Walking sticks have been a very important part of hiking and mountaineering for years. They allow the walker to give their legs a rest, by leveraging the stick using the ground. This is a very important technique that even elderly people use to help them in their day by day activities, so therefore, it has been adopted by walkers for generations. It is a very good idea, especially for beginners, who may not be used to the stress that a long days hiking will put on your legs, however, it is also used by more advanced hikers, to allow them to go for longer, and really lets them push out that extra hour, after a full days trekking.
In Ireland, where i come from, blackthorn walking sticks and canes are very popular. Many local men will make their own and sell them to other keen walkers in the village. This is an age old tradition, and is very good for what they are used for. We mainly use them for long hikes, through hilly land, however, there aren’t many huge mountains in the UK and Ireland. For these larger mountains, and more advanced climbs, blackthorn canes may not be just as useful as they are to us. I believe that is why they are not extremely popular, or well known in other countries. They look a lot better than more modern sticks, that most climbers will use, but, they don’t provide the same sort of performance, hence the reason why they are not widely used in the rambling community.
For me, the best walking sticks that money can buy are carbon fiber ones. They are stronger, lighter and last longer than original wooden ones. They may cost more, but, they are a good investment, as they will serve you well, and they will also last longer. You may need to buy a few wooden sticks for every carbon fiber stick. They are the chosen item for all of the more advanced climbers, which shows you that they are the best tool for the job!