Walking Sticks – A Natural Product

Many of the walking sticks we sell online are natural products and so being will vary to the one advertised on our website. The shape and size of the handle and the diameter of the shaft may vary a little bit. In our opinion this lends to the beauty and individuality of a walking stick.

Sticks such as the coppiced knobsticks, the cross-head sticks, pistol grip canes, thumbsticks, hiking sticks, the antler topped sticks and of course the hand carved and handmade sticks all fall into this category. They are collectively known as “country sticks” as they are “grown” in the woodland and are all slightly different.

The height of the stick is much easier to keep the same and always is the same as the one described on our website .
If you have specific measurements or a particular appearance in mind then please contact us and we can send you pictures of the stock we have so that you can choose yourself. Variations such as the colour of the wood can be easily shown and therefore chosen by you simply by emailing or sending a SMS message to your phone. Woods such as hazel can vary from quite dark to light and blackthorn from dark purple to a red/brown colour and ash from various shades of green and grey.

We also offer a handmade and bespoke service so that you can have the exact walking stick you want, specially made for you.Please contact us in the usual way with any enquiries.

 

Walking is Good For You

Going for a walk is really good for you! Recent research by the Ramblers
Association and Macmillan Cancer Support has found that almost 37,000 lives
would be saved in the UK each year if everyone walked for two and a half hours
a week. This moderate level of exercise would prevent thousands of cases of
cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

The two organisations run a scheme, Walking for Health, which promotes short
free walks around the country. As all of our lovely customers know, a country
walk is always improved by using a stick, and we keep a large stock of trekking
poles and wooden hiking sticks to help our customers to live healthier lives.

Don’t worry about joining a gym or buying lots of expensive equipment! All
you need is to step out of your house and go for a walk. The Walking for Health
website tells you how to make this a fun thing to do, meeting people, getting
healthy, feeling better and staying motivated to keep walking everyday.
Take a look at the following website for more information and how to find a
walking group near you.

http://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/

There is a wealth of information on the Walking For Health website including;
walking with health conditions (walking with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and
asthma), reports by walkers, your questions answered, volunteering and
running a health walk and how to start walking in a group or on your own today.
The walker’s stories are particularly interesting and motivating.

For example,
Alfred’s story below;

Alfred Clews, 71, was first referred to Walking for Health by his diabetic nurse.
Now a walk leader for Walkabout Wrekin, in Telford he has been leading health
walks for 9 years.

“I had always enjoyed walking and being outdoors ever since my days as a Boy
Scout. Throughout my life, walking has helped me through depression, severe
agoraphobia, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and thyroid and cholesterol
problems.”

In 2012, Alfred was diagnosed with bowel cancer, and spent Christmas in
hospital to receive treatment. Afterwards he felt very weak, and was barely able
to walk, but as time went on, he gradually recovered and when he returned
home he walked outside three times a day with his wife keeping him company.

Alfred’s experience of cancer led him to set up ’Routes to Renewal Walks’ as
part of Walkabout Wrekin for people recovering from surgery, or who have
chronic conditions or physical or emotional disabilities.

“It’s the walk with which I am most pleased and includes my wife, who is
disabled with arthritis, on her mobility scooter, a lady on dialysis who is also
diabetic, people with joint replacements and some with breathing or heart
problems. The walk is adapted to suit every condition with which we are faced.
Everyone says they really feel the benefit from the walks.”

Alfred has found leading the walks incredibly rewarding. He has particularly
enjoyed seeing the benefit the walks bring to walkers, many of whom are
nervous about walking alone.

“Walking for Health enhances so many lives, provides time for reflection,
companionship and the general feeling of well-being, which can all help in the
resolution of life’s difficulties.”

“I’m a somewhat overweight, 71 year old diabetic with high blood pressure,
thyroid and cholesterol problems and who has had cancer. If I can still walk
over the Shropshire Hills, there is hope for anyone!”

and Bryony’s story,
“I joined Walking for Health in November 2012 to build up my fitness and
improve my health following surgery to remove a tumour. I’d been allowed to do
some restrictive exercise by my consultant before this, but nothing strenuous.

Following my surgery I wasn’t able to walk far, due to being immobile for two
weeks in hospital. A physiotherapist helped me walk slowly down a corridor at
first, which was very hard going. I decided to take it slowly and do short walks
with the aid of a hiking stick so I didn’t fall over, and could prop myself up for a
rest.

