… How do you size a walking stick or walking cane?
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. 🙂
We’d love to be able to give away our Iron Bamboo Walking Sticks like this guy, but we do have mouths to feed. 🙂
Because … we handcraft every single walking stick and walking cane we sell, right here in Central Texas.
Because … retailers know our reputation for quality, that’s why our walking sticks and canes are in numerous state and national parks, sporting goods stores, hardware stores, and even in every Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Because … we care about Creation, choosing to responsibly work with renewable resources like wood, leather, and more.
Because … we value our customers, offering a simple 1-800 Number to contact a living, breathing human during business hours, and a constantly monitored email address for those in need of a fast, speedy response (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Because … a handmade walking cane offers those who need it a sense of style, stability, wonder, and excitement — those attributes simply can’t be emulated with mass-produced metal products.
Because … handmade walking sticks provide stability, protection, and assurance for even the most leisurely neighborhood stroll.
Because … we stand behind all of our products, with a Lifetime Warranty.
Because … walking will help you live a longer, healthier life.
Because … you, the valued customer, know American quality when you feel it in your hands.
For years our customers have asked us to make Diamond Willow Walking Sticks. The problem has been securing a reliable supplier of the raw material. Well, it looks like all of our dreams have finally come true, and Brazos Walking Sticks officially has a Diamond Willow Walking Stick in its repertoire.
A couple of years ago we made a custom walking cane for a sweet gal’s wedding day. The idea was to design a cane that two people could hold on to at the same time, symbolizing a couple growing old together, year by year.
Check ’em out. It’s amazing what you can do with wood, and it was such a great idea (hers!) for a special wedding keepsake.
Solid wood walking sticks are a great way to attain extra mobility by offering you a firm-footed “third leg” that’s ideal for virtually any terrain. What’s more, walking with two poles (walking sticks) can provide even more stability and other health-related benefits like upper body exercise and light strength-building. Whether you’re trekking on arduous paths, trails, and other challenging terrain, or simply casually strolling through your neighborhood or local park, a stable walking stick or cane is invaluable.
Walking With a Single Walking Stick
One walking stick will give you much-needed stability in just about any situation. While hiking, a single staff is essential to negotiate loose gravel and dirt, streams, and dense forests. While casually strolling through neighborhoods or parks, a single stick will give you a little extra assurance with each step while relieving stress on joints and muscles.
Fitness Walking/Walking for Health
Using two walking sticks (“fitness poles”) simultaneously is quickly becoming a popular exercise. Two sticks allow you to utilize your entire upper body, doubling the exercise benefit of walking alone.
Hiking Staffs and Trekking Poles
Using two walking sticks on trails can be beneficial. As with casual walking, with two poles, using two sticks or poles provides extra stability and takes pressure off of often-overworked joints. In many cases, two sticks is better than one!
Walking With Walking Sticks
Our handcrafted, made-in-the-USA walking sticks are designed to be perfect companions for whatever your walking or hiking needs may be. At the most basic level, any of our sticks can simply be picked up, taken on a stroll, and used intuitively.
Now for a more in-depth look: Most of our sticks are designed to be gripped just below the leather strap, in an area we refer to as the “grip area.” The grip area should allow for a positive, stress-relieving angle as your arm, wrist, and hand interact with the stick. For convenience and ease, our walking sticks offer handy leather straps that come standard with each walking stick we make. The leather straps help relieve stress on your hand and help keep your hand on the grip area.
Actually sizing a walking stick is often a matter of personal choice, but we do offer recommendations: 41 inches for children and short adults; 48 inches for adults up to 5’4”; 55 inches for adults between 5’4” and 5’11”; and 58 inches for adults taller than 5’11”. Please note that those are only recommendations.
All of our walking sticks are single-length sticks. Single-length sticks are advantageous because there are no moving parts (so they’re not susceptible to mechanical failure), and there’s no need to adjust length once the stick is properly sized. For travelers we offer beautiful nylon cases (featuring our embroidered logo), and logo-free, handcrafted premium leather bags.
Ferrules and Tips
Our standard tip is a quality rubber ferrule that’s reinforced with a metal washer. For added benefits, choose from our three other tip options:
The Lee Valley Spike: This spike is our 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.
Using our walking sticks is really an intuitive endeavor. We strive to provide the highest quality handcrafted products, and we hope you’ll cherish your staff for years to come. With proper sizing and wood choice, your stick (or sticks) will offer a lifetime of enjoyable use.
Please feel free to email inquiries to email@example.com. Or call toll free 800-581-4352 with any questions.
This is the fourth installment in a series on the history, function, and uses of walking canes and walking sticks.
© 2012 Brazos Walking Sticks
The variety and character of wood is a natural phenomenon that offers an astonishing array of exquisite beauty. To the woodworker, wood variations are like an artist’s palette, and handcrafted wooden products are often artistic expressions encased in utilitarian forms.
