Too often we find reasons to not be healthy. It’s too expensive, I don’t have time, I’m out of shape, I do not know where to start, I’ll look ridiculous or my body won’t let me. I do not look at these as excuses, but as barriers. I recently spoke with Warren Owen, the owner of Brazos Walking Sticks during an interview. We discuss all of these barriers and why hiking is the best solution. Warren loves hiking and through his business, wants to encourage others to hike more.
Warren has been making walking and hiking sticks and staffs for over 20 years. They also make hand-made wooden canes as well. His small, family owned business is located in Waco, Texas. At one time or another, all six of his children have worked at the business and Warren works with local artists to create these usable pieces of art. Not only are they beautiful, but these gorgeous hiking staffs and wooden canes, help people get outside and hike. All canes and walking and hiking sticks are American-made. The walking sticks and canes have personalities of their own. **Brazos kindly sent me one of their walking sticks so I could also write a review at no cost. This post contains affiliate links, at no cost to you but but clicking on them, we might earn a commission.
How Is Hiking Beneficial to A Healthier Lifestyle? It is a good aerobic and cardio exercise. It gets all of your muscles moving and is low-impact. Hiking gets you outdoors so that you can reap the benefits of being outside like Vitamin D, fresh air and relaxing in nature. Bodies are made to move and walking is one of the best exercises for us. Hiking accomplishes that.
What are some of the barriers or myths that keep people from getting out and hiking more? Hiking is much cheaper than going to the gym. You don’t have to be an athlete to get outdoors. Mobility is something that can be overcome. An individual can go at their own pace within their individual limits. You do not have to hike tens of miles or go through hiking to get the benefits. The modern culture also keeps us from being outdoors and we are just too busy. We need to make time for that, it is very relaxing and therapeutic. Its time to quit making excuses, and thinking its too strenuous or you are not in shape. There are plenty of easy trails out there to start with and get to the more difficult ones from there. You do not have to live in the mountains either, you can hike at your local park.
How is a hiking stick or staff helpful for hiking/ What are the benefits? There are a number of benefits. Essentially, it gives you almost the benefit of a third leg, especially if you are going up or down hill, if there is any kind of change in grade or elevation change. It assists your balance, particularly when you are going downhill. It takes eight off of your lower body and shifts it tio your upper body and is great for helping balance in rough terrain. You don’t have to have mobility issues to enjoy the benefits of a walking staff. When you are part of my generation, and I turned 60 last year, for my age mobility can be an issue and a stick or staff can help walking around the neighborhood, getting over curbs and stairs.
What are some of the unique walking sticks Brazos makes? Besides hand-made canes and walking sticks, Brazos also makes a travelers stick and a photographers stick. The travelers stick breaks down into three pieces so you can easily stow it away in the car or take it on flights. The photographers stick is a mono-pod hiking staff, with a mount for your camera on top. All of the sticks can be customized.
My Review: I broke my ankle when I was pregnant with Niva, and couldn’t have surgery. Each year it gets harder and harder to go hiking, backpacking and even snowboarding. The winter time is the worst. I have avoided canes and trekking poles because they are so unattractive and look like medical equipment, which essentially they are. Last year when I started using a hiking stick, it made my life easier. What’s great about Brazos Walking Sticks, is that they are very functional, hand-made pieces of art, that really get you mobile again. The one I was sent was the hickory hiking pole. What do we love about Brazos?
Unique– Each cane and walking stick is as unique as the wood it comes from. Many of them are from a single piece, lovingly straightened and made into a staff or stick. Each one is made by a local artisan. No two staffs are alike.
Durable– Carbon fiber and aluminum may be lighter, but they both easily bend. Because the hiking staff is made of wood, it is not easily bent or broken and lasts for many years.
Sustainable and Responsibly Sourced– Brazos works with local forestry and timber management to harvest the wood responsibly. One of the reasons that Brazos is local, is so that they can monitor the harvesting of the wood. Many of the saplings are understory, choking larger trees and keeping them from being healthy. These are primarily the hard woods and the roots stay intact so that the tree will grow back in a few years. All material is sustainably harvested. What they do not harvest, Brazos ensures that the domestic companies harvest their wood responsibly.
American-Made and Local– Warren feels very strongly about keeping his business local and American-made. He takes pride in being able to provide jobs and piece work for locals. When I asked him why he chose this model, he said it was so that some jobs could be kept at home and too many jobs are going overseas.
Brazos is currently branching out. Besides the walking and hiking sticks and canes, they have also started manufacturing trekking poles. The company is also creating other artisan gifts like cutting boards. I have a feeling that they will be more involved in outdoor gear in the next few years. You can visit their website , and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter , Youtube and Pinterest. Want to learn more? Here are a few videos, courtesy of Brazos via Facebook.
This would make a great gift for anyone who loves the outdoors. The sticks can be cut down to size if needed, and also used by kids. Each hiking stick comes with a tag listing who the local artist is. There are lots of ways of customizing sticks. I would rather have a beautiful piece of art than medical equipment when hiking outdoors. Warren was very proud of providing a quality product that helps other and gets them outdoors. Don’t let anything stop your from hiking, because anyone can do it. Be outside with no limits. Love, Pauline