I found out about Walking for Health through a friend who recommended it. I
searched online and found there were two very local walks for me, so I joined a
group the following day.

My first Walking for Health walk was really good. I was able to meet lots of
people and found the walk easy going and not too hard for my health.

I noticed each time I went out for the walks I felt stronger and stronger. After a
few weeks I was able to get up the hill quicker, without the aid of a hiking stick,
and my breathing was better.

Being out in the green spaces was really nice and it was also great socially, as
after the walks we finished up at a café for refreshments. I’m pleased I’ve met
so many different people and made such good friends.

Six months on my fitness and health has really improved. I’ve also been out
walking in the Yorkshire moors and on the coast in Whitby with friends. Walking
has been very important to my recovery – it’s helped me boost my energy
levels, well being and confidence.”

New Christmas Ideas Pages for Walking Sticks and Accessories

We have added 2 pages to the Walking Sticks Online website for Christmas gift ideas. There are ideas for which walking sticks to buy men and some great suggestions for women too. Click on the links below to have a browse.

Men can be tricky to buy for but we have got some winning suggestions and some pretty but practical sticks for women. If you need any advice or would like to add an engraved message then give us a call or email us today! We will be posting to UK addresses right up until the 23rd December this year.

Walking Stick Gifts For Her
Walking Stick Gifts For Her
Walking Stick Gifts For Him
Walking Stick Gifts For Him

 

How to Personalise your Walking Stick

There a lots of great ways to personalise a walking stick, for yourself or as a gift for somebody special.
This article discusses some of the most popular options.
Firstly and the most obvious is adding an engraved plaque on to a walking stick. Some walking sticks have a silver or brass collar which can be engraved or a larger area such as the handle. There is enough space
on a collar to add a name, some initials or a date. If the collar is too difficult to engrave, then a brass plaque can be engraved and then tacked on to the shaft. A plaque allows a bit more space so you could add a name
and a date or a message or a short saying. The plaques themselves can be silver plated or brass in an oval shape or indeed any shape that can be bent around the shaft. You can also use pennies.

Many people like to add badges to their walking stick. The badges again are bent around the shaft of the stick and then either glued or tacked on. Badges available on the market today include British counties, country flags, clubs, football clubs, dogs, cats, horses, military badges and celtic or other symbols. You can also find famous people, places and other animals. The pewter badges are very attractive and the other badges are usually very colourful and add considerable character to your cane.

Straps and ribbons and other things that can be tied around the shaft also offer some individuality to a walking stick, as do whistles. You can add a dog whistle for calling your pet or a duck call. Whistles can be tied around the shaft or they are sometimes incorporated in to the handle. For example a thumbstick with a whistle carved into one of the tines of the V.

The other way to personalise a walking stick is to have the handle carved from wood or made out of resin to your particular design, such as your pet’s head. You could have a black labrador head with your pet’s name painted onto the collar or something like that. Resin is a fantastic material that when poured into a mould and then painted can be made to look just like the real thing.

Pyrography is another lovely art that produces a great effect on a walking stick. Pyrography is when a design is burnt into the wood with a special pen that looks rather like a soldering iron. You can achieve some detailed and beautiful results with this method.

I hope you feel inspired now to do something with your walking stick to personalise it and make it your own. Call us today on 0208 123 8042 to discuss your project or email us with any questions.

Please visit Walking Sticks Online to browse our walking sticks and/or order the engraving service.

A New Walking Stick this Autumn? Find a Great Choice at Walking Sticks Online

Time for a new walking stick? Then go to www.walkingsticksonline.co.uk for a large choice, helpful customer service and easy ordering.

This autumn we have a number of handsome canes in golden hues and natural colours. Reds, golds and browns are the colours of autumn and you will find many sticks in stock in these attractive colours.

The section with the largest range is the Derby Walking Canes. Please see the selection below:

Autumn Gold Ladies Derby Walking Cane
Autumn Gold Ladies Derby Walking Cane. This is a strong wooden Derby cane with a pretty patterned shaft and natural wood handle.
Afromosia Derby Walking Cane
Afromosia Derby Walking Cane. The golden colour of Afromosia wood makes this cane particularly attractive and popular since we added it to the site a couple of months ago. Afromosia is an alternative to teak and shares the same properties such as strength and hardness

 

Horn Handled Derby Cane
This is another popular and very attractive stick with a lovely horn inlay in the handle. Beautiful colour and finish.

