How Not To Use A Walking Stick

In 1856 Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts was beaten repeatedly with a metal-knobbed walking cane. The attacker — a South Carolina congressman named Preston Brooks — whacked Sumner into unconsciousness over the course of a “long minute,” and then calmly walked away. The motivation behind the attack was an anti-slavery senatorial address directed toward Brooks’ pro-slavery kinsman, Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina.



After the beating Brooks was promptly censured by the House of Representatives, and, shortly thereafter, died at only 37. Sumner, on the other hand, recovered from the attack and served another 18 years in the Senate.

The infamous beating was certainly a low point in the pre-Civil War period of United States history. One lesson learned: no matter what raises your ire, the proper use of a walking stick is for walking support, not breaking over someone’s head!

We originally published a version of this blog post several years ago, but thought this message was worth repeating.

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Walking Stick For Photographers

Photographers looking for a handy monopod that also doubles as a durable walking stick need look no further than our Photographer’s Walking Stick, available in hickory, sassafras, and sweet gum.

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The Photographer’s Walking Stick In Action

This walking staff features all the beauty and durability you would expect from a Brazos Walking Stick, while also serving as an incognito monopod (the top unscrews to reveal the thread-mount). This handy monopod-walking-stick universally mounts to all standard cameras. What’s more, compared to the pricey, single-use monopod, this walking stick is a steal. ;-)

Check out photographer Kent Weakley expound the virtues of our unique walking stick:

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Statement On Sustainability

handcrafted walking sticks

As the national leader in the area of Made In USA, handcrafted walking sticks and canes, Brazos Walking Sticks recognizes its responsibility to conduct its operations in a way that cares for, nurtures, protects, and improves the environment for current and future generations.

Brazos Walking Sticks understands that, as stewards of our Providence-given resources, we must conduct business in a way that is ethical, prudent, and forward-thinking. Since our inception nearly 20 years ago, we have worked with those goals in mind — all within a context of complete sustainability.

To those ends we promote production methods that focus on conservation of materials, efficient energy use, waste reduction, and environmental replenishment.

With regard to the harvesting of domestic woods, Brazos Walking Sticks practices renewable collection practices which focus on targeting dense areas of private forestry with an over-abundance of competitive saplings. Competitive saplings are young trees that spring up on an annual basis, taking resources from established flora within their ecosystems. The harvesting of competitive saplings is a boon to the natural environment in which they exist.

Exotic wood is procured through fair trade practices from reputable companies whose environmental ethic is similar to our own. Brazos Walking Sticks will not work with companies who engage in questionable business practices or suspect sustainability measures.

In summary, Brazos Walking Sticks seeks to produce premium handcrafted walking sticks and canes using the most sustainable options available. Our commitment to sustainability parallels our unwavering commitment to craftsmanship.

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Anatomy Of A Spike Tip

For serious hikers — or those aspiring to be serious hikers — we offer a versatile, strong, and robust spike tip option called the Lee Valley Spike. This spike tip has been a popular choice on all of our walking sticks, and even a few walking cane users have found the Lee Valley Spike to be beneficial.

Lee Valley Exploded View

Several years ago our friends at Lee Valley Tools collaborated with us to develop this spike tip, and it’s been one of our best selling spike options ever since.

This tip features a virtually indestructible brass design that is screwed in to the bottom of your shaft, for a strong, secure fit. The rubber tip and steel spike unscrew and are interchangeable.

At $26, this spike option is great for those wanting a long term solution with replaceable parts and a pristine design.

Lee Valley Tip

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About Brazos Walking Sticks

Brazos Walking Sticks facility

An aerial view of the Brazos Walking Sticks facility.

Brazos Walking Sticks is a family operated business offering handcrafted walking sticks and canes all over the United States. We are located in the beautiful Brazos River Valley area of central Texas, where we have been producing high-quality, hand-made walking sticks, hiking staffs, and walking canes for nearly 20 years. Most of our products are made in small, “cottage industry” workshops located within a few miles of our facilities by local craftsmen who are also our neighbors, family, and friends. We appreciate your business and wish you continued success with our handcrafted items.

