We may think that the walking stick is an unnecessary tool for doing the Way of St. James, but it can make it much easier to travel through the different stages. In the following article you will find information about everything you have to take into account when choosing the cane to make the journey:
Advantages when using a cane:
– It will serve as a support point, so the weight will not fall only on our legs, if not 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 to maintain the balance.
– The cane will make it much easier for us to face steep ups and downs.
– Using a cane can increase calorie intake by up to 45%.
How to use the cane correctly:
If we are preparing to make the journey with a single cane, it is recommended to alternate the handle to distribute the effort between both arms and avoid overloading them.
The grip of the cane will depend on the terrain on which we are walking:
Flat ground: the point of grip of the baton shall be at the level of the elbow.
Descending lands: we will hold our cane from the highest part, we will be nailing it in the ground and we will unload the weight on the arms. We must be careful to fix our cane well to the ground to prevent it from slipping and avoid a possible fall.
Ascending lands: in this case we will take the cane from below, sink it in the ground and make small impulses upwards will help us to overcome these difficult stretches.
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What types of canes are there and what are their characteristics?
You can find it in any establishment or shop dedicated to sport. They are usually made of materials such as stainless steel or aluminium which makes them much lighter. In general, these poles must reach the height of the pilgrim’s elbow and have a soft comfortable handle that will fit the palm of our hand. An important point to keep in mind is that these canes can be folded. We can carry it in our backpack, or our luggage if we are traveling by plane.
It is a much more forceful cane than the previous one, made of wood usually exceeds in 30 cm the height of the pilgrim. This type of cane usually has a much more religious meaning, even spiritual. It must be said that its size and the fact of not being able to fold it complicates its transport much more when we are not using it.
What price do these canes usually have?
The extensible poles made of stainless steel can involve an investment of no more than 10 euros in some shops. It is true that those made of aluminum or carbon fiber can reach perfectly 50, because they are very light materials. A snare would be a cheaper option, can be purchased for about 6 euros, but we must continue taking into account their characteristics and some disadvantage mentioned above.
In short, both canes will make it easier for us to get to Santiago. Having analyzed the characteristics of each one of us, we came to a conclusion. We have to make a plane trip to get to the place where the road begins, the best thing to do would be to opt for the folding cane, since 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 bordón since we will not have to pay for its transport, we will have it in sight and losing it will be practically impossible.
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