Good morning! So which one should walking sticks be- great souvenirs or practical, useful tools?
Even though it is not very frugal – I’m glad we have some of each!
Practical Walking Sticks
When I’m hiking, a practical, useful tool is important. I’m not young (so the kids tell me) and I’ve never been graceful or sure-footed.
Years ago, walking up a creak with little children, I was the only one to not stay balanced on the rocks. Thankfully the water was not deep.
And at Maquoketa State Park, I watched from a drier, safer path as the husband and the youngest explored.
Since I’m usually a bit clumsy, my telescoping walking stick is wonderful! We bought two many years ago, and have gotten lots of use out of them. They fit under the camper dinette and in the back seat of the truck (even with igloos, coolers and kids’ feet).
I like that these walking sticks adjust to different heights and have a wrist loop so they don’t get dropped . The sharp point (under a removable cap) is also helpful on some trails.
Presents can be Walking Sticks
2 of our walking sticks were presents. A friend, that we camp with, made us individualized walking sticks. He is a woodworker and the wood burned walking sticks are pretty.
Insects and bugs are crawling up the youngest’s walking stick and the husband’s has our names and ‘Ford Tough’ on it. We tease that it must have hurt him to make the husband’s walking stick- our friend’s truck is a Chevy.
Pretty, Souvenir Walking Sticks
Our last walking stick was not frugal, but it is a great souvenir of family vacations since it is covered with medallions.
On our second trip to South Dakota, the husband started collecting walking stick (or hiking) medallions.
While we were hiking around Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming, we saw another hiker with an amazing walking stick. It was completely covered with medallions!
At the time, we had just a few walking stick medallions and not even a wood walking stick to put them on. Now, we have collected medallions from South Dakota, our Minnesota North Shore trip and Pike’s Peak in Iowa, along the Mississippi River.
Not every place has walking stick medallions to buy, but it is fun to search for them.
It was even fun searching for a walking stick. We eventually found one at Minnesota’s Grand Portage State Park.
Grand Portage State Park is by the Canadian/US border. The smaller gift shop had some pretty, frugal walking sticks- around $10.
I thought the husband would make one, but since we found one at the end of our North Shore trip, we bought it. What a great souvenir from the trip.
The walking stick medallions are attached with very tiny nails to the walking stick. So, the husband used a drill to predrill the holes. We didn’t think the tiny nails would crack the stick, but we still didn’t want to take the chance. Of course, I would have gone back to get a new one (and to go rock hunting some more)!
A few of the medallions had to be slightly bent to fit snuggly around the walking stick. Only one of them cracked and broke. Unfortunately, it was the husband’s favorite one- the medallion from Mount Rushmore. Hopefully, we can go back to South Dakota soon and get a new one.
So which one should walking sticks be- great souvenirs or practical, useful tools?
I am so glad that walking sticks can be both. They are great useful tools, ones that I hope to use soon when all the ice and snow melt. And with all the medallions, walking sticks can also be great souvenirs of family vacations.
Why not try one of each?
Happy Camping (and safe hiking!)