Wood artisans carefully select each piece of wood to craft an original, unique wooden, fashionable walking cane or walking stick creation. A properly made, handcrafted wooden walking cane should not have an angular, blocky, “mass produced” feel to it. On the contrary, edges should be contoured, finishes should be smooth, and the the feel of the walking cane should be a comfort to your hand, not an annoyance. The essence of wood — with its unique ability to be “molded” by a master craftsman — allows for walking cane variation that can not be duplicated with mass production methods.
Thanks to the variance inherent in all wood, you can know that a properly crafted walking cane or walking stick is one-of-a-kind, being individually crafted from the finest woods including sassafras, hickory, iron bamboo, padauk, bocote, bloodwood, cocobolo, etc. The warmth of simple, handcrafted excellence is inherent in all wood species that artisans work with, and these characteristics cannot be duplicated or replicated with any other material.
Wood is full of wonder.
Yesterday we loaded two 18-wheelers full of our walking sticks and walking canes. In a few short days those sticks will be all over America!
We received an email this morning, someone asking us if we sell dog-related products. While dogs and walking sticks may not seem to go together, there is most certainly a connection.
At a basic level, a walking stick can be a visual deterrent for unruly canines. Dig deeper though (no pun intended, I don’t think), and a walking stick can add an extension to your arm for light correction, and, of course, for added support while walking your pooch.
The magazine Paw Prints has featured Brazos Walking Sticks a couple of times, praising our sticks for their versatility and utility.
So the short answer is: Yes, we do sell dog-related products. 🙂
This is the third installment in a series on the history, function, and uses of walking canes and walking sticks.
© 2012 Brazos Walking Sticks
In essence, as a created being, man seeks to to partake in his own divinely inspired sense of personal and corporate creativity — and wooden walking sticks and walking canes offer an outlet for unparalleled artistic creativity.
Like all crafts of human creation, the potential for walking cane design is only hampered by the limit of the artisan’s creative instincts. In other words, the “limit,” when taken as a whole, within the context of a corporate human reality, is fundamentally not a limit at all, but rather an outpouring of innovation, dexterity, and passionate craftsmanship.
The “essential” side of human creativity — as witnessed in handcrafted artistry — is a deep-seated force, a God-given drive, that compels men and women to explore, to endeavor, to create. In the world of walking sticks, walking canes, hiking staffs, trekking poles, et al, the intrinsic need to create is most fully realized with one simple material: wood. Only wood allows for a seemingly endless variety of natural color, grain, feel, texture, and density.
According to my Webster dictionary, a craftsman is “one who creates or performs with skill or dexterity especially in the manual arts.”
I was reading National Geographic magazine this morning. The article was about a potentially rediscovered Leonardo da Vinci chalk-and-ink drawing that was originally procured in the late 90s by an art dealer for twenty-something thousand dollars, changed hands after a few years, and now, pending confirmation of its authenticity, could be worth as much as $100 million.
The magazine features a full size replica of the drawing — which is only about as big as a legal pad — that allows for readers to study the minute details of the piece. I’m not an art aficionado; in fact, I couldn’t really even be considered a dilettante. However, even I can tell that no matter who painted the portrait, the details are amazing. I suppose that an artist is not tantamount to a craftsman, but the supposed da Vinci drawing struck me as a sort of craftsmanship in its own right.
Like anything done exceptionally well, craftsmanship is about innate ability and a passion to invest the time and energy into a particular pursuit. Some would even argue that, for high-achievers, nurture plays a far greater role than nature.
Take for example the Hungarian Lazlo Polgar. Back in the 70s and 80s, Polgar and his wife pulled their three daughters from State-run schools in order to homeschool them. Polgar’s thesis was, “Genius is made, not born,” and he set out to prove his proposition by educating his children at home (despite resistance from the socialist government) and extensively training each of his daughters in a specific discipline: chess. The end result was three highly educated daughters who are fluent in 4 to 8 languages each, and each chess grandmasters, with one young lady in particular becoming the strongest female chess player in history.
Now, to tie that back to craftsmanship … It’s obvious to us that some people simply don’t have an aptitude for fine workmanship. On the other hand, with a nurturing, educational environment, even the most mechanically inept individuals can achieve a degree of proficiency.
Perhaps there’s a craftsman in all of us?
Our new display stands arrived today. Here’s a photo of our man unloading them from the truck.
And another shot of how they look loaded with sticks.
An often-overlooked jewel is our Gardener’s Yard Stick. It’s a 52-inch staff that doubles as a walking aid and a handy gardening tool. Like all of our walking sticks and walking canes, this walking stick was conceived and created by Brazos Walking Sticks.
