Hiking sticks are a very important part of any climbers/walkers/mountainieer’s itinerary. I say this, as they are used by almost everyone who takes part in all three of these hobbies, interlinked as they are. Its a tool that has been used for as long as man can remember, and acts as support for your legs, gives you extra balance, and to be honest, if you didn’t have one, you would not really look like a proper, fully kitted hiker. You could have all of the latest, top class equipment, but if you don’t have a hiking pole, then you just won’t look the part.
Many people will argue that they do not care about ‘looking the part’, however, i believe that deep down, every walker wants to look as experienced as the other. No-one wants to look like a beginner, or a novice who doesn’t have a clue.
Hiking sticks are used by all sorts of walkers, from all types of experiences, beginners to the most advanced, and also by all generations. From the old, senior citizens, many of whom could not participate in a long trek without one, and also now, they are becoming more and more popular with the younger generation. As they look up to their parents and grandparents using them, they themselves see them as necessities in today’s world.
You can get many different types of hiking sticks and poles, from the more vintage wooden sticks, made by specialist woodworkers, or just people who are good with their hands, to the mass produced carbon fiber sticks of the future. These allow for better performance and are also lighter, which definitely helps if you are carrying it around for hours on end in a large trek through the mountains. However, as much as i see the advantages of the new walking sticks, i still keep going back to the older wooden ones, like hazel sticks and blackthorn canes. These were used by my grandparents, and i believe that its really just tradition that i will continue to use them, and i hope you do also.