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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm fortunate enough not to really NEED a stick to get around. . . but I'm 62, have a bad ankle, my eyesight isn't getting better, and I often walk my dog at light on potholed streets and uneven sidewalks, in an iffy neighborhood.

With this as background: what are your thoughts about a cane to use as a mobility aid with possible self defense applications? I'm thinking about woods, weight, types and shapes of handles, etc.
 

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There are lots of fancy sticks for self defence out there (I own a few) -- but the old hickory crooked handle cane may be the most effective!
They are sturdy (good for thumping an attacker) and the crooked handle can quickly take someone off there feet! Of course the skill of the person wielding the stick means everything!
 

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I'm fortunate enough not to really NEED a stick to get around. . . but I'm 62, have a bad ankle, my eyesight isn't getting better, and I often walk my dog at light on potholed streets and uneven sidewalks, in an iffy neighborhood.

With this as background: what are your thoughts about a cane to use as a mobility aid with possible self defense applications? I'm thinking about woods, weight, types and shapes of handles, etc.
I'm 63, have a bad ankle, 2 bad knees, a bad back, and an elbow that is becoming problematic. I also am carrying too much weight. That means any stick which will hold me up will also be pretty strong. But I think if i swung one hard enough, I'd probably end up hurting myself as one joint or the other came apart.

But to specifics. For mobility, my favorite is made from sassafras. It is light, but quite rigid, and has a natural bend for the handle. Probably not so good for real self defense. It is longer than what is usually recommended, because when my back and/or knees are giving me grief, I need the length to reach down steps before I move my feet down.

I'm working on a shillelagh-style made from white oak. The knob handle isn't quite as easy to grip, but the wood is quite sturdy.

Hickory is the wood most often cited for durability. I'm working on some hornbeam, which is possibly harder, but doesn't take shocks quite as well. I've read that live oak growing in climates warm enough that it grows continuously is also very tough.

As far as defense goes, a standard cane is a little short. I forget the radius, but my recollection is that any attack from within 4' can be so quick that the nervous system doesn't have time to react. Having something to keep an attack back around 6', w/o over extending oneself, makes defense much easier.

The Cold Steel corporation, mostly known for their knives, also makes a line of speciality items out of polypropylene. Included are a replica blackthorn shillelagh, and a Zulu style stick. They are both 37". The company notes that 3' was set as the limit for a shillelagh so as not to be considered a weapon. Polypropylene is light and very tough.
 

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surely you can walk safely is there a real need for such a stick, or do i live in a exceptional place? i dont think so. i have walked through many citys in europe and never felt the need for self defence .Yes there are places you need to be aware.Think the media has over done this.I have had people try to pick my pockets in Rome and lisbon but have always been confident in dealing with this as there more afriad of being caught.

It much nicer to stroll down the promenade with a stylish stick and enjoy life rather than looking over your shoulder
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, Cobalt, just in the past two years, within a two mile radius of my home. . . my dog and I were nearly run over by a mororist fleeing the police. . . a woman was confronted by a man with a shotgun at a major intersection at 10:00 AM. . . a woman was shot in the head while leaving a friend's house at night. . . there was another shooting 2 blocks from there, two weeks later. . . a man was tied up and executed in a home invasion. . . a man was confronted by a bunch of teenagers who demanded money, but managed to save himself with pepper spray. . . Yes, there's a real need for it! I already carry a small pistol (I have a carry permit) but am looking for something that I can already have in my hand. :sword:

surely you can walk safely is there a real need for such a stick, or do i live in a exceptional place? i dont think so. i have walked through many citys in europe and never felt the need for self defence .Yes there are places you need to be aware.Think the media has over done this.I have had people try to pick my pockets in Rome and lisbon but have always been confident in dealing with this as there more afriad of being caught.

It much nicer to stroll down the promenade with a stylish stick and enjoy life rather than looking over your shoulder
 

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capnwilliam,

Your place is worse than mine, but there have been three gun deaths on my block over the years, a few break ins (my house was one) and several robberies. My wife was accosted in front of our house when returning home from work late at night. Only lost $20, but not something we were happy about.

