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Our 10 Useful Tips on using a Hiking Staff

Posted by Bethan Bithell on 26th Oct 2016

A hiking staff is a long stick made from natural resources which is shaped or carved and used for a range of outdoor activities. The most common wood used to make a staff today is Chestnut. Many UK stick-makers, such as Classic Canes, use Chestnut due to its strength and rustic appearance and of course for its availability. Other woods are also used such as Hazel, Ash, Blackthorn and Holly, each offering their own benefits.

Whether you are planning either a short walk with your dog or a 30 mile hike, then comfort is important. Wearing the right walking boots and clothing and choosing the right accessories to use is vital for your comfort and safety. A hiking staff will provide you with the necessary comfort to help you go further whilst helping to reduce pain and discomfort as well.

Hiking Staff – The 10 Top Uses

There are many benefits of using a hiking staff whether for walking, hiking, or beating. Ten of the top uses of a hiking staff are shown below:

  1. For moving brambles, nettles and other obstacles that might be in the way
  2. Helping to propel arms forward whilst walking, therefore helping to increase speed
  3. Giving the whole body a workout rather than just the legs
  4. Removing extra stress on the knees, spine and hips, especially when descending down hills or walking on rough terrain
  5. Providing stability when walking over difficult terrain
  6. Having an upright body position which helps improve breathability
  7. Can assist with day to day mobility as walking with a pole or staff helps to focus attention on remaining mobile
  8. Poles can help promote awareness of each walking stride
  9. Enhances a confident approach towards assessing the terrain before moving forward
  10. Helps to distribute energy usage over the whole body

A hiking staff is a fantastic gift idea for walkers, hikers or country-sports lovers! With many different types of designs carved into a staff to choose from, there really is a hiking staff available to suit every outdoor occasion.

Chestnut Hiking Stave - Stag

Chestnut Hiking Staff – Stag

Classic Canes Chestnut Hiking Staff - Flying Pheasant

Chestnut Hiking Staff – Flying Pheasant

Hiking staff - Stallion

Chestnut Hiking Staff – Stallion

Hiking Staff - Shooting Theme

Chestnut Hiking Staff – Shooting Scene

Classic Canes Chestnut Hiking Staff - Labrador Motif

Chestnut Hiking Staff – Labrador

There are also many other different styles and designs available if you choose one of our traditional walking sticks, including thumb sticks and knobsticks, with each offering their own individual benefits.


Ash Coppice Knobstick

Knobstick Walking Sticks

A knobstick is shaped from a large branch and the ‘ball’ shaped handle is shaped from the shank. As natural resources are used, every knobstick will be different. The size and shape of the original branch and angle of the shaft will vary from stick to stick, making your own knobstick unique!

Knobsticks are very popular among walkers and hikers because some walkers find it more comfortable to hold a ‘ball’ shaped handle instead of a traditional grip handle or straight stick. The ‘ball’ shape handle offers better stability for those who suffer with mobility issues.

Thumb Stick Walking Stick


Chestnut Thumbstick

A thumbstick has a ‘v-shaped’ handle that is designed to enable the thumb to rest between the ‘V’. A thumbstick is usually longer in length than traditional sticks, ranging from 51″ to 59″ and it is made from Chestnut, Hazel or Walnut. Thumbsticks offer great support, for example, when wading in shallow or deep waters. When fishing, a thumbstick can be used to ‘feel’ the water bed, meaning there is no need to keep glancing away from the fishing line.

Final note…

If travelling out on your own, a hiking staff can also be useful to fend off any unattended or wild animals! (Or indeed the attention of any unwanted strangers!!!)

Have a comfortable and enjoyable time when you’re out and about outdoors!



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