Pondering Preppers

Been pondering preppers this morning. A prepper is defined as a group or individual that prepares for a change in normal, world-as-we-know-it, day-to-day circumstances. A prepper may be construed on a spectrum, perhaps ranging from someone who grows their own vegetables to someone who has built a bomb-proof bunker. Yes, I’m working with a very broad definition here. Often times preppers are called survivalists.

Not a bad idea

I guess in a real sense, anyone who tries to live a somewhat sustainable life can perhaps be called a prepper. My family is a couple of years into trying to live a more sustainable existence: we grow veggies, raise poultry for food, enjoy our own farm eggs, and have even pondered a contingency plan in case our water supply is disrupted (i.e., our neighbor’s well). One of these days we want to get a goat for daily milk. Other than those basic things, we’re just as oil-dependent as the next guy.

Just off the top of my head, I’ve thought of a few items it would be good to have, in case something bad happens. . . .

  • Bottled water
  • Canned foods (i.e. sardines)
  • A good knife
  • Matches (or the ability to start fires)
  • Hygiene items

That’s my list. I would imagine the above list would only allow someone to be good for a few days (for example, after an extreme weather event), but if there was a more permanent collapse in the basic structure of the world as we know it, the list would need to be a lot longer!

I’ll leave you all with this quick video on preppers:

Brazos Bed & Breakfast

Brazos Walking Sticks is located inside a 30-acre farmstead in the beautiful Brazos River Valley of Central Texas. One of the highlights of our property is a warm and inviting B&B called Brazos Bed & Breakfast. This delightful home-away-from-home features a spacious 2400 square foot design, an inviting deck nestled among native Texas trees, and the most comfortable rooms this side of your bedroom.

Brazos Bed & Breakfast -- a warm, inviting home

We’re conveniently located only 1.5 hours from both the Austin and Dallas areas, and only minutes from some of Central Texas’ most beautiful attractions including the 416-acre historic Cameron Park, with its beautiful scenery and more than 20 miles of nationally recognized trails; the traditional crafts village, Homestead Heritage, which offers visitors a unique look at heritage craftsmanship on a 510-acre farm; the world renowned Baylor University, home of the Baylor Bears; and the 52-acre Cameron Park Zoo.

So if your travels bring you to our neck of the woods, allow us to show you a little Texas hospitality!

Dilbert & Walking Sticks

I actually found a Dilbert comic strip that mentions a walking stick. Beautiful.

Is Sitting The New Smoking?

“The trick, the trick, the trick,” he said, is to have it firmly fixed in our minds, “that sitting is the new smoking. That sitting is literally bad for you.”

For 15 years, Dr. Levine has studied the grim consequences of spending too much time on our duff.

For starters, obese people sit on average two-and-a-half hours more every day than thinner people. Sitting for long periods of time could actually make bottoms bigger because sitting down puts a large amount of force on the body tissues that make fat cells. It causes them to produce up to 50 percent more.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I wouldn’t say we’re anti-sitting around here, but we do have the word “walking” in our name. ๐Ÿ™‚ More and more research is confirming what we know, prolonged inactivity leads to atrophy (not in the weight loss sense). The following video is worth your time.

Walking Sticks For Defense?

We get a few calls and emails every month where people are asking us about the efficacy of walking sticks for defense and survival. Honestly, when it comes to using hardwood for defense, we’re admittedly pretty naive. We don’t pretend to be fighters, and, truth be told, we don’t want to be. We value the Golden Rule, “Do as you would be done by” (as the Brits used to say it). So when we see a handcrafted walking stick, we think of a tool for step-by-step support, not for bonking someone on the head.

We are, however, sure that a walking stick — especially a nice stout one like a hickory — is an ideal “defense” against unfriendly animals. My wife and I live in a rural community, and we love to go for strolls through the neighborhood to watch the sun set over acres upon acres of green pasture. There’s always a danger, though, of vicious dogs (country people, for some reason, don’t like to lock their dogs up), so I always take a walking stick for protection. So far I haven’t had to use it, but my wife has indeed whacked a pit bull on the head once with a Brazos Walking Stick — the stick held up and the dog figured out who’s boss. (Now after all that, it’s time for a caveat: we don’t make walking sticks to serve as protection from animals. We make them to offer support while walking, but we’re very much aware of ancillary benefits.)

As far as a walking stick being used for survival, a good stick can most definitely be an essential tool in that regard. If by “survival,” one means warding off predators, a stick fits the bill. If by “survival,” one means a tool to help navigate tricky, unfriendly terrain, well then of course, that’s what walking sticks are designed for! The ideas are almost limitless: a support beam for a makeshift shelter, a probe, a bush-whacking tool, and even a pole to help keep your food cache out of harm’s way while you sleep. (By the way, Discovery has a useful Survival Zone are on their website, highlighting many survival tips.)

Now go forth, walk, and be happy.

‘Ashokan Farewell’

I love this version of “Ashokan Farewell.” It’s amazing what two well played instruments can do.

Walking Sticks For Survival

We came across this interesting article on whether or not a walking stick should be part of someone’s survival gear.

Most of us donโ€™t think about including a walking stick in survival preparations. But for some, a sturdy walking stick should be a key component in any emergency gear.

Older people might need the stick to serve as a balancing tool. With training, the stick can be a formidable weapon. The stick can serve as one support for a tarp shelter. If you have to cross a stream, a wading staff can keep you from going into the water.