There was a pack of feral dogs in one of the abandoned factory complexes a few years ago. Attacked a fellow walking his dog in the nearby park. His dog died, but he got away with a non-rabid bite on the leg.

And then there were the people that moved in 3 doors down, and I kept hearing the little boy crying "Daddy, No! Daddy, No!" several times. I was going to call child protective services, but a few days later, there were 4 police cruisers parked in front of the house for several hours, and I haven't seen the guy since.

There used to be a bank right across the street from me. It moved after it was robbed 6 times in 2 years, once by some guys w. assault weapons. They were run off by a heavy police presence, but its always fun to look out the front window, and see guys in body armor crouched behind your car.

Oh, and cobalt, in my town one must show an ID, and get a picture taken to re-cycle most items. The ordinance went into effect after a couple of "scrappers" were discovered stuffing dead competitors down street drains.
 

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Well i am thankful that i live here.

I would hate to see armed police on the streets. Its not that there isnt any crime there is , but the crime in this shire is low.

And there are no street gangs you can walk about any time day or night without even thinking about it.
 

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Just about any hard wood will do, your idea is escape not prolonged battle (not that any stick will stop a bullet).

Something a dog can chew on for a while and long enough that you can poke a throat, eye or groin and swing to a knee. Its almost more about the "what to do" than to "what with".
Where you live I would almost consider carrying a shark stick or bang stick:)
 

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I have friends going to vist family over in New orleans for christmas they have been before and have loved it the food,the culture and not once anything poor about the place.

Yes they say there are parts the wouldnt vist its the same in any city

There certain areas in london and other larger citys i wouldnt go to .but overall violent crime is unusual.

But the idea of carrying any sort of weapon i find shocking a stick is a stick but would not consider it a weapon
 

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Yes Cobalt, we know your biases -- and I respect your right to them! :) but the places I hike have more dangers than human -- we see wolves, bears, wild dogs and it's mighty comforting to be toting something that can ward them off! I will admit, that I have never personally had a wolf attack me, but I have scared off black bears and went toe to toe with a wild dog that wanted my venison. Even in neighborhood walks in small communities, you get the occasional varmint that wants to naw on your leg. But I would not want to live anywhere else in the world! Especially in one of those restricted rights communities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cobalt, I love New Orleans! It's a great place to live or to visit. But I've lived here for many years, and I can assure you that there's another New Orleans right around the corner from what the tourists see. They're usually unaware of the high-crime housing project (now closed) just above the French Quarter. Or of what the neighborhood is like just a block above much of beautiful St. Charles Avenue. When you live here every day, you learn.
 

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We dont have any restricted right Rad

But i do envy you with the places you can hike along with your wildlife.And would seek advice from locals before venturing into such places

But one good thing that has haooened wildlife organisation have re introduced beavers back into the highlands and are now doing well,they where huneted to extinction some 400 years ago,same as wolf and bears
 

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Most people using a smart stick or hiking poles usually get people interested in what you are carrying and more likely to meet new people they either admire it for what it is .
 

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I'm fortunate enough not to really NEED a stick to get around. . . but I'm 62, have a bad ankle, my eyesight isn't getting better, and I often walk my dog at light on potholed streets and uneven sidewalks, in an iffy neighborhood.

With this as background: what are your thoughts about a cane to use as a mobility aid with possible self defense applications? I'm thinking about woods, weight, types and shapes of handles, etc.
Unless you are proficient and work out with the stick, the odds are that someone will take it away from you and reintroduce it to you elsewhere!

If you are not physically healthy enough to swing practice, hard, to be able to maintain your grip...

A false sense of security is more dangerous than a healthy sense of your own limitations.

Ever hear of the Zap cane?

Aluminum, with bright flashlight in the handle (a weapon in itself in confronted at night... blinding him for long enough to exit stage right!

And a billion volts from the prods at the bottom, if the light doesn't do it, the voltage will!

You would still have to become familiar with it and with your limitations! That is wisdom.

And still a young buck might feed it back to you.

