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Stick...how heavy is too heavy?

Discussion in 'Other Every Day Carry Items' started by greenmountainbooks, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    I have frequently posted and responded to posts in the past here, usually in the matter of walking sticks and their use in self defense. In fact some have listed me in their posts as the 'go-to' guy on sticks and the choice there of.

    Here is the question: how heavy should a stick be in your view and what is the limit of size/weight for personal carry? I have frequently wrestled with this topic in the past and came to the decision that a crook handle in hickory of the heaviest weight available is best for a variety of reasons. It is entirely invisible, esp. if you are of some years; it is protected as an orthopedic device and cannot be forbidden in places where you cannot take things like overt weapons. I like the crook for its innocous appearance, its ease of use, its use as a control/grab device (you can break limbs with it if you know how, hold a neck, do a trip) and its relative cheapness. (I have advocated the Nasco (Enasco online)- "Elephant Cane" because it is cheap and the heaviest I have found, I often give them away.) I also will not use any stick designed and advertised as a weapon, which pretty much eliminates all CS products.

    However a product has me wondering. There is an aluminum 'stick' on eBay called "Big Tex" which weights an incredible 2.8 lbs.! It only comes in a straight shaft, but I think you could put a T handle on it. It is available in bright colors like the trekking sticks that you now see all over the streets, which I assume would make it more invisible, though I doubt you would get it into a court house once it was examined (at that weight). It comes festooned with various things designed as 'hiking aids' but they are removeable. I doubt anyone would actually use this hiking at this weight, about the same I imagine as a baseball bat.

    What do you think? Is this too heavy? What is too heavy? A friend advocates light sticks for speed of use and lack of threatening appearance. What is your ideal weight? Is a straight shaft with a slightly bulbous head out of the question? What do you use to ensure invisibility?
     
    Last edited by greenmountainbooks, Sep 10, 2012
  2. defuse kit

    defuse kit Loaded Pockets

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    Want to ensure invisibility with your walking stick? Be an old man.
     
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  3. kertap75

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Wow that seems really heavy! How much do the canes you usually use weigh? as a walking aid I would guess that would be too much. As an improvised weapon it might still be ok. You could always choke up for more speed, and that sounds more then heavy enough to break an arm used to block a slower swing. I would love to hear what the experts have to say about this though, very interesting delema

    Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2
     
  4. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    At 60 years, I qualify as long as the stick is not clearly a weapon...like for example the CS City Stick with the stainless steel skull handle or their "Blackthorne" or "African stick." I doubt anyone would get away with these as an orthopedic device.
     
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  5. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    I do not normally need an orthopedic support, although an occasional bad back makes a stick useful for a few days.
    I have a friend who believes that lighter is better, something approximating a less fragile version of a broomstick which I doubt would be more than 300 or fewer(!) grams. He uses a turned oak dowel that is no more than 1" at the top. I would not trust it to remain intact in a struggle.) A gnarled Scottish stick I have served as self defense in bad areas for decades is less than 450 grams. (I was young though in those days and the stick was largely a warning.) The Elephant stick (I do not currently have a scale with me) is, I think, about 800+ grams and seems good, although it is hardly stylish. (I may be able to check the weight on this stick and update in a few days.)
     
    Last edited by greenmountainbooks, Sep 10, 2012
  6. MedusaOblongata

    MedusaOblongata Loaded Pockets

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    The right weight for your stick will also depend on what you're using it for (walk around the block vs. hike 20 miles) and how strong you are. Some guys can swing a 5# stick like it's nothing, others will be significantly slowed down by the weight. A heavier stick will hit much harder, but that will only help you if you can swing it quickly.
     
  7. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    For me, a rather large and heavily muscled, (although aging fast at 60 yrs.) I can handle the weight, but remain dubious about the advantage of weight past a certain point. Complicating things is that I walk, often by necessity in multiple environments: rural VT, a drug laded urban VT city, a drug laden MA city in a particularly bad area, suburban MA, etc. I suppose my multiple sticks therefore are justified in a way.
    I do think that a stick of one full kilo plus a bit is irrational. We also get into the realm of what constitutes a weapon solely, rather than either a fashion statement or a orthopedic device.
    There is another post called something like "Walking Among the Heathen" where the poster talks about the custom of many inner city men (I have seen this in practice) carrying handmade sticks, often of something like 4' in length. As far as I know, these mature gentlemen get no flak for carrying them...although it is pretty clear from their age that they are probably not muggers.
    I have also seen people of both genders carrying backpackers 'trekking poles," colorful collapsable aluminum poles that look something like a ski pole if you do not look too closely. They are too light and too delicate for self defense, but they do provide ortho support for those who dislike the look of a real cane. I suppose that would push the massive aluminum cane into the acceptable range.
    What about what is comfortable to carry in different environs as well? I now mostly just carry the crook Elephant stick as it simplifies the whole choice...and of course it has the advantages already noted.
     
