I recently got the Brazos Hiking Stick which is a really sturdy and at the same time very light stick that can withstand some heavy duty and rugged terrain hiking and backpacking. Most hikers opt for the flimsy sticks that don't do much good when you slip up. The Brazos hiking stick is solid real wood. You can really rely on it to hold you up if you slip up on the trail, or really need support to protect your knees.
My stick was made out of real hickory wood and priced at $25.00 which is just about the same price as the flimsy sticks most hikers use. The hickory wood is perfect for a hiking stick because it is at the same time sturdy and light. There are many walking sticks which are made out of new and complex materials, which are lighter in weight, but very few of them tend to be sturdy enough to really be reliable. Hickory is common enough that the stick is not expensive, light and still durable and tough.
Most people are not familiar with the actual wood just from hearing the term "hickory" so just to get a sense of the real strength of the wood, consider that many baseball bats are also made out of this wood! The stick is also sprayed with a protective clear coat lacquer to bring out the natural beauty of the hickory wood.
The stick does not have a handle which I found to actually be better. The top of the stick has a wrist band, but the real advantage of the stick is that it is thick enough to grip comfortably. It is also quite ergonomic. Typical handles often force awkward hand and arm angles, but the Brazos stick allows me to comfortably grip it and lean on it, all as I walk in natural motion.
The Brazos stick is pretty long. It comes in a few sizes with the smallest being 41-inches. The more common lengths are 48 inches, 55 inches, and 58 inches. This hiking stick is taller than the many smaller, foldable walking sticks out there. You really feel secure when you are walking with a Brazos stick.
The Brazos brand proudly states that their sticks are made in U.S.A so if you get one of their sticks, you can feel good about supporting the American tradition of wood working and craftsmanship.
I first learned about the Brazos folks from their Twitter account! Say hello to them on Twitter @BrazosSticks or like them on their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/BrazosWalkingSticks