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Walkinh/hiking sticks, advice required!


Sinver
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Hi all, recently my wife and I did a series of caches in North Devon. The walk took us through some challenging and varied terrain, and while we had an utterly FABULOUS time, we thought perhaps a stick might have helped. My wife especially, as three years ago she had a serious ankle break and thus isn't as able as she used to be!

 

The question is, is 135cm a "standard" height, as most I see, apart from stupidly expensive ones, seem to extend to this. However when we tested one in Go Outdoors, it seemed a bit short. We are both just over 6' tall, maybe that is why!

 

I saw some "Leki" ones that went to 150cm I liked that height but they were prohibitively expensive!

 

Can anyone recommend a seller/brand that is 150cm max height, in the UK, that isn't stupidly expensive?

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I made my own walking stick from a young juniper tree I cut about 18 years ago. It is a great hiking stick, I take it everywhere.

 

Somewhere around here there's a hiking stick thread. Ah, here it is. Shorter than I remembered.

 

As others have said, make your own. El Diablo had a thread on making sticks. The only advice I would argue with is stripping the bark before drying the stick. In my case the stick split lengthwise pretty badly. It might have been the wood I used, alder or big leaf maple. I picked up an alder stick that was a bit short that still had it's bark on and when I stripped the bark is was not split. I suspect I will find out in the next couple days if the stick I had drying over the winter with the bark on will be okay. I will say it is much harder to take the bark off after it dries.

 

here's one link

 

and here's another link

Edited by jholly
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We bought a pair of telescoping hiking poles, so have one for each of us. (Short and tall here!) If you go for these, be sure to have them tightened up well on each outing. I like mine for poking, checking the firmness of the ground, and just to steady myself.

Have to add the biggest selling point was that they were the cheapest - getting two-for-one as it were, and we've had them for a few years now.

Edited by popokiiti
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My uncle has a patch of bamboo growing beside his house so I cut a stalk down and made my walking stick from that. It's been great so far but eventually I would like to have a collapsible trekking pole. Having the option to store it in my bag when not needed would be a big plus.

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I make mine out of 1/2" aluminum conduit....a bicycle grip on one end and crutch end on the other.....you can cut it with a hacksaw to any length you want. We've bought expensive sticks ( I now use them to toggle electrical switches ) but once you use the aluminum stick it will be the one you reach for....great for rocks and woods as well.

I've been giving them away for years and there are in use world wide :)

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Well I have a pair of Leki adjustable poles that go to 135cm, and being 6"1' myself I can't conceive of needing anything longer, are you sure you had them fully extended when you tried them? The only reason I could imaging for needing longer poles is to do the full 'Nordic walking' thing.

 

Anyway I also use poles that I've cut myself from a Beech coppice. One advantage of this is that when all is said and done it's just a stick which doesn't cost anything, so when you leave it somewhere (which you almost certainly will) you're not out of pocket if you don't get it back and you can just cut yourself another one.

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I also would suggest not spending a lot of money for a popular brand name one. I picked up a two-pack at Costco last year, and just last weekend realized I left one somewhere while out caching :blink: I've gone thru my recent finds to see if any rang a bell, but no idea which one, or even which day. Good thing they only cost $25 for the pair. And, someone gets a sort of decent swag item.

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I also would suggest not spending a lot of money for a popular brand name one. I picked up a two-pack at Costco last year, and just last weekend realized I left one somewhere while out caching :blink: I've gone thru my recent finds to see if any rang a bell, but no idea which one, or even which day. Good thing they only cost $25 for the pair. And, someone gets a sort of decent swag item.

I've never lost a walking stick going after a cache, but a few years ago I left a really nice pair of sunglasses at a cache that required a several-mile hike to get to. I didn't realize they were missing until I'd stepped out of the woods and into the bright sun, but by that time the sun was going down and there wasn't time to hike back in.

 

I'm fairly sure I left the glasses on top of, or at least very close to, the ammo box. I'm also fairly sure the next finder got himself a nice bit of swag, though they never reported it.

 

--Larry

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We bought some cheap WalMart walking sticks when we first started caching, but they never worked well; tended to get out of adjustment quickly. Then we splurged and bought Leki sticks on-line; not the most expensive, but the mid-priced ones with a camera mount on top, since my husband likes to take photos. They are great; well worth the price. He is 6 feet tall and I am 5'4" and the sticks work well for both of us; they can be extended to fit my 6'5" son-in-law also. The OP might want to check with local hiking supply stores and see if they ever get older sticks turned in or can suggest where to find used ones. I have some back problems and the sticks really help on rough ground or steep slopes; we just use one stick each,not a pair.

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I usually use the wooden stick that ground speak was selling for a minute. I can't remember the brand but they break down into 3 pieces for easier transport. It's worked great for me geocaching and doing other hiking. Mom uses it sometimes too. I'll give it to her if the terrain is particularly nasty and use her cane in trade. I don't like collapsible sticks much at all but it's a personal thing.

 

I have a girlfriend who has an old wood curtain rod or broom stick fancied up with some electrical tape.

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It comes down to personal preference, money, the type and frequency of hikes.

 

For me personally, much as I *LOVE* the craftmentship of hand crafted hiking sticks, personally, they are a bit impractical. I look for versatility. Is it light? Can I poke with it? Will it handle long hard terrain hikes? Will it hold up? So for me, i like a high quality pole, a pair so i will go with leki/blakc diamond/rei branded poles. They are light, comfortable to hold, withstand abuse, and i can fold them up and bungee them on my pack.

 

Again, this is personal preference. you have to think about what you do, how you hike/cache, your budget, etc.

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