We have lots of other colourful walking sticks available to browse and buy today. Please call 0208 123 8042 if you have any questions or to place an order.

Get Ordnance Survey Maps on your Android Device

Do you enjoy walking in the great outdoors? Then this blog post might interest you. I have long been a fan of Ordnance Survey maps with all of the wonderful detail, history and contour lines they show on an area of Great Britain that you love.

The first one-inch paper map of Kent was published in 1801 and the last map was digitised in 1995! You can buy the maps for your Kindle or iPad and now you can have them on your Android phone too!

Please see below the latest news from Ordnance Survey. We are delighted to announce that the popular OS MapFinder mapping app has now been released for Android devices. OS MapFinder, the first official mapping app from OS, was first released on iOS devices in January 2013. The app has proved popular with outdoor enthusiasts with over 100,000 downloads in the first 6 months.

Ordnance Survey extends OS MapFinder app to Android market

Ordnance Survey has entered the Android market for the first time with the launch of its OS MapFinder app. The app, which has been available on iOS since earlier this year and proving very popular, is a welcome addition to the national mapping authority’s digital portfolio of products and a must-see for Android outdoor enthusiasts and people looking to explore more of Great Britain.

Nick Giles, General Manager of Ordnance Survey Leisure, said: “We are delighted to enter the Android market with an app that has been very successful on iOS devices and bring its great capabilities to Android users.

“We have been keen to incorporate many of the features the iOS version of OS MapFinder boasts including the option to both import and export routes. We’ve also added the feature for Android users to be able to lock orientation on the app. Many other features are still in development for the Android version and we’re already looking forward to bringing users the first update.”

Users can easily share between OS MapFinder and OS getamap, with over 250,000 routes uploaded in OS getamap, there is already plenty to explore. The feature allows the sharing of routes across both of Ordnance Survey leisure platforms, enabling users to see, and explore routes on the most trusted and highest quality digital mapping of Great Britain.

OS MapFinder is free to download from the ‘Travel and Local’ category of Google Play Store and includes free overview mapping for the whole of Great Britain. Once downloaded OS MapFinder allows users to purchase and download more detailed map data for outdoor use. A unique feature of the fast and easy to use app is the tile download facility, which provides users with the ultimate freedom to choose the maps they want. All maps are stored on the device, meaning they can be used even without a Wi-Fi or mobile signal, improving reliability and the experience of using the maps outdoors. OS MapFinder allows users to record or draw their walking, cycling or running routes, adding photos and commentary along the way.

Nick added: “OS MapFinder is a must have mapping app for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. If you are planning a holiday or day trip; then explore the area in added detail with OS MapFinder. We look forward to hearing customer feedback as we have with the iOS version and enhance the Android app in the future.”

The OS MapFinder app is free to download from the Google Play Store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.ordnancesurvey.mobileapp.cola&hl=en_GB.

New! Instructions and User Guides for Walking Sticks & Accessories

We have recently added a new section under the “Information” tab in the navigation menu of www.walkingsticksonline.co.uk called “Instructions and User Guides for Walking Sticks & Accessories”.

The new section includes instructions for the following:

1. The Ice Grip Ferrule – This handy gadget fits on to any walking stick and provides a grip in icy or wet conditions.

2. Folding Walking Sticks – Read how to fold, unfold and adjust the height for your folding walking stick.

3. Height Adjustable Walking Sticks – We sell a lot of height adjustable walking sticks with different handle types but with the same height adjusting mechanism.

4. Flipsticks – We supply fixed length, folding and height adjustable flipsticks. Click on the link to read how to use a flip stick.

5. Hiking Poles – Our aluminium hiking poles are very popular and they can be used in lots of different ways. You can read all about it by clicking on the link.

6. Quad & Offset Walking Canes – Quad and offset walking canes are also height adjustable.

7. Shooting Sticks – Shooting sticks can be used on hard or soft ground by using a rubber or spiked tip and by employing or disabling the ground plate. We sell fixed length and height adjustable shooting sticks.

8. Ventus Audio Walking Stick – The new Ventus Audio Walking Stick is a bit different from the last model we supplied. It is now adjustable but NOT folding and there are some great new features.

The instructions are available to read online or you can download and print the pdf files to keep.

If I Order a Walking Stick Online Today will it be Delivered Tomorrow?