Perhaps Faith will stand you better than other options?
 

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Yes Cobalt, we know your biases -- and I respect your right to them! :) but the places I hike have more dangers than human -- we see wolves, bears, wild dogs and it's mighty comforting to be toting something that can ward them off! I will admit, that I have never personally had a wolf attack me, but I have scared off black bears and went toe to toe with a wild dog that wanted my venison. Even in neighborhood walks in small communities, you get the occasional varmint that wants to naw on your leg. But I would not want to live anywhere else in the world! Especially in one of those restricted rights communities.
If you are seeing wolves, that is a bad sign. Truly wild wolves will do everything they can to stay out of sight. I get this via my daughter who worked as an intern at a wolf refuge. Once wolves are around humans long enough to lose their caution, livestock, pets, and probably human children are just food.

Where I live there a groups of raccoons which are very vicious, but are usually not threatening if one keeps some distance. Coyotes are starting to show up, and my daughter says they are overall a bigger hazard than wolves. Completely unafraid of humans. There are also lots of deer, and during the mating season, the bucks can become aggressive.

Speaking of beavers, I saw a youtube vid of a Russian guy seeing a big one by the side of the road. Not expecting it to be dangerous, he approached it, and the beaver dove at him and slashed his femoral artery.
 

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Yes Cobalt, we know your biases -- and I respect your right to them! :) but the places I hike have more dangers than human -- we see wolves, bears, wild dogs and it's mighty comforting to be toting something that can ward them off! I will admit, that I have never personally had a wolf attack me, but I have scared off black bears and went toe to toe with a wild dog that wanted my venison. Even in neighborhood walks in small communities, you get the occasional varmint that wants to naw on your leg. But I would not want to live anywhere else in the world! Especially in one of those restricted rights communities.
If you are seeing wolves, that is a bad sign. Truly wild wolves will do everything they can to stay out of sight. I get this via my daughter who worked as an intern at a wolf refuge. Once wolves are around humans long enough to lose their caution, livestock, pets, and probably human children are just food.

Where I live there a groups of raccoons which are very vicious, but are usually not threatening if one keeps some distance. Coyotes are starting to show up, and my daughter says they are overall a bigger hazard than wolves. Completely unafraid of humans. There are also lots of deer, and during the mating season, the bucks can become aggressive.

Speaking of beavers, I saw a youtube vid of a Russian guy seeing a big one by the side of the road. Not expecting it to be dangerous, he approached it, and the beaver dove at him and slashed his femoral artery.
You are right about the wolves! However, there have been reports about attacks (very rare) -- We have the Coyotes too, and I see them regular! I have only seen a beaver once in the wild, at a distance, I'll know now too stay clear! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm fortunate enough not to really NEED a stick to get around. . . but I'm 62, have a bad ankle, my eyesight isn't getting better, and I often walk my dog at light on potholed streets and uneven sidewalks, in an iffy neighborhood.

With this as background: what are your thoughts about a cane to use as a mobility aid with possible self defense applications? I'm thinking about woods, weight, types and shapes of handles, etc.
Unless you are proficient and work out with the stick, the odds are that someone will take it away from you and reintroduce it to you elsewhere!

If you are not physically healthy enough to swing practice, hard, to be able to maintain your grip...

A false sense of security is more dangerous than a healthy sense of your own limitations.

Ever hear of the Zap cane?

Aluminum, with bright flashlight in the handle (a weapon in itself in confronted at night... blinding him for long enough to exit stage right!

And a billion volts from the prods at the bottom, if the light doesn't do it, the voltage will!

You would still have to become familiar with it and with your limitations! That is wisdom.

And still a young buck might feed it back to you.

Perhaps Faith will stand you better than other options?
A healthy sense of my own limitations is why I'm interested in the stick in the first place. Even assuming someone got the stick away from me: in my case, the stick would have served its purpose, because while he's trying to figure out what to do with it, I'm drawing my revolver on a now-for-sure armed man who's launched a violent attack on me.

I'll have to check out that Zap cane you mention.
 
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