28 forum posts
I do most of my hiking alone and feel a little vulnerable, especially now that I'm not as young and strong as I once was. Bear spray is probably the most effective defense against possible threats, but I don't have total confidence in aerosol cans, especially ones that have been sitting around a couple years, and getting it out to use it can take time that you probably don't have. In an emergency, you are going to be fumbling around to get it out and remove the safety clip. I wanted something that is instantly deployable, foolproof, and isn't perceived, necessarily, as a weapon. I don't want to scare my fellow hikers.
To that end, I ordered a couple walking sticks from Knife Center and made by Cold Steel Knives, the Walkabout and the African walking stick. Both were about $24, but the oversize shipping is quite a bit. Both are an intimidating black that screams "weapon". I'm going to try painting them a less scary color. Both are a little heavy for a walking stick, but would be very effective in a fight for your life. They are thick and sturdy. The Walkabout is probably better as a hiking aid, but the African Walking Stick looks less like a weapon, yet is probably the more effective of the two as a weapon. The ball on top of the African is big, too big for anyone that wears less than an XL glove to grip, and the nodes on the shaft give you a better grip on a material that is rather slippery (polypropylene).
They are basically clubs. A club is a formidable weapon. You can jab with the shaft or swing like a baseball bat. They are potentially deadly and should be treated as such. Using them as a weapon should not be taken lightly.