If you brainstorm a bit, there are literally dozens of uses for walking sticks when out on trails. Like Clint Eastwood said, “There’s nothing like a good piece of hickory.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Amazing Natural Photography

This will likely be the most beautiful thing you see all day. Enjoy!

All About Spikes!

If you’d like to accessorize your walking stick, Brazos Walking Sticks gives you plenty of options. We offer everything from custom laser engraving to Texas State Seals.

As far as ferrules go, we have a plethora of options to choose from. All of our sticks come with a standard rubber ferrule; this rubber tip provides sure “footing” for just about any environment. We do, however, offer three types of ferrules that both ardent hikers and enthusiasts would be interested in:

The Lee Valley Spike

This spike is out top-of-the-line model. It boasts a brass construction with a removable spike and rubber tip.

The Combination Spike

This spike is our most popular spike accessory. At $12 it’s affordable and highly functional. If you’re out trekking in the forest somewhere, just pull the rubber tip off and the spiked end will dig into the ground for secure hiking and positioning. Ready to go back onto pavement? Just slide the rubber tip back on and you’re ready to go!

The Spike Ferrule

This spike is for serious hikers! With a fine point spike, it’ll be your trusty companion through miles of rough terrain.

If you’re interested in accessorizing your stick, simply choose “Buy Now” from the particular stick’s page on our website. After you click Buy Now, a list of accessory options for your stick will appear.

Last but certainly not least, we’d like to introduce our brand new Brazos Brass Spike. Like the name suggests, it’s got an all-brass construction and comes with a versatile, strong rubber ferrule. The rubber tip pops off to reveal a brass spike that’s perfect for your “off road” needs.

Brazos Brass Spike

Brazos Brass Spike

Amish Farm Effect

It seems the simple life offers a number of health benefits. That’s certainly something to think about before sitting down to an evening of the Boob Tube and potato chips. ๐Ÿ™‚

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


This culture is media-saturated. Mindless media consumption — especially among the young who are, by all accounts, more impressionable and pliable — is a contributor not only to general moral and ethical decay, but to childhood obesity as well.

Here are some frightening statistics from Weight of the Nation (click on the graphic to enlarge):

Media consumption by teens is, not surprisingly, on the rise.

An Oft Asked Question …

… How do you size a walking stick or walking cane?

Walking Sticks As Retirement Gifts

We hear all the time that our walking sticks and canes make ideal retirement gifts. Since each piece is Made In USA (actually, right here in Texas), a Brazos Walking Stick cane or staff makes a perfectly unique gift for those hard-to-buy-for people in your life.

cane gift

Whether you’re buying a cane for an able-bodied retiring co-worker as a bit of parting humor, or whether you’re wanting to buy them a walking stick that’s fit to hike mountains, our wide selection of Handmade-in-Texas walking sticks and canes is sure to meet your needs.

Remember, all of our walking sticks have a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and we make them all one at a time, by hand.

Follow Brazos Sticks On Twitter

Don’t forget to follows us on Twitter for special discounts (40% on one product today!), updates, and more!

Workplace Walking

Another excellent EveryBody Walk video. Amazing stuff.

Everybody Walk & The West Wing

25% Off For Mom

A handcrafted walking cane or walking stick is an ideal gift for Motherโ€™s Day, right along with those boxes of chocolate and beautiful roses. ๐Ÿ™‚

– For the health-conscious mom, a couple of Fitness Walkers would be an ideal choice.
– Is mom a serious hiker? Try a Twisted Sassafras Walking Stick or a Twisted Ash Hitchhiker, along with a versatile combination spike.
– Does mom need a little step-by-step support, try any of our fashionable Ladiesโ€™ Walking Canes.

For more suggestions, give us a call or email info@brazossticks.com. We even offer custom laser engraving, so you can engrave a special message for your mom right on her walking stick.

From now until Mother’s Day, get 25% off of Ladies’ Walking Canes. Use Coupon Code: MOTHER


After my days at Baylor as a photojournalism student I used to shoot a “man on the street” piece for my local newspaper. It was an entry level, out-of-college gig that paid slightly better than flipping burgers. The idea was you go up to a person, ask them a question and then take their photo for the paper.

I recall one of the questions I had to ask one week was, “Do you feel confident shopping on the Internet?” This was back in 2000, when online shopping was still in its infancy (if I’m remembering correctly, back then Amazon.com hadn’t even turned a profit yet). Long story short, most people I asked said no. My how things have changed.

These days online shopping brings in billions upon billions of dollars every year, and with so many reputable companies to buy from, consumers can be more choosy (i.e., safe) in where they put their cyber dollars. Some choose to stay with the big dogs, and Amazon.com is never a bad choice when it comes to safety and customer service. On the other hand, buyers can often save a bundle of cash by dealing directly with a manufacturer via their retail website.

Here are a few tips to know you’re on a site you can trust:

– Online reputation. Do a Google search and look for customer reviews
– Look for signs of credibility within the site itself (e.g., does the site offer Bizrate reviews? Google Checkout? Amazon Payments?)
– Does the site have a clearly articulated refund policy?
– Does the site offer a 1-800 number that goes directly to a human being (at least during business hours)?

The World Wide Web, as a virtual frontier, is a boon for both retailers and consumers. Just remember, be safe and shop safe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Think Handmade For Mother’s Day

Buying a handcrafted walking stick for mom (or a cane if she needs one), might be the perfect way for you to express your individual creativity this Mother’s Day. Think about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bamboo Blessing

We’d love to be able to give away our Iron Bamboo Walking Sticks like this guy, but we do have mouths to feed. ๐Ÿ™‚