How To Use A Walking Stick
If you enjoy hiking, then it is wise to know how to use a walking stick. In Europe and parts of Asia, using a walking stick is common sense. In America, usually only injured hikers feel the need to use a walking stick. People are often reluctant to even try a walking stick. But after they do, they always appreciate the extra stability they provide.
- Why you want one. A walking stick is not just for the injured. It provides additional support to help tackle assents and helps in many climbing situations. It is like an extra limb to lean on. Hikers who know how to use a walking stick save their joints a lot of mileage when using them. A walking stick is useful when you fall down. It can break your fall and also help you get back up on your feet. Plus, they are great for prodding the path for the safest routes, poking under rocks for snakes and they can even help your balance you when you cross streams.
- Using one on the hike. When you walk, let the stick absorb most of the shock and use it to push off. The goal is to adopt the walking stick into your natural stride. If you only use it every so often, it is just a big stick you are lugging around. When you go uphill, you will naturally start using the walking stick to pull you over the top and wonder why you never thought of this before. When going downhill, use the walking stick as a brace to help maintain your balance. Remember to use a walking stick as a guide to help you cross any streams, places with loose stones or muddy patches.
- Other uses. Walking sticks are not just for walking. When you ponder which way to go, you can lean on it and take a breather. A walking stick and a tarp can make an emergency shelter or provide shade for your lunch break. They work great in moving aside vegetation and clearing spider webs.