358 – Too young to use a walking stick(?)

Welcome to another 358 blog! This will be the second in this series, and you can read the first one and what they’re all about here

I want to talk to you about who uses walking sticks. I can imagine you’re thinking that this is a sales pitch, to get you to buy one of our handmade 358 ones. Now, don’t get me wrong, it would be lovely to think that might happen as a result of these mere mortal words. However, this blog was not started with the intention to make money; just to increase understanding while sharing a few stories – so that is my genuine continued intention. 

The thing is, I SO often get the comment of ‘I’m not old enough/I’m too young to use a walking stick’. And every time I let out a silent sigh. I’m 34 years of age and since meeting Tom two years ago, I started using one and now it’s rare I go out without my trusted aide. Here is a list of the ways I use mine, from most to least often:

  1. As an accessory – which is why we feel it’s important that 358 walking sticks look fantastic.
  2. For tapping the dogs either to get them out the way or encouraging them to heel, as they’re mostly off leads along the towpaths we live on.
  3. Moving growing things out of the way and, if needed, beating them back.
  4. When it’s muddy or if the surface is particularly uneven – this has stopped me falling over a number of times!
  5. Most of the time when my migraine and headache disease is really bad, I don’t make it out of the narrowboat. But when I do, the stick helps me stay upright and this is when I lean on it the most; to combat the total zombie state I’m in. 
  6. And lastly -as this is a recent one- for opening gates to save touching them and getting the lurgy (otherwise known as COVID19).

This is quite a comprehensive list! And that’s just for what I find useful. Any number of health conditions or disabilities could mean a stick is helpful, so why not have a good looking one I say? I realise that some folk need ergonomically specific ones, or others like a friend of mine’s folds up neatly and tucks into his wheelchair. These we may never be able to create but for all other reasons – more than I’ve listed here – consider! For the next time you say you’re not old enough, you may be talking to a young person who really needs one or already uses one. Or perhaps that person is you. Just know that there are options. We have done a couple of videos on uses for sticks and choosing the right height for you, which you might find helpful:

Choosing the right stick for you
Choosing the right height for a stick

Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll aim to write a 358 themed blog about once a month, with others about living on a narrowboat with chronic migraine in between. 


  1. I expect I’ll be needing one soon, the rate I’m going! (Right knee decidedly arthritic now). Walking sticks can be very useful, I agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very well said, Naomi. The age issue is such a pervasive stereotype. I sometimes use my stick when I go out. Bought a new one a few weeks ago actually & I love it, it feels much more secure. It’s adjustable in height and folds up. Getting the right height is really important too so you’re as well supported as possible and not damaging your posture, so your videos are very helpful. My stick gives that little bit of extra stability and reassurance, especially when I’m unsteady on my feet and the nerve damage is making my legs a bit wonky. I do still get looks but luckily over the years I’ve come to care a loss less. Of course it still bothers me a bit, but not like what it would had I have been 10 years younger. There are many reasons people may need to use a mobility aid like a walking stick, and it doesn’t matter how old or young you are. Great post! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks Caz! I was thinking of a post you’d done about walking aids when i wrote this (assuming I’ve remembered correctly