Has anyone been taking their fall hikes? Remember that it’s good for your body’s health and mind. As I chat with different people across the US this fall, I’ve been amazed how different seasons can be non-existent is some states. Vegas natives- I hope you always find time to get to the northern states during this time of year. I’ve always heard the most amazing season changes you’ll ever see is out in hiking country of the Pacific Northwest. I can imagine all the brilliant yellows, oranges, and greens. I’ll get some of my fall hiking pics posted this month, but I’d love to see some pics from other outdoor lovers! Cheers, Antonio
There is no argument that Fall walking stick season is on its way. It’s getting a little bit chillier each day. Grab your jacket and head to the trails!
I know that we all love to see the leaves change to their brilliant oranges and yellows but hate to see the sunlight go away so fast in the evening. So, lets make sure to live without limits. Our motto can sometime give people a little bit of a puzzled look, but it is truly simple if you just don’t over think the three little words. A lot of us will allow the first thought of “I can’t” stick in their mind, but I hope we can quickly get over that thought and move on to a real thought like “doing what you want”. But lets get back to the topic at hand, walking sticks or trekking canes.
A walking cane can definitely help you live without limits on so many different levels. The first being that it will aid in your mobility. Sometimes you just need that little bit of extra support to make sure you remain stable. When you have something to lean on when one leg is less then 100 percent can be the difference of falling down or staying upright.
The second reason a walking stick can help would be it’s ability to light the workout just your legs would take if not aided. A lot of your Fall trails are going to be uphill and downhill which can create extra resistance. Your leg muscles need to strain that much harder to pull your weight uphill, but a you can ease some of that by using your upper body. You’re trekking pole will help push you up the hill with each step when you firmly plant it and lunge forward while pushing your arm back. Think exactly like skiing. Pushing off with you poles gives you momentum. Going downhill gets a lot easier with a walking stick as well because it will brace your acension and take strain off your knees.
I hope you are all looking forward to the leaves changing! Happy Hiking!
I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about the weight capacity for certain wooden walking sticks. This issue is a very complicated aspect for several reasons.
The first being that it is an all natural hiking stick that comes directly from a tree branch. When you’re using wood, it can have several stress points that are weaker then the rest of the stick. The first weak point will be a knot in the lumber because a knot naturally separates itself from the flesh due to different shrinkage rates and density. So this creates a crack that needs to be filled in with some sort of adhesive. No two hiking sticks will have the same knots, so no two hiking sticks will have the same weight capacity.
Which leads into the next issue of testing weight capacity. In order to test weight capacity, you need to test angle of pressure to the point of structural collapse. That will deal with vertical pressure as well as horizontal pressure. We can send our sticks out to testing facilities, but we’ll just end up with people pounding them to oblivion. These testing facilities will torque, twist, and bend our sticks but once they reach the capacity, they all be broken. And then we still have the issue that no two handmade wooden walking sticks are the same.
A broken wooden walking stick is just one of the risks we need to take when we’re on our adventures exploring the world. Don’t think too much about it and definitely don’t let it get you down. One of the great uses for the pole is to test precarious situations. If your ice looks too thin, throw your staff at it and see if it’s safe to walk across. If something needs a good whack, swing your staff at it. It’s better that you’re using an inert object instead of one of your own limbs. Just set the stick aside and let it naturally bio-degrade back into the woods it came from.
I actually heard a good story about the end of a walking cane that I’ll share at a later time.
When it comes to walking staffs, always look for wooden hiking sticks. There are a few major reasons why wood trekking poles are far superior to any other type. I’ll begin with one of the most important reasons. They naturally decompose! I know people don’t intend to destroy the environment, but non-organic materials don’t do our planet any favors. A lot of canes are made from fiberglass, metals, or plastics. At best, these types have to end up in landfills when they are broken or no longer wanted, at worst, they end up in our beautiful hiking trails.
One of the most common mistakes is simple forgetfulness, nothing malicious, but can still be damaging to the environment. Have you ever misplaced or forgot your hiking stick? I know I have. Most of the time I remember and I’m able to just hoof it backwards and pick it up, but there have been times when I have my tent all setup and my sleeping bag rolled out when it dawns on me that I left my hiking and I’m now 20 miles further up a mountain. OOPS! Thank fully I’ve always used one of my wood sticks.
A lot of wood hiking sticks come with a rubber tip because that has become the new norm in the industry. If you have the option, ask your artist to finish the piece of with a simple rounded bottom and no rubber. One less piece of potential litter created and one less piece of rubber that needs to be made in a factory.
I have an interesting story of another use for a wood hiking stick.
