Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hiking Tip - Use a Longer Walking Stick

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Sycamore walking stick
If you use a walking stick as tall as you are (or nearly so), you will catch fewer spider webs across the face. The longer staff will naturally deflect most of them away as you walk. This can be very useful in the summer forest.

I only realized this truth tonight while walking through the forest after dinner. I was using a beautiful walking stick recently given to me by a friend when I noticed that I wasn't walking into nearly as many spider webs. Commercially manufactured adjustable trekking poles may be conditioning walkers to believe that an optimal height just a little above our elbow is crucial. While walking you can, of course, grip the stick anywhere along its length. A tall stick also has the added benefit of being instantly longer when needed - no fancy adjustment necessary.

Of course, you could also clear your path by swinging your staff in front of you as you walk down the trail. But then you don't get the benefit of a walking stick, and you look silly. You may even be mistaken for Don Quixote.

[The photo at right shows the walking stick I was using tonight. This stick is natural sycamore adorned with deer antler and turkey feathers. It was made by a craftsman friend of mine.]

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