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How We Craft Our Walking Sticks

This short video clip is for anyone who may be curious about how we craft our walking sticks. From cutting saplings to putting the finishing touches on our sticks, this video is essentially a short, entertaining, and informative walk through of our process. Hope you all enjoy!

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How To Make Your Own Walking Stick

… In 10 Easy Steps

making walking stick

Handcrafting a walking stick.

This is a “mail bag” question that we get all the time. The good news is, to make a basic walking stick by hand is not really a big deal. A monkey could do it.

What you’ll need:

– 80 grit sandpaper
– 220 grit sandpaper
– A small saw
Lacquer
Rubber ferrule

As far as crafting the walking stick, here’s the most simple and direct method:

1) First off you’ll want to pick a nice piece of wood, preferably a straight sapling that’s roughly 1.2″ in diameter at the grip.

2) Cut the sapling to your preferred size. At this point, you should also cut off any twigs and protrusions.

3) Set the sapling aside for several months to make sure it’s nice and dry. If you live in a hot climate, the sapling will dry out a lot faster. (If you’re working with “wet” wood, there’s a chance that the stick will bow at some point, especially if it’s leaned against a wall.) If you happen to have access to a kiln, you can dry the sapling much faster.

4) If the bark is flaky or too thick, use the more coarse 80 grit sandpaper to gently sand the shaft by hand, working in an up and down motion.

5) Use 80 grit sandpaper to shape the top of the walking stick. If you’re going for the graceful, Brazos-Walking-Sticks-esque look, you’ll need to put quite a bit of work into this part in order to get it nice and rounded. :-)

6) After the walking stick is sanded with 80 grit, finish it off with 220 grit. The 220 is a finer sandpaper and will give the stick a nice, finished, smooth feel.

7) At this point, clean the walking stick, making sure that all of the dust from the sanding process is removed. You can use a damp cloth, but make sure the walking stick is completely dry before proceeding to the next step.

8) Gently spray the walking stick with a clear lacquer. You can buy a can of clear lacquer at any hardware store. When spraying lacquer, the key is to give it a nice, smooth, sweeping motion, while not staying stuck on any one area (or else the lacquer will build up in that one area).

9) OPTIONAL: Drill a 3/8″ hole approximately 4″ from the top of the stick. Insert a leather strap or string.

10) Insert your rubber ferrule on the end of your walking stick and then enjoy your creation!

hickory walking stick

A Handcrafted Hickory Brazos Walking Stick

Just don’t try and sell more of these than we do. :-)

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Walking Stick For Wounded Warrior

A few weeks ago we received an email from a customer with a couple of photos of one of our walking sticks being used by a wounded warrior.

With the customer’s permission, we opted to showcase these photos on our Facebook page and here on our blog. The beautiful thing about this story is the generosity of our customer, who donated the stick to the wounded warrior and then promptly snapped the photos.

We appreciate and encourage this type of feedback, as it’s always a good thing to see our handcrafted, Made In USA walking sticks and canes being used, shared, and relied upon. That’s why we do what we do.

wounded-warrior-walking-stick-talking

wounded-warrior-walking-stick-listening

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know

… about our rubber tips.

Those little rubber tips that go on the end of walking sticks are called various things around here: stoppers, tips, ferrules, end caps, et cetera. (Technically we call them “rubber ferrules,” but most commonly we call them “stoppers”.)

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Those multi-named little pieces of rubber come standard on all of our finely crafted walking sticks and canes. They’re not crafted from some El Cheapo rubber either; rather, the quality of the rubber is so high that the stoppers actually smell like tires (put your nose up to one and see what we’re sayin’).

Generally speaking, rubber ferrules are made with rubber and clay. Your typical cut-rate, Dollar Store style stoppers usually have more clay than rubber, thus they wear out quickly. Our high quality rubber ferrules on the other hand are built to last, for months and months (depending on frequency of use).