We were on a five day hike up the Andes Mountains when we started approaching our campsite. One of the people on our hike had already been to this campsite and mentioned that we need to keep an eye on our hiking staffs. We smiled and thought he was joking because we’re 12000 feet in the mountains and nobody else was around us to steal them.
We got our dinner ready and then noticed the person who maintains the campsite was putting together a bon fire. After we cleaned up, we headed over to hang out by the fire. A few minutes passed and my buddy noticed one of the pieces of burning wood looked a lot like his hiking stick. We both looked closer and to our surprise; all of the hiking sticks were on fire. Stunned, we thought about pulling them out, but noticed they had been broken into pieces.
Burning didn’t even cross our mind when it was mentioned to keep an eye on the trekking sticks.
Later we thought about the situations and it actually made sense to us. They can burn. That thought can sound incredibly simple, but really think about the aspects involved. We were hiking in the rainy season, so most timber that can be gathered is going to be water logged. Our sticks had been perfectly dried when they were being made. And they were free to the person who lives there. Sounds like perfect tinder wood when they’re broken into pieces.
Live and Learn.
Having the correct size cane or hiking stick is crucial if you want to optimize your trek.
Lets think about a walking cane. The sizing for that is pretty simple. You want to have your arm at rest to see where it hangs according to your hip. It should be sized to perfectly come up to your wrist from the ground up. We’ve posted a diagram below, if you’re a picture person.
The sizing for a walking staff gets a little more complicated because it is very dependent on the incline or decline of your hike. If you’re going uphill, it’s nice to have a shorter stick, but if your going downhill, it’s nice to have a longer stick to help act like a third leg of sorts. So make sure your walking staff has enough length to adjust your hand accordingly. We create our walking staffs to 55″. This height is the optimal height for the majority of the population.
These are thoughts we’ll dive further into each day.
The thought of “best” cane is truly relative to your final goal. Are you thinking about the cost, fashion, style, weight; the list of aspects goes on and on.
Today, I think “best” is gunna try to tackle weight. The major factors are the type of wood used to create your walking stick and the thickness of the final cane.
First, think about how rugged of terrain you’ll be trekking. If it’s super rocky and jagged; think about having a walking staff that can withstand a lot of bending and cuts because you know it’ll get stuck between rocks pretty often. An oak staff is one of the more solid pieces that won’t snap when you need it the most, but it does have it’s added weight.
If it’s mostly prairie terrain; you could think about finding a lighter type of wood; maybe pine. There is no need to carry extra weight while you’re enjoying the views.
The thickness should be thought about in terms of ruggedness of terrain again. Thicker the wood, stronger the walking stick, but heavier the walking staff.
The other day I met with one of my friends and he started our conversation with the opening line “I could have used one of your hiking sticks the other day”. So right away, my buddy grabbed my attention and I’m now at the edge of my seat. I asked, “a walking stick or cane”, and he responded, “a walking stick”. Oh yea, why did you need it?
He told me about a hiking trip that him and his girlfriend went on through the Ice Age trail in Wisconsin. I’ve never been to Wisconsin, but I’ve been on many of a hiking trips. I asked him about the terrain and he told me it was formed by the glaciers over 10,000 years ago. Who would have guessed that glaciers moved and formed a ton of our now typography? The glaciers tore through the earth to make incredible ridges, valleys, hills, and all sorts of creations that make it incredible hard to keep you balance on foot.
“That’s why I needed one of your hiking poles, my girlfriend even got a little hurt”, he said. She stepped on what she thought was a pile of leaves, but it turned out to be a couple rocks covered in leaves and she kinda twisted her ankle. I wish he would have told me he was planning a hiking trip before now. That’s one of the best purposes for a long hiking shaft or hiking cane. Whenever you’re unsure about the piece of terrain you’re about to step on, you need to test it with a tap or whack using your walking cane. One of the easiest ways to get injured is to step on a rock that will roll. I then thought to myself, “she could have even used the cane to help her get back to the car”. I didn’t mention that, because adding insult to injury is never a good idea.
But that brings me to my next point. A lot of people use walking devices to aid them in mobility when they do have an injury or a weakened joint. The walking device acts as a type of third leg to balance your stride and take tension off of the injured parts of you body.
So my buddy and me finished up our lunch and I asked him what kind of outfits his girlfriend liked to wear. He looked at me pretty puzzled, paused then answered, kinda Miley Cyrus/Taylor Swift. I asked him if he had an extra 30 mins. to stop by the store. We got there, the first cane I showed him, he responded “perfect!” with big grin on his face.
The walking device he ended up buying was a bright pink derby handled solid beechwood cane. I knew that this cane is going to be perfect for his girlfriend to gain mobility and rock some stylish clothes.