Walking Sticks, Canes and Hiking Staffs
Cool Canes & Walking Sticks, Sturdy Staffs & Practical Cane Stands
For several centuries walking sticks, canes and long staffs have been used as fashion items, as walking aids and as tools for self defense. Many people are fascinated by walking sticks, canes and hiking poles, and build up large collections. I have also noticed that martial artists are very susceptible to this interest! So, if you are looking for a practical, interesting gift, you could consider a stylish cane. And, as a treat for yourself? Why not walk in style with a cool cane!
You can, of course, make your own hiking staff by finding an appropriate stick, branch or stem and breaking it to the correct height. But here, I will show you some canes that are more sophisticated, more elegant, hand-carved, or stylish. I also show you some cool cane stands to keep a collection tidy and accessible.
The photo, which is in the public domain, shows the walking cane used in an assault on Senator Charles Sumner in May 1856.
Self Defense With A Walking Cane - The cane is a versatile self-defense tool
Cambridge Academy of Martial Arts Senior Instructor Ollie Batts (right) demonstrating a cane defense technique in a street self defense training session. A walking cane given give you support in more ways than one! If you are interested in the defensive use of canes or in cane sport, have a look at my canne de combat pages listed below. More photos on our website. This photo was taken by me, and is copyright, please do not it use without my written permission.
Elegant & Fashionable Walking Canes - Chic and sophisticated canes
Whether you like big, bold statements or delicate, refined carving, there are beautiful canes available to suit your personal taste. The main choices you need to make are the handle type and the shaft type.
Four of the most popular types are the knob handle, the derby handle, the crook handle and the crutch handle, although there are others. People who need a cane for mobility are generally better with the crutch handle or the Derby handle. Knob handle canes can be plain, rustic or bejewelled and elegant.
The shaft of a cane could be wood, aluminium, lucite or carbon fibre. Again, if someone needs a cane for mobility, it is important to get the right kind of shaft e.g. one which is designed for weight-bearing.
My favorite can, currently, is the Mad Hatter multi-wood knob handled cane. It is a style classic, with the handle inlaid with contrasting exotic woods.
The Mad Hatter walking cane is made by a highly skillful craftsman, from a gorgeous exotic Wenge wood, and has a knob handle inlaid with a variety of exotic woods such as Ovangkol, Rosewood and Maple.
Knob-Handled Walking Cane - Inset Clock, with Roman Numeral Face
Fine quality woods have been used to make this elegant walking cane. It features a Wenge wood knob handle, including a functional clock, with a crack resistant face.The Royal Canes company uses the finest quality woods available and a special finishing process, with clear lacquer coating to enhance and protect the natural wood grain.
The high quality clock face is marked with roman numerals, and is crack resistant.
Animal Head Canes
Animals and animal heads are popular themes for cane handles. Perhaps they say a little about our personalities... I have seen some beautifully carved wooden animal head canes, for example, snakes, dragon and dogs. Other choices are resin or metal animal or bird heads: lion, horse, eagle, dolphin and black mamba.
This great cane can be used for formal dressing up or casual dressing down. The intricately detailed, chrome-plated eagle handle is fitted to a blue-stained Ash wood shaft that looks like blue denim.
Amazing Hand Carved Canes - See skilled craftsmen in action
There are some incredibly talented people out there. I love to watch a skilled craftsman working. In case you do too, here are some cool videos of canes being carved.
The Art Of Making Custom Walking Canes
Hound Headed Canes
I do love dogs, especially big hounds, so hound-headed canes appeal to me. Depending on your favorite breed, you can choose from bulldog, labrador, retreiever, or even wolf! My personal favorite of these is the super sleek Russian hound.
A sleek Russian Hound adds a touch of elegance to this superb maple shaft cane.
If like me you are based in the UK and want to get a good quality walking cane at the best price: Gents Walking Stick Carved Wood Derby Handle Cane with Spiral.
UK residents can also find other superb canes through this link.
Antique & Collectible Canes and Walking Sticks
Whether brand new or antique, canes can be objects of beauty. Finely crafted, from high quality materials, a classic cane adds style and panache!
If money is no problem, Vertical Art is a delightful book presenting over 400 canes, including everything from tortoise shell and gemstones to ivory, from the 17th century onwards. For those of us with more restricted budgets, Canes Through the Ages is also a super book.
Vertical Art: The Enduring Beauty of Antique Canes and Walking Sticks is a highly recommended collectors treasure. A stunning photo essay by Italian photographer Umberto Barone showing the superb canes of an anonymous Californian collector, with well-written descriptions, by Roberta Maneker, providing information and understanding about the making and historical significance of the canes.The photographs are wonderful and only surpassed by the beauty of the canes themselves. The printing and binding of the book is exquisite.
Francis Monek is a world authority on canes, and here describes the history, development and construction of canes. He includes engaging tales of cane hunting and the rare sticks he has found over the years. Includes more than 1200 color photos and illustrations, information on the repair of damaged canes, and invaluable tips for new collectors.
Hiking Canes - Hiking poles & staffs
i enjoy walking in the mountains in England and Wales - yes, we have mountains! For hiking, a longer, stouter cane can be very useful. Even if you don't intend to leap over streams, or the like, it can help you to negotiate obstacles on your path.
One important point is to think about your own physical abilities, your height and your weight, and how you will use your hiking pole. If you are an active hiker, who enjoys strenuous conditions, you might opt for a strong and durable hickory pole.
Personally, I'm not so big 5'5" or heavy, nor am I very strong, so an ash pole, strong but reasonably lightweight suits me better.
Another very nice choice is the beautiful aromatic cedar walking staff. It has red and purple hues which swirl elegantly along the shaft.
Stunning Twisted Colorwood Walking Stick
Strong, easy to handle and beautiful, these walking sticks make ideal walking companions. The sticks are unique, original creations, made in the USA by skilled craftsmen. As they are made from a naturally occurring piece of wood, they will vary in shape and thickness. Every walking stick or walking cane is an original creation -- no two are the same.
Making Walking Canes & Sticks - As a craft, a hobby or to earn some money
Inspired by the videos?
Whether you are a complete beginner, interested in starting a new hobby, or a well-seasoned woodworker, your first cane could be a challenge. You will need to consider the best types of wood to use, the basic techniques to master, and the materials and tools required. As always, it's helpful to take the advice of experts!
Andrew Jones and Clive George give a detailed introduction to stickmaking, its history and philosophy. They explain how to craft traditional walking sticks and crooks from start to finish, including toolmaking. The authors also explain how to identify, cut and season suitable wood and how to select materials to carve into handles. The book includes many diagrams and color photographs and clear instructions for a variety of projects.
Walking Stick and Cane Stands - Or umbrella stands, whichever you prefer!
If you are a collector of fine canes, you really need a way to display them. A sleek and stylish stand made from quality wood can hold your canes and umbrellas safely and neatly. Cane stands come in various sizes, some hold up to 36 canes, helping to keep them straight and undamaged.
Handcrafted from durable pine, this high quality walking cane stand will complement any room. This three-tiered cane storage system is handcrafted from pine. It will hold 24 canes, at three different heights, so is great for displaying your collection.