What’s more, our ferrules are reinforced with a steel washer, so they can take the day-to-day pounding and abuse that our most ardent hikers and cane enthusiasts like to put on a stick.

All of our walking sticks and canes come with a standard rubber ferrule, but now you know that there isn’t anything substandard about that piece of high quality rubber that’s helping you grip the ground.

Need a replacement and want to know how to size one? Here’s the information from our website:

To size a ferrule correctly you’ll need to measure the exact diameter of the bottom of your walking stick or walking cane. The size of the stick diameter should correspond roughly to the size of the ferrule you will need. Keep in mind, these rubber tips are somewhat pliable (a good thing!), so if the ferrule opening is slightly smaller than the diameter of the bottom of your cane or stick, you’ll be just fine — it’ll stretch to accommodate the difference. It’s better to get a slightly smaller ferrule for your needs, than a slightly larger one.

– Premium quality rubber tip for walking sticks and walking canes
– .875″ hole diamater
– FREE SHIPPING ON THIS ITEM

All rubber isn’t created equally. Most drug store, discount rubber tips (ferrules) are made with an excess of clay mixed with rubber, the result is a cheap cane/stick tip that will wear out within a couple of weeks of extensive use.

Our premium rubber ferrules are just that, premium. The high quality rubber used to make our walking stick ferrules will last for months under normal use, and even years if used sporadically. If used for step by step support, you can expect our premium ferrules to last at least two to three months, but “mileage” will vary depending on walking conditions.

Our rubber ferrules have a wide grip, allowing more of the ground to be grasped while you’re walking, thus offering superior support. Furthermore, our ferrules all have a metal washer inside, thus offering even more support and stability which will, in turn, allow the ferrule to last longer. Low quality ferrules do not have metal washers inside of them.

Best of all, our premium rubber ferrules come standard on all of our walking sticks (unless an upgraded spike option is chosen).

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Become A Brazos Walking Sticks Retailer

Brazos Walking Sticks are sold all over America, from small “mom and pop” storefronts to large retail sporting goods venues like Academy Sports + Outdoors. Our retail relationships are what allow us to be all over America with our handcrafted, Made In USA walking sticks and canes. We really appreciate all of our retailers!

Here’s a recent communication that went out to all of our retailers. If you own a business that you think would be a perfect fit as a Brazos Walking Sticks retail location, please give us a call at 1.800.581.4352, or email us at info@brazossticks.com.

Thank You for being a special part of the Brazos Walking Sticks family! As a valued retailer, we want to tell you that we appreciate all that you do. We also want you to know that we’re here for you, and we’d like you to meet your sales reps, Michael and Sherry Lane.

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The Lanes have been the cornerstone of our sales team for nearly 7 years. So whether you’re a new customer or have been selling our handcrafted walking sticks and canes for years, Michael and Sherry have the knowledge and expertise to help you succeed.

Give them a call or shoot them an email. With over 100 designs, styles, and wood choices, Brazos Walking Sticks has something for every retail location and customer demographic.

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“A+, I Love This Cane”

A+, we love this review!

One of our faithful customers took a few minutes to make this gracious review of our Root Cane.

He even highlighted our tags, which provide information about the wood, and even give a brief stick maker bio and photo on the back.

We make a point to communicate with customers so that they can make an informed choice when buying their handcrafted, American-made walking stick or walking cane. We take our work very seriously, and thoroughly appreciate all of the feedback we get.

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Why We Offer Free Shipping

Brazos Walking Sticks offers free shipping in the continental USA for all of our walking sticks and walking canes. It’s not just free pokey shipping, it’s free UPS ground shipping!

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Simply put, Free Shipping has always been about our customers. We realize that in these challenging economic times, a simple gesture like Free Shipping can really go along way with cash-strapped customers.

So that’s its. Consider Free Shipping is our way of saying “Thank You!” for supporting us as we strive to provide American-crafted walking sticks and canes to all those who may need a walking aid!

