking canes are not one size fits all. A person using a cane of the wrong size can cause themselves pain. The perfect fit for a cane is one that allows the user to keep their elbow just slightly bent. Bending at the waist, continually walking with poor posture to compensate will just add back problems.
- STRENGTH The user should also keep in mind how sturdy they need their cane to be. A man will generally need a more sturdy cane than a woman. Canes, especially hand carved wooden canes, are made in varying thicknesses, allowing a person to find one that feels right.
- GET A GRIP The varieties of can handles are unlimited. From plastic handles, and wooden crooks to ornate hand carved ivory, the possibilities are limitless. Traditionaly simple canes have a C shaped grip or a “shepherd’s crook.“ These are still most common in hand carved walking canes. The Victorian Era saw ornately carves walking sticks and canes as an accessory to tophats and coattails, the likes of which would be topped with carved ivory, enameled brass or even precious metals inset with gems. Today, made primarily to assist the elderly or otherwise less mobile canes are made simply with the hooked style of old or a T-grip or for those who would support a larger percentage of their weight, even ergonomically designed plastic grips some of which are specifically right or left- handed.
- STABILITY For one who’s balance is impared, added stability is a selling point. Pehaps a quad cane, this type has one shaft but at the base, four feet. They are more stable because the wobble factor is eliminated. Set down and let go, the cane stands alone.
The standard walking stick has provided support for immobility sufferers over countless decades, yet it hasn’t really changed much during that time – until recently. The latest innovations, materials and designs are giving people back their independence, and that is a priceless commodity.