By Llano Gorman
Walking or hiking sticks are becoming ever more popular as the Baby Boomer generation ages and needs a little help navigating on those apres-dinner jaunts around the block or weekend hikes up the local mountainside.
Using a walking or hiking stick, as opposed to a walking cane with a handle, is very subjective. There are as many ways to measure a hiking stick, it’s really what feels good to you.
Here are some guidelines that might be helpful:
First, realize that a walking or hiking stick is moved with your wrist. In order to move it easily, your forearm needs to bend upwards from your elbow, at least slightly. For walking on flat surfaces, you could bend it up a couple of inches.
If you are hiking in the hills, the top of the stick probably needs to come up near to the top of your shoulder, which means you should grip the stick between 2″ to 4″ below the top of your shoulder. Having a longer stick should help when hiking, especially when you are descending.
How serious is the adventure? Remember a natural hiking stick is better that most aluminum hiking sticks in my opinion. Why?
One, its natural. When you think of it, it is kind of an contradiction using a aluminum stick that hurts the environment when disposing of it. Wooden sticks can be burned or used as a stick for your garden plants. The wood can be made into many things, like pens.
Two, natural sticks are very strong and can even handle being the center piece or cross piece for a lean-to if you’re caught in bad weather. If you remember in the Olympics one of Canada’s athletes aluminum ski poles just could not handle it and broke under the pressure.
Three, in a dire emergency the stick can be used as a spear (as long as you brought your knife) or weapon.
Four, it can be used as a splint for your arm or leg if you get hurt out on your adventure.
Check out Hiking canes at www.canescanada.com for more information on cane sizing and other helpful information
Based on our experience the following chart shows suggested lengths of staffs corresponding to individual’s heights. These are only suggestions, remember, it depends on how you feel.
· 41″ – child up to 4’6″
· 48″ – 4’6″ to 5’4″
· 55″ – 5’4″ to 5’11″
· 58″ – above 5’11″
As always, Remember to “Hike with a Smile, and Hike with Style with CanesCanada.com®”
Order a cane or walking stick now for that special someone on your Christmas list. Contact Llano Gorman at:
1-866-217-8091 (toll free)
About the Author (Author Profile)
Markham began his journalism career writing columns in the mid-1980s for Western People Magazine, then reported for a small Saskatchewan daily. He has spent most of his career in media and communications, likes to dabble in politics, was actively involved in economic development for many years, thinks that what goes on in the community is just as important as what happens provincially and nationally, and has a soft spot for small business (big business, not so much). Markham is a bit of a contrarian and usually has a unique take on the events of the day.