  8. Mcameron

    Mcameron Loaded Pockets

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    i used to work security, and due to ADA regulations, you cannot take a cane away from someone for any reason. even if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they dont need one, or that they are carrying one of those 'defense canes'.......you open yourself up to TREMENDOUS lawsuits if you try to take it away, or prevent someone from carrying it.

    it could have 'skull basher' written on the side, if they claim they need it for mobility reasons, theres almost nothing you can do.
     
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  9. Gnarly
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gnarly Loaded Pockets

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    Regardless of the weight of that stick: is it a pump? or semi-auto?
     
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  10. IMWILSON
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    IMWILSON EDC Wizard

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  11. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    You can buy hames and make your own or buy them in any flea market pre-made. I had a truely crippled friend refused admission to a theater when using one. They used as justification the possibility that he was a terrorist! Clearly if used in self defense it would qualify as an item intended to harm people.
     
  12. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    Well, all to the good as far as it goes, but walking the street is another matter. Use an item for self defense and if the DA watches those CS videos which advocate using their product to kill people, and you are going up for a long, long time. The attacker had better be a felon with a long history of assault if you plan to skate out from under that one. Bring your checkbook to the attorny's office.
     
  13. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    [/quote]
    I am pretty sure an item weighing nearly 3 lbs. is far too heavy for any serious walking, let alone self defense aspects. I am currently cutting down an ash pole for trail hiking and at 1 lbs. 15 ounces it is far too heavy still. It contributes to a load deficit on the trail and would tire the arm and shoulder. The stick sold on eBay is nearly 50% heavier. I regularly put on two miles or more and I would not want that swinging in my hand for even an hour let alone an afternoon.
    Oh...saw a youngish black guy (see the post on "Walking Among the Heathen" (or similar). He had a heavily decorated-not to mention heavy-staff, shoulder high, thick and had obviously spent a lot of time on it. I think he was a through hiker on the AT.
    I wonder however if a two pound stick would be too heavy. I have a blackthorn that weighted 800 grams before I put a lignum vitae handle on it for an almost 200 grams more. I gave up carrying it because it drew too much attention. It was heavy and just within the limits, I would say.
     
  14. IMWILSON
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    IMWILSON EDC Wizard

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    One like this may be better.
    http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/351542136/Solid_Brass_Round_Hame_Ball.html
     
  15. Mcameron

    Mcameron Loaded Pockets

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    if im being attacked, the very last thing in my mind is what some DA may do.....my main concern is surviving the encounter with as minimal injuries as possible....

    if one of those 'defense' canes can do a better job at protecting me than a regular cane( and im not saying they do or dont)....then im going to go that route and worry about the possible ramifications later.
     
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  16. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    I thought that airports take them away and offer a wheelchair instead?
     
  17. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    Hmm...I have to think about this. I do think that one of the advantages of a stick is the invisibility plus the speed into action. I am inclined at this moment to think that a really good stick with a shape you like is better than a dedicated "defense" item, at least any I have seen. See my comments about the advantages of the crook/tourist handle (see also on other posts how I advocate altering the horn of a crook to maximize usefulness). The trick is to get one heavy and stout enough. I have been unable to locate one heavier than the "Elephant Cane" despite looking hard. This is when I miss the old Uncle Sam Umbrella shop in NYC.
     
  18. Mcameron

    Mcameron Loaded Pockets

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    now i havent flown in quite some time, but as far as i understood, they only confiscated your cane and offered wheelchairs if the cane has some sort of blade or corkscrew on it.

    if anyone who has flown recently can offer more insight, ide like to know.​
     
  19. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    I have a hame topped stick that I love, it's comfortable in the hand and I like the look. However I rarely use it these days since I made some of my own out of carbon fiber golf club shafts topped with a golf ball. The light weight is a joy and were it to come down to self defense, you could get in three whacks for every one you'd get with something heavier. My father-in-law had the same idea and topped his with nearly a pound of bronze so it's not only light but counter-weighted.

    I don't use a stick every day, just when my knee, or more recently hip, is acting up.
     
  20. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    I am.
     
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