This is an email or phone question that we get asked several times a day and the answer is yes. If you order before 1pm monday to friday, your walking stick order can be delivered to all UK addresses on a next day
delivery.
Most parcels will be sent out using the courier company DPD and the rest will be sent by Royal Mail. DPD will send you a SMS text to let you know the 2 hour delivery window so that you won’t have to wait in all day.
So don’t forget to add your mobile number when placing an order with us.
Remember, next day does not include bank holidays and we do not dispatch on a saturday.
We have stock of 99.9% of the walking sticks on our website nearly all of the time, but occasionally we get an order for a next day delivery that cannot be fufilled because the last stick with that order code was just
dispatched.

When this happens we will call or email or both to offer an alternative or to let you know when it can be delivered (i.e 2 days later) and refund you the next day postage. We make orders weekly with the eight suppliers and stick makers we are currently working with so out of stock items are quite unusual.

We also offer a saturday delivery to all UK addresses. So if you make your order on a Friday before 1pm you can choose the next working day option for delivery on the following Monday or the Saturday delivery option for delivery the next day. Remember, you can also choose a different delivery address as long as there is someone to sign for the parcel.

We have some really lovely walking sticks in stock and ready to send, click on the following link to have a browse today: Go to the Walking Sticks Online Shop

How to Look after your Walking Stick

Your walking stick was very well made and looks really smart. How can you protect it from daily wear and tear and keep it looking good for years to come? This article discusses measures you can take to look after your walking stick.
The most perishable part of any cane is the ferrule or tip at the end, where the cane meets the ground. You can buy rubber, brass or steel ferrules depending on whether you want a firm grip (rubber) on the ground to avoid slips or a metal ferrule for dressier canes.
Rubber ferrules wear out fairly quickly (depending on how much the cane is used indoors and outdoors) so it is wise to buy a few at a time so that you always have a spare.
If you are using a walking stick as a walking aid, then checking the condition of the ferrule and replacing when it is worn is paramount to the reliability and safety of your cane.
Wooden Walking Sticks
Most walking sticks are made out of wood, a wooden handle fixed onto a wooden shaft and can therefore be looked after like any other piece of wood. Avoid leaving your stick against a radiator or any other heat output as this can cause warping or cracking. Your stick should be kept somewhere warm and dry, i.e indoors.
Always dry your stick by wiping it with a tea towel or cloth if you have been using it in wet weather and keep it clean of mud and grime by using a damp cloth to gently wipe it.
For sticks that have a varnish, you can use furniture polish or beeswax to protect the wood from time to time.
For natural sticks, that is ones with the bark still on them, apply some danish oil or furniture oil once a year with a dry cloth to keep the polished finish or just dry polish it with a cloth.
Metal Walking Canes
To look after these canes, which are mostly height adjustable, always ensure the tightening collar is re-tightened once the correct height is set. This will prevent wear and tear on the joint and stop any clicks or rattles. It will also make the cane more secure. Most folding canes you can buy are made from aluminium so the same care applies to them too.
Dropping your Walking Stick
Most walking sticks will survive the occasional fall now and again quite well but the ones that will be damaged are the collectible type with resin toppers such as our Sherlock Holmes cane with the moulded resin handle. You can avoid dropping your stick by purchasing a cane
holder, a wrist strap or a WalkingStickMate TM. Any of these products are designed to keep the stick in place so that it doesn’t fall onto the floor.
Probably the most common mistake is leaning a walking cane against a table edge, only to hear it clatter to the floor! Any of the accessories mentioned above can prevent this and they are all inexpensive and portable.
Sticks with leather handles, shafts and the leather sling seats on the shooting sticks can be cared for in the same way as any other leather products by using leather cleaners and conditioners. There are many different products out there on the market so if the leather on your shooting stick is a bit dry and stiff then use some leather food.
As leather is a natural product it can become mildewed or mouldy if left in a damp place. If it gets wet when out, it is good practice to dry it off with a dry cloth and keep indoors away from any radiators of other sources of heat. This will avoid cracks in the leather.
Apart from the collectors’ cane handles, the other types that can be easily damaged are the silver, chrome, nickel and brass plate handled canes. Particularly the silver-plated as silver is such a soft metal. The user must be careful not to scratch the handle with rings on fingers and gloves may need to be worn by some users as the reaction of the skin with the handle to cause the silver-plate layer to wear thin.
The problems with these kind of sticks are many due to the materials used but as they are meant to be used only occasionally, for weddings or other special occasions, the wear and tear can be kept to a minimum.
Repairs and Spare Parts
From time to time you may need to come back and ask us for spare parts, some of which are free and others which will need to be paid for. For example, we supply the spare flasks that hold the tipple in the tippling sticks. The handmade walking sticks can all be returned for repairs as our stick-makers are absolutely diligent about quality and they are always very shocked in the event that one of their sticks gets broken.
One stick-maker is an engineer and he always wants to find out “the how and why” any stick gets broken. His sticks are made to last a lifetime at least.
The commonest problem we hear about is leaving a walking stick behind somewhere and never seeing it again! For this problem we can only suggest the WalkingStickMate TM or a wrist strap to help NOT forgetting your stick!

