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Some people assume walking sticks are only used when you’re injured or have trouble walking. However, they can be incredibly helpful for even the most athletic of hikers. Find out the benefits of using them, plus our readers’ picks for the best walking sticks!
Best Walking Sticks
Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:
Do any of you ladies use walking poles? What kind do you recommend?
Whether you’re recovering from an injury or are heading on a rigorous hiking trek, a walking stick or cane can make your travel experience more manageable and enjoyable. There are several types of walking sticks, and some prefer to walk with one in each hand, while others only use one to keep their other hand free.
Why Use a Walking Stick?
A walking stick (or pair of them) is great for long periods of walking on rugged terrain. Many travelers use them when hiking the Inca trail or any mountains because they’re helpful in a few ways.
For one, they help protect your joints by reducing stress on your knees, ankles, hips, and spine, especially when walking downhill. They also offer stability when navigating difficult trails and can relieve weight from your daypack.
One reader says, “I used two poles for the Inca trail. They were literally worth their weight in gold! They definitely helped take the weight of the backpack, and helped me up and down the thousands of stairs!”
If you’re headed on a hike, we recommend adding one to your hiking packing list!
Do You Have to Check a Walking Stick?
A big question readers have asked is whether or not they can bring their walking sticks as carry on. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. It depends on the airline and the size of the walking stick.
One reader says, “I have collapsed and carried them on Delta, United, JetBlue, and WowAir when flying out of the United States. When flying back to the US, I have always been told to check them. Check with your airline if you decide to take hiking poles with you on a flight.”
Another adds, “Most airlines will not let you carry on. I did contact each airline, and got the okay in writing to carry mine on. I never had anyone in security stop me in the US, but it would be up to TSA, not the airline at that point. However, in Reykjavik, Kilimanjaro, and Auckland I was told to check them.”
If you’re worried about having to check them, some readers recommend renting them at your destination. One reader says, “We rented them last year when we hiked the Inca Trail. We each got one. Not expensive at all, and I felt they were worthwhile.”
Another reader adds, “I rent them at my destination. It’s easy to find rentals in Colorado and Carolinas. Definitely go for collapsible types.”
Read our tips on how to avoid checking your luggage!
Our Readers’ Favorite Walking Sticks
While you can rent walking sticks and hiking poles at many destinations, it’s recommended you buy your own if you plan on using one regularly. It’ll be cheaper in the long run, and you can make sure you have one that suits your needs.
Here, our readers share their top picks for their favorite walking sticks and canes.
HurryCane Folding Cane
The HurryCane is made with cutting-edge, patented technology that makes it feel like an extension of the body. Along with stabilizing like a foot, it pivots like an ankle and bends like a knee. Use one for extra support on one side or two for stability. The handle height is adjustable so you can customize the fit based on your height.
One reader says, “the HurryCane makes a foldable cane that is really good. I have recommended it many times to my patients who are recovering from an injury or who need additional support.”
Drive Medical Adjustable Lightweight Folding Cane
If you are looking for comfort and style, the Drive Medical cane is a great option. The adjustable height folding gel grip cane is designed to reduce stress and hand fatigue providing a more comfortable experience.
One reader says, “this is the cane I use when I need it for the arthritis in my knees. Mine came with a drawstring bag. I also highly recommend getting a cane with a gel grip. Your hand will thank you.”
Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles
As one of the most popular trekking pole style for women, the Black Diamond poles offer an excellent balance of comfort, features, and affordability. The three piece, ultralight, narrow diameter aluminum shafts, reduce weight without sacrificing strength.
A reader shares, “I use the Black Diamond Trail Shock Pro. I have used them for hiking on glaciers in Iceland, walking the trails in New Zealand, and climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I love these poles. I also have gotten the rubber tip covers so I can use them in the city.” Another reader adds, “I use them too, and I hike almost every weekend. They are great and are much stronger than the ones that fold.”
Leki Legacy Trekking Poles
The Leki Legacy Trekking Poles give you a lot for your dollar. These are a less expensive alternative than similar styles but still offer the ultimate in performance. They’re lightweight yet still strong enough to last through countless miles of hiking.
One reader says, “I got the Leki ultra-short collapsible poles for my trip to England when I was having knee trouble in 2000 but have been using them since. I now just use one, instead of two, but it’s helpful on trips.”
Do you use walking sticks for travel? Share your experiences in the comments below!
For more travel tips, please read:
- Best Walking Shoes for Travel
- How to Choose Travel Shoes
- Where to Shop for Cute Comfort Shoes
- 10 Cute and Comfortable Ballet Travel Flats
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