Tag Archives: pole

Walking Stick

I went on a nine-mile hike with some friends the other day. The trail was relatively easy for the most part, but there were a few difficult parts and it rained the night before so there was a lot of mud. The situation called for a walking stick and nature was happy to provide me with one. I found one on the side of the trail. A walking stick is what it sounds like. It’s a stick for walking. Canes are for old people and the disabled. Walking sticks are for hikers and wizards.

Walking sticks can be used in a variety of ways. They make steep hills easier to climb or descend. They can clear the trail of bushes, debris, spider webs, and tree branches that are blocking the way. They offer a balancing point for crossing small streams or large puddles. They have traction in slippery conditions. And you can use them to fend off attacking animals or disgruntled hikers.

Some people buy walking sticks. That’s good if you go hiking a lot and want other people to know how awesomely outdoorsy you are. I prefer finding a walking stick somewhere along the trail and leaving it on the trailhead for future hikers to enjoy. It seems more neighborly. Walking through nature is fun. It’s better with a giant stick.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Tour Guide Stick

I work at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and that means that I see millions of tourists every year. Tourists are easy to spot. They walk slow, they carry cameras and maps, and they typically have a dopey look on their face. We get a lot of tour groups from Japan, and Japanese tour groups are heavily invested in the tour guide stick system. You’ll see a group of fifty Japanese students in matching uniforms following a balding guy holding a stick with a flag or bandana tied to the top of it. The bald guy holds the tour guide stick over his head as he walks down the sidewalk, and the students are able to follow him in the crowd. The tour guide stick helps to shepherd the tourists and keeps them from getting lost or separated. But the tour guide stick is not perfect. The bandana is the most important part of the tour guide stick, but the bandana can fall off. Then the tour guide is left holding a bare broomstick while his confused students start following a biker or a pirate.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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