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How to Use a Walking Stick

Posted on July 02, 2015 by Sarah Davidson Comments (0)

Our different wooden walking sticks

We have been selling our wooden walking sticks for many years during which time they have remained one of our most popular items because of their strong construction using sturdy spigot joints, their choice of handle - T-bar or knob - and of course the range of beautiful native timbers used in their making.

Greg recently had an ankle reconstruction and had to use a walking stick during his recuperation.  We discovered that there is quite a protocol to using a walking stick correctly and some aspects are counter intuitive at first, mainly that the stick is used on the side of the good leg not the bad leg which you could be forgiven for thinking is around the wrong way. Use the stick on the injured side right? To take the weight off it – wrong.  Apparently it doesn’t work like that. So following are the main points to remember for the correct use of a walking stick.

Firstly, get the height right.

When you are standing up straight, the top of the stick’s handle should reach the crease in your wrist. Our walking sticks will generally be too long and you will need to adjust them. Remove the rubber tip and using a hacksaw trim the bottom of the stick – we recommend doing this in increments to ensure not too much is taken off, noting the old carpentry proverb  ‘measure twice, cut once’. Your stick should be comfortable and not push your shoulder up and your elbow should be slightly bent when you hold it.

Walking.

Hold the stick in the hand opposite the side that needs support. If your right knee is injured for example, hold the stick in your left hand.

To start walking, place your stick one small step ahead and slightly to the side of you (so you don’t kick it) and step off on your injured leg, finishing the step with your good leg.

Stairs.

Stairs can be tricky but put simply, go up with the good, down with the bad. To go up stairs hold your stick in the hand opposite your weak leg, the other hand holds the rail. Put the good leg on the stair first, followed by the cane then lastly the weak leg. To go down stairs, put the cane on the stair first, then the weak leg, then lastly the good leg. To summarise:

Going up stairs - good leg, stick, weak leg

Going down stairs  - stick, weak leg, strong leg.

If you are thinking of investing in a well made, unique, wooden walking stick then we hope you have found this article helpful and informative.

Click here to view our range of Australian Handmade Walking Sticks >>

Australian Handmade Wooden Walking Sticks Built to Last

Posted on July 31, 2013 by Sarah Davidson Comments (16)

  

Click here to view our range of Walking Sticks

On Lake Mungo, part of the fossil Willandra Lakes district of NSW, there are a collection of footprints dated at around 20,000 years old, the largest collection of Pleistocene footprints in the world. There are tracks of women and children and overlaying them, the tracks of three men, running very fast, probably in pursuit of prey. One set of tracks shows a right foot only and beside some of those right foot prints are the marks of what looks like a stick, used to help the one legged runner make long powerful strides and possibly the earliest evidence of a walking stick ever.

It is not hard to imagine even earlier humans using a stick to help in crossing rough or steep ground and even lowland gorillas have been seen using long sticks to help themselves across streams, so the walking stick in its basic form has been around a long time.

Ancient Greek and Egyptian artefacts show sticks of varying types being used for different purposes - long staffs for ceremonial purposes or as aids for the aged, short sticks with cross pieces on top for use as crutches which evolved into the modern T bar walking stick. Throughout the history of both western and eastern Christianity as well as Islam, the staff has been an ecclesiastical symbol which is still current today. 

 

A good stout walking stick is an extremely useful thing and can be used for bush bashing, clearing cobwebs, testing the depth of streams and puddles, fending off assailants, attacking miscreants, it can be slung across the shoulders to carry buckets of water or other belongings, it can be used to poke down holes, to stir the grass for snakes, to hit something to attract attention - the list is endless - and the term ' a good stick' applied to an honest, decent, straightforward person needs no explanation.

At some stage walking sticks became a fashion accessory for men which is when a great variety of styles and decoration became available with handles being made from silver, bronze, bone, ivory, precious wood and those handles carved, embossed, inlaid with gems and pearl and generally embellished in myriad ways. The main styles of walking stick or cane are the T bar , the Knob handle , the tall hiking staff and the hooked American style cane, used to great effect by the tap dancing Fred Astaire and on other less entertaining showmen to haul them off the stage before the audience started throwing things.

A walking stick, and particularly a wooden one, is one of those elemental objects whose evolution from literally a stick to its modern, sophisticated form can be so clearly seen as to be a no brainer. Out for a walk, who has not picked up a stick, whooshed it around, leant on it when walking up a steep hill and, in essence, indulged a very old instinct. I think we all have.

Click here to view our range of Walking Sticks >>