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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.

Hiking-Stick-Sassafras-Whistle

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.

Cheers,

-Antonio

 
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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.

Happy hiking!

 
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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.

Cheers,

Antonio Gio

 
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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.

-Antonio Gio