Walking stick  

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A walking stick is a device used by many people to facilitate balancing whilst walking. It may be used as a defensive or offensive weapon, and may conceal a knife or sword as in a swordstick. Walking sticks come in many shapes and sizes, leading to their being collected. Some kinds of walking stick may be used by the handicapped as a crutch.

Walking sticks, also called trekking poles, pilgrim's staffs, hiking poles or hiking sticks, are used by hikers for a wide variety of purposes: to clear spiderwebs, part thick bushes or grass obscuring the trail; as a support when going uphill or a brake when going downhill; as a balance point when crossing streams, swamps or other rough terrain; to feel for obstacles in the path; to test mud and puddles for depth; and as a defense against wild animals. A walking stick can be improvised from nearby felled wood. More ornate sticks are made for avid hikers, and are often adorned with small trinkets or medallions depicting "conquered" territory.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Walking stick" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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