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Find A Store Near You

Brazos Walking Sticks has thousands of retailers all across the fruited plain. A common customer request is, “Where can I find a store in my area?”

The waiting is over! Thanks to the hard work of our IT professionals, we now have a handy dandy map. Feel free to peruse it to find a store that sells Brazos Walking Sticks near you!

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But, of course, for a full selection of our products, nothing beats shopping on our website. You might even find a coupon if you check out our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

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Why We Love The River

Our company’s namesake—Brazos Walking Sticks—is derived from our beloved river: the Brazos River.

brazos walking sticks

The Brazos River — Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Early Spanish explorers called our river Rio de los Brazos de Dios — The River of the Arms of God. Running through much of northern and central Texas, the river’s waters flow gently to the Gulf of Mexico, leaving several life-giving lakes in its wake.

Our founding parent company was called Brazos Oaks—a name referring to the majestic oak trees that line the river valley in central Texas. When the walking stick business was conceived—nearly two decades ago—the name Brazos Oaks Walking Sticks was adopted. Soon that moniker gave way to the more succinct Brazos Walking Sticks. Like the river itself, each name iteration flowed naturally from its source.

Like the Lone Star State in which it exists, the Brazos River is a symbol of peace, provision, and ingenuity. So walk proudly Brazos Stick owners: the handcrafted walking stick or cane you hold is created and buttressed by a great tradition—a tradition as timeless as the river it’s named after.

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3 Reasons To Use A Walking Stick

Children with Brazos Walking Sticks

Children with Brazos Walking Sticks

1. Stability. Whether you’re trekking through arduous trails or simply walking down your favorite neighborhood street, a walking stick offers support and stability with every step. Three legs are always better than two!

2. Security. The mere presence of a walking stick can often times be enough to ward off an unsavory dog or other dubious creatures.

3. Style. We’ve got dozens upon dozens of styles and designs. When you walk or hike with one of our walking sticks, you’re the epitome of walking stick fashion. :-)

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Free Cane Sizing

We offer free cane sizing. Simply let us know, in the comments section of checkout, what length you would like us to size your cane to. We can not size up, but we can size virtually anything down with no problem.

blaine with a walking cane

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Making of a Brazos Walking Stick

This will take less than two minutes of your time. And it’s well worth watching.

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How To Use A Walking Cane

A common question that we get around here is: How do I use a walking cane? You’d think the answer would be intuitive, but it’s not! Generally speaking, walking canes are used for basic, step-by-step support. They’re not designed to be used for heavy, full-body support, but they do offer balance and stability for those with minor leg problems.

WikiHow has a good article explaining the proper use and sizing of canes. It’s worth a read.

canes

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Half Cane. Half Stick. All Awesome.

For years we had customers asking for a walking stick that could also serve as a walking cane, a sort of dual purpose type thing. So a couple of years ago we created the Dual Purpose Staff!

dps

This walking cane is really a walking stick … or is it a walking stick that is really a walking cane? Not sure. But, but it really comes in handy for those who like the step by step support of a cane with the versatility of a walking stick. It also comes in handy for those who need a wee bit of help getting up from a sitting position.

The staff is crafted from oak and is both surprisingly lightweight and extremely strong.

Go buy yours now! Like all of our products, they make fantastic gifts and they are completely Made In USA!

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Brazos Sticks, Now Featuring Leather Tags!

No matter the weather or time of year, a good, handcrafted, Made-In-USA walking stick is always a faithful companion … and quite the conversation starter as well!

Many of our faithful customers ask us for business cards to pass out when they’re on their trails, because people always want to know: “Where did you get that stick?!” Alas, we are now offering an easy way to refer people to Brazos Walking Sticks, so even strangers on the street can know where you buy your handcrafted walking sticks.

Over the next several months we’ll be integrating a stylish leather tag on all of our walking sticks. The tag features genuine leather and our iconic, easy-to-recognize logo. So next time someone asks you where you purchased your walking stick, proudly show them your Brazos Walking Stick leather tag!

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