Over the years, I’ve hiked hundreds of miles. For many of those miles, especially recently, I’ve used a sturdy walking stick.
My favorite is from Brazos Walking Sticks.
The quality of the walking stick you carry makes all the difference.
The day I first tried Brazos Walking Sticks changed my hiking life forever.
In fact, their Brazos Hickory Walking Stick has become my favorite companion on dozens of treks.
It’s so comfortable in my hand that I’ve started to feel a little out-of-step when I don’t have it with me even for a short stroll around the block.
I didn’t always feel that way.
Brazos Walking Sticks
I used to meet people on the trail who were using walking sticks, and I couldn’t figure out why they’d want to burden themselves with that extra gear.
In my mind, walking sticks were designed for strenuous, multi-day treks through back-country terrain.
I just didn’t want to be weighed down with a stick.
My perspective began to evolve when I joined a group that included a number of avid hikers.
Many of them stared at me in disbelief when I expressed my preference for hiking without a walking stick.
They enlightened me as to why a stick might be a handy piece of equipment to have on a day hike, even one that covers well-known terrain.
Benefits of a Brazos Walking Sticks
Carrying a walking stick truly does enhance your safety in the wild.
It also can make for a more comfortable trek.
This is especially important as you age and body parts like your knees start to protest on those longer hikes.
There’s nothing like a walking stick for shoring up your balance when you’re on a steep slope.
When you’re moving uphill, the stick helps to propel you along.
If you’re going downhill, it can help you to control your descent.
In addition, it will take some of the pressure off of your knees and lower back.
Plus, using a walking stick is a great way to incorporate more of an upper body workout into your trek.
Periodically switch hands on the stick throughout your hike to get the most benefit and to keep muscle development in balance.
Moving through tricky terrain is easier, too.
It’s helpful to have another supportive limb making contact with the ground when you’re moving over an especially rough or rocky area.
I’ve found that walking sticks are handy when fording streams.
Spring runoff can cause a small stream to become a rushing creek.
Just probe the depth of the water with your walking stick before you step in.
You just might save yourself from a sprained ankle.
Walking sticks can make for excellent self-defense on the trail as well.
I’ve used them to ward off dogs that approach aggressively without a human in sight.
I’ve clicked my stick against a rock to scare off sizable wildlife.
For areas with venomous snakes, a walking stick can be a lifesaver.
Really, there are so many uses for walking sticks, that I’m surprised now that I hiked for so long without one.
The Walking Stick You Choose Makes a Difference
I’ve known some hikers to just pick up an obliging tree limb lying alongside the trail.
Others have whittled their own walking sticks.
I acquired my first one at a sporting goods store with little more consideration put into the purchase than a glance at the price tag.
That walking stick was all right.
It got the job done until it didn’t.
That was the day that it broke.
Unfortunately, I was planning a big hike for the very next day.
I was unfamiliar with the trail, but I knew that the going was reported to be tough.
I really needed a walking stick for that adventure, and I didn’t want to put it off.
So I called a friend who wasn’t going on the next day’s trip.
He offered me the use of his Brazos Hickory Walking Stick.
Half-jokingly, he told me that he was afraid I wouldn’t want to give it back to him.
I laughed and told him, “It’s just a walking stick!”
“You won’t want to go back once you’ve tried it,” he answered. “Just make sure that you bring mine back to me. You’ll have to buy one for yourself.”
I reassured him that I understood that this was a loan, but I was shaking my head as I hung up the phone.
That day, I felt like my friend was more than a little obsessed with his walking stick, but by the end of the next day, I was beginning to understand his feelings.
Brazos Walking Sticks is a Superior Hickory Walking Stick
The walking stick that I borrowed was a Brazos Hickory Walking Stick, and it really changed my perception of this particular piece of equipment.
After using it on one hike, I understood what a difference quality craftsmanship and using only the best materials and methods can make.
I contacted Brazos to see if they would send me one to review. (All of these opinions are my own.)
I learned it’s available in four sizes: 41 inches, 48 inches, 55 inches and 58 inches.
The size you choose depends largely on your height.
I love that each and every walking stick that Brazos makes is a one-of-a-kind original.
They build each one by hand, one at a time and using only natural wood.
This makes for exceptional strength and durability, which are both critical when you’re completing a challenging trek.
More than that, these walking sticks look incredible.
It’s a combination of the wood and the finish, which gives the piece a beautiful patina.
Best of all?! They are made in America!
Walking stick customization
Unlike mass-produced walking sticks, you can customize Brazos walking sticks.
Some of the add-on features and accessories include:
- Laser engraving like a monogram, name, initials, etc.
- Compass on the top of the stick
- Whistle “cut in” the top
- Spike tip (choices)
Free Form Hickory Walking Stick
I can’t say enough about the sturdiness and quality of this stick.
To be sure you choose the correct height, you can look on their website which explains it easily. There are also pictures to help you choose correctly.
It’s a good weight to carry on a longer hike, but still has enough heft to it to feel really solid in my hand.
Also, it’s just the right diameter to fit comfortably in my hand.
It feels natural to have it with me.
Hickory Walking Stick
Everyone loves the way it looks, and so do I.
The artisan who made it really paid attention to the tiny details and found ways to bring out the natural textures in the hickory.
Again, I also appreciate these walking sticks are made in USA. It’s a family-owned company located in the Brazos River Valley.
Not everyone agrees that a walking stick is an essential accessory for the day hiker, but I have plenty of arguments to counter them. I love my walking stick.