We may think that the walking stick is an unnecessary tool to do the Camino de Santiago, but the truth is that it can greatly facilitate the journey through the different stages. In the following article you will find information about everything you need to take into account when choosing the right walking stick for your walk:

Advantages when using a cane:

Man walking with the mountains behind
It will serve as a support point, so the weight will not only fall on our legs, but on the whole body, which will significantly reduce fatigue after a walk of 25 or 30 kilometers.
– We will walk on different terrains full of earth, stones or gravel, the cane will help us to fix ourselves to the ground and keep our balance.
– The cane will make it much easier to face steep ascents and descents.
– Using a cane can increase calorie intake by up to 45%.

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How to use the cane correctly:

If we are going to walk the path with only one walking stick, it is recommended to alternate hands in order to distribute the effort between both arms and avoid overloading them.

Two pilgrims walking in a forest
The grip of the pole will depend on the terrain we are walking on:

Flat terrain: the grip point of the pole will be at elbow level.

Descending terrain: we will hold our stick from the highest part, we will stick it into the ground and we will unload the weight on our arms. We must be careful to fix our stick well to the ground to prevent it from slipping and avoid a possible fall.
Ascending terrain:
in this case we will take the pole from below, plunging it into the ground and making small impulses upwards will help us to overcome these difficult stretches.

What types of walking sticks are there and what are their characteristics?

Hiking pole.

We can find it in any store or shop dedicated to sports. They are usually made of materials such as stainless steel or aluminium which makes them much lighter. Generally, these poles should reach the height of the pilgrim’s elbow and have a comfortable soft handle that will fit in the palm of your hand. An important point to take into account is that these poles can be folded, so we can carry them in our backpack, or in our luggage in case we are traveling by plane.

Two canes on a Hiking Pole


It is a much stronger stick than the previous one, made of wood and usually exceeds the height of the pilgrim by 30 cm. This type of cane usually has a much more religious, even spiritual meaning. It must be said that its size and the fact that it cannot be folded up makes it difficult to transport when not in use.

How much do these poles usually cost?

Extendable poles made of stainless steel can be an investment of no more than 10 euros in some shops. If it is true that those made of aluminum or carbon fiber can perfectly reach 50, because they are very light materials. A bead would be a cheaper option, it can be purchased for about 6 euros, but we must still take into account its characteristics and some disadvantages mentioned above.
Two canes and a blue sign
In short, both poles will make it easier for us to arrival to Santiago. Having analysed the characteristics of each one we come to a conclusion. If we have to travel by plane to get to the starting point of the route, the best option would be to choose the folding cane, as the wooden one would have to be checked in, and could even get lost.

If we decide to use another type of transport such as the bus or the car, there will be no problem in opting for the bead as we will not have to pay for its transport, we will have it in sight and it will be practically impossible to lose it. Did you like this article? Don’t forget to share it in the comments section!

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