Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Can the Cane

Friday, February 27, 2009

Canes make you look old. Hiking sticks, however, make you look athletic. Both aid balance when traveling over unfamiliar terrain, so why look old?

If you've ever tried a hiking/walking stick over uneven ground, you know how much more secure and balanced you feel with one, or two.

If your travel is by car, go wild with a unique, hand-crafted wooden job. The trick is to pick one that fits your grip and height without being too heavy or cumbersome.

Tip: Physical therapists at Brooks Rehabilitation Center and the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute recommend moving the stick simultaneously with your weaker side.

Fliers are limited to the retractable variety. Sports shops or outfitters usually stock several models in a rainbow of colors. These are adjustable, so height and grip are not an issue, but security is. Test a stick for how much weight you can put on it before the twisted-in-place-adjusters loosen. If traveling to extreme climates, ask how cold and heat affect those closures and make sure you can return it if it doesn't perform as promised.

Tip: Measure your luggage before shopping for a retractable stick. I haven't been able to find a stick that fits in anything smaller than a 26-inch suitcase, so if you find one, please let us know the brand.


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