Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wizard of Walking

I watched the movie The Way last fall, about a pilgrimage route through Spain that is at least 200km.  All of the walking pilgrims had pairs of hiking sticks (I've also seen them called trekking poles), and I was interested in how they might be helpful.  Looking online, they seem to redistribute some of the weight/effort from the legs to the arms and shoulders, which can help alleviate knee and ankle problems.  I don't have any leg problems (except blisters on my heels at the moment), but I plan to walk a lot this year in preparation for going up a mountain in the fall, and the sticks also help a lot with going up/downhill.  Does anyone have any experience or advice on this?

An alternative is also a single staff instead of a pair of poles.  It's not as even but can be easier to carry, and let's just face it: I want to use a staff.  I actually have 3 at home that I might try to use on hikes, but I'm pretty sure that would end anyone's being willing to hike with me.  Can't help it though - it's the only accessory I've ever wanted.  Any advice on staff vs. poles?


  1. You know, someone in Pfluger Park once told me they saw a cougar, maybe you should carry a sword to defend yourself?

    I don't know anything about this topic, but it all seems to makes sense, and it might be fun to switch it around sometimes so you get an arm workout on one day and the next is just legs.

  2. Yay, even though I walk through the valley of Pfluge I fear no evil - thy rod, thy staff, they comfort me.