The Gardener’s Yard Stick, 52 inches, is truly one-of-a-kind: doubling as an invaluable gardener’s tool, and a sturdy walking aid. This useful staff is fashioned from sturdy oak or ash, making it strong and highly durable. Each Gardener’s Yard Stick is outfitted with a strong metal tip that provides a firm, secure grip while trekking through your yard or garden. The tip is also perfect for marking plant locations in the garden or flower bed. Additionally, the Gardener’s Yard Stick comes with a handy 36-inch ruler printed on the side of the shaft — perfect for precision placement of plants in your garden.
After each piece of ash or oak is carefully chosen, prepared, cut, and sanded, each staff is stained a beautiful tan, magnifying the wood’s natural grain pattern. Finally, every stick is sprayed with a protective clear coat lacquer. The result is a smooth finish that highlights the wood’s intrinsic beauty. The finished staff is a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted walking stick that is both sturdy and attractive. Like all of our finely crafted walking sticks and canes, the Gardener’s Yard Stick is made in the USA by our skilled craftsmen using the highest quality wood and time-tested methods.
This is the second installment in a series on the history, function, and uses of walking canes and walking sticks.
© 2012 Brazos Walking Sticks
The basic need of every human being is physical survival. There’s no doubt that our forerunners used sticks to help in their pursuit of essential human survival: from stoking a fire, to navigating treacherous terrain, to fending off wild animals, sticks have been part and parcel to human existence.
These days — in modern society at least — walking sticks aren’t necessary to aid in basic survival, but, without doubt, the echo of ancient utility reverberates to our present day: it’s heard — and sensed — when we intuitively pick up a stick when we need to navigate some tricky terrain; or when our intrinsic need for support (perhaps from injury) compels us to reach for something that can easily serve as an extra appendage; or when our visceral impulse for protection from animals leads us to reach for a felled limb while walking through otherwise innocuous neighborhoods.
Only in the past few decades has this basic impulse — the basic human need — moved from the instinctual idea of using saplings or tree limbs, to using non-holistic, man-made metal rods. While there may be some utility to the latter approach, the former has been humanity’s support-answer for nearly all of its existence. Furthermore, wooden walking sticks and walking canes offer a flexibility in handcrafted design that other materials can not emulate, yet another reason for wood’s popularity among those in need of a walking aid.
This is the first installment in a series on the history, function, and uses of walking canes and walking sticks.
© 2012 Brazos Walking Sticks
For centuries walking canes and walking sticks have been utilized by human beings the world over. Since the beginning of recorded history, every culture, society, nation and people group has used wooden staffs for support, stability, protection, fashion … and so much more. It’s not hyperbolic to say that a wooden walking stick or a walking cane is perhaps the most natural extension a human being can employ, because, without even thinking about it, we instinctively pick up a stick when we need support.
Wooden walking canes and walking sticks are universal: from the humble shepherd to the elegant, aristocratic gentleman, a staff — whether stylish or utilitarian — is something human beings have reached for, and will continue to reach for, for centuries. Aside from clothing itself, no other material object has been so widely accepted, used, and trusted as walking sticks and walking canes.
We get that question a lot, and there’s no clear cut answer since there are numerous variables to consider: What is your aesthetic leaning? Do you want something dense, or lightweight? Do you want the strongest wood money can buy or something inexpensive?
Believe it or not, wood is not a static, lifeless, one-size-fits all commodity. On the contrary, wood is more like a living, breathing, holistic palette of color and texture — one that can be personalized to your individual tastes. Collectors know that the varieties of wood are virtually endless, and when you couple that variety with our knack for inventing beautiful and useful walking cane and walking stick designs, the average collector has more to choose from than he or she can handle in a lifetime.
Now, to the question, here are a few quick and dirty wood recommendations:
I want strong and I couldn’t care less about weight!
I want lightweight and strength isn’t an issue, because it’s not like I’m going to be using this thing as a barbell!
I demand the best of both worlds. I want something lightweight and strong as a bull! Bet you can’t do that!
We most certainly can! Try the Iron Bamboo on for size. It’s the lightest-weight stick we carry, and it’s got a strength-to-weight ratio that’s greater than steel.
I want cheap. I don’t want to pay a lot for handcrafted, Made in the USA quality!
Hey, who doesn’t want to save a buck or two these days? Go with straight pine or pick from the plethora of walking sticks and walking canes on our Brazos Bargain page, they’re all 30- to 50-percent off retail.
I’ve got a couple of Benjamins burning a hole in my pocket, point me to the Cadillacs!
Yes, sir! Right this way to our Collectors Page. Can we get you some caviar while you’re shopping?
So, as you can see there are plenty of choices. Feel free to email or call if you have any questions. But be forewarned: Once you feel The Quality of American Craftsmanship in your hand, you’ll want to become a collector.