Do you use one when you hike?

United States
June 20, 2007 8:19am CST
Summer is here and many people are heading to state parks and other areas to hike. I have noticed that some people carry a long walking stick when they hike. I can see the usefulness of a hiking stick for going up inclines or down inclines, but I have noticed that some use them when just walking a flat path?! I'm not sure I fully understand the purpose of the walking stick. Do you carry/use a hiking stick when you hike?
4 people like this
8 responses
20 Jun 07
No lol... I think it's fun walking without having something to use as a walking stick or for poking the ground etc. Plus I prefer to carry anything heavy on my back and even if the stick wasn't heavy, I wouldn't carry one :P ~Joey
4 people like this
• United States
20 Jun 07
While I have not gone hiking for some time, I did carry a stick. I dont know if it was a walking stick, but more of a beating stick incase a snake or someother critter came up on me.
4 people like this
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
20 Jun 07
I haven't taken any major hikes in quite a while. The last time I was on a nature trail was last year and it was relatively flat. I happened to find a nice stick to use as a walking stick. So I used it for much of the hike. They are good for warding of critters if you should be attacked, or if you accidentlly step in a small hole and lose your balance. Also, if sombody gets daring and falls into a small creek, you could use you stick to help them get out. Also they are good for probing various "areas" in the brush as you hike, you know, snake holes or animal burrows. Just to see what might be going on. Or if you see a big hornets nest in a tree, you might have the urge to poke it to see if it is active (I am kidding with this idea). As you can readily see, a walking stick preforms many functions while on a hike, even if the terrain is flat. And for us older kids, it is like a security blanket in a way. Especially if we happen to meet a grizz or some huge animal on the path. At least we would have a fighting chance..lol. And so I left my walking stick near a bench for the next hiker to use. Take care, you never know what is lurking in the woods...lol.
3 people like this
• United States
21 Jun 07
LOL, I enjoyed reading the various uses for a walking stick! You seemed to have left one out though. I often hike with hubby. Should he and I have words or problems, I could use it to beat him senseless! Ha! JK.
2 people like this
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
21 Jun 07
Yeah, I guess that will keep him in line...
1 person likes this
@JoyfulOne (6242)
• United States
20 Jun 07
I have to admit I use a walking stick the past couple of years now. My legs aren't what they used to be and they get tired easily. Using a walking stick helps give me balance, and helps take some of the weight stress off of the legs and puts the stress to the forearms. I find that when I don't use it my legs get far more tired than when I do use it. If I started out hiking without one, it won't be long till I grab one to use. For me it makes the difference if I can hike or not, how far I can hike, and how much energy I expend with my legs. (Often I have to use a regular cane anymore in the house, shopping, and in the yard. I find a big stick is easier in the woods and fields than a regular cane is...grips the ground better:-)
• United States
21 Jun 07
I hadn't even thought of the workout issue for the arms! Your reply and the poster's above make perfect sense now!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (102534)
• United States
20 Jun 07
I remember reading in Prevention magazine about using walking sticks, even on level ground, kind of like ski poles. It is supposed to help burn more calories, I do remember that. Useful for blocking attacks by vicious dogs, I imagine. I can see them giving better balance and possibly some upper body work. I have not seen them around here--I would feel rather conspicuous using them. I believe that in the Prevention features you got them in pairs and they were adjustable and often metal. I will look to see more on this discussion, because my memory is somewhat shot.
• United States
21 Jun 07
Wow! Insteresting. I suppose in having to bear down on the stick and move it each step, one would burn more caloreis. *off to find a stick in nearby woods!*
1 person likes this
• Canada
21 Jun 07
I do not use them but i have seem these new walking sticks that look like ski poles and peopel take classes in how to use them properly who knew there was a techniquie to walking.
3 people like this
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
22 Jun 07
I've quite often picked up a long stick to hike with. Not so much on a short walk but if I'm going to be hiking a fair way or in rough terrain. I've never thought about it to be honest and it's been a while since I did any hiking. I think it's because it just makes things easier. Instead of feet and legs doing the work, by using the stick you get more of a distribution of movement and weight when you use a stick. It helps with sure footedness on rough terrain where it would be easy to tumble and twist an ankle or damage a knee or other part.
@Lydia1901 (16354)
• United States
25 Jun 07
Well, maybe it is useful for them somewho. I am not a hiker and never have used one myself. I would find it silly to use one just walking on a path.