How to Make a Ram’s Horn Shepherd’s Crook Handle for a Walking Stick

The method of transforming a Ram’s horn into a beautiful handle on a walking stick has changed considerably over time. The main difference is the horn itself. Back in the days of common land and shepherds, rams were allowed to live much longer and therefore produced much larger horns. Then, only the solid tips of the horns were bent and made into the handle of choice (usually a shepherd’s crook or market stick).

Ram's Horn
Ram’s Horn
Nowadays, as only predominantly smaller horns are available, the solid tip of the horn is not enough to make a handle so the horn needs to be compressed and bent repeatedly until the right shape and a solid handle is achieved. This is a very long and slow process and that is why you won’t find any cheap walking sticks with curly ram’s horn handles!
But wait we are getting ahead of ourselves.
When the ram’s horns are cut from the skull of the animal (this is usually as a bi-product of the meat trade) they are then left to dry out for at least a year. Then the best ones are selected, for example ones that don’t have splits or blood clots (blood clots or blood blisters can be caused by fighting and produce a red mark on the surface) in them.
For a crook handle, you need at least 40cm of hollow horn for it to be a success. The best way to measure this is by pushing a length of slightly bendy wire down the horn until it reaches the solid tip and then marking the 40 centimetres on the horn and cutting off the surplus.
The thickness of the walls needs to be at least 6mm otherwise the walls are in danger of collapsing when heat and pressure processes begin.
If the above measurements don’t quite make it then all is not lost. If you only have 30 centimetres with a wall thickness of 6mm then you could make a market stick instead.
The first step is to remove the quick (this is the core inside the horn which can extend to about a third of the horn’s length). After drying out for a year, the quick should be dislodged quite easily with a sharp tap. If not then the horn can be boiled, dried and then tapped again.
The next step then is to reduce the size of the cavity that the removal of the quick has left to make the horn suitable as a walking stick handle. This is done by a process of heating and compressing. The horn is boiled for 30 minutes and then placed in a mould and clamped in a vice overnight. A bolt is inserted into the cavity at this early stage to prevent the horn from collapsing.
When the horn has been left to cool overnight, the next step is to take out the natural curl in the horn. This is achieved by reheating the horn with a hot air gun and clamping it to a metal plate. The horn is gradually heated and pressed down onto the metal plate until it is flat against the plate. It is then clamped into place and left to cool overnight again. While cooling down, the hole in the neck that was left by the bolt can be filled with a resin (a liquid that sets hard when left to dry). This will eventually be drilled to make a hole for a dowel that will attach the handle to the walking stick shank.
So now you have the basic shape of the crook, the next step is to apply more heat and pressure to squeeze the crook into the best shape and finish possible. Starting at the neck of the handle heat and pressure is applied working right the way to the nose (i.e in the opposite direction to where the shank will meet the handle base). This stage can be done in one go and the result should be a nice looking crook handle with rounded edges.
The final stage is to create a curl in the nose so that it curls outwards. This is done again be heating, bending and clamping until the right shape is achieved. The heating and pressure process is possible because ram’s horn is not bone (which cannot be bent and shaped like this) it is more like hair in it’s properties.
For the finish, a good polish is the best thing. Polishing brings out all of the lovely patterns and colours in the horn and the beauty of it can be realised. Shaped ram’s horn handles command a high price because of the extensive and careful work that goes into forming one so don’t go and ruin it was lashings of varnish!
The only downside to working with ram’s horn or indeed with any animal horn is the smell! Horn has a really pungent smell that gets everywhere and is difficult to escape. So if you are interested in a project like this then an outdoor workshop away from your home is recommended!