Why Use a Walking Stick?

Walking sticks are regular companions to people of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the type of walking. Anything from a simple afternoon stroll to a rigorous multi-day hike through the woods can be aided by a walking stick.  Such aids range from a simple stick made from a tree branch to specialized, ergonomic sticks purchased at high prices from outdoor-gear stores. Regardless of the stick you use, there are several ways they can help you.
Many people see a walking stick as merely an orthopaedic device; something only to be used by the elderly or infirm. The hiker, casual walker, farmer or other country person knows better. A good walking stick, apart from its aesthetic qualities, quickly becomes a constant companion and something to be appreciated by its owner and admired or envied by others.
When out walking, a good stick is more than just a piece of wood to stop you falling over. It helps maintain the natural rhythm of your gait and seems to make the miles less fatiguing. At the same time it comes in handy for pushing aside brambles and nettles;  helping you scramble up a bank; or fending off fearsomely agressive dogs. (For some reason, the most aggressive dog will ease off once he notices that you are comfortably armed!). The farmer uses his stick to move animals around or to lean on while yarning with his neighbours.
It’s true that many of us will become infirm sooner or later and have a need for some sort of walking aid. But, why wait until then? Why not let a walking stick become your inseparable companion when out of doors?  Why not become accustomised to something you will enjoy using, something that looks good, feels good and makes others almost envious of seeing you out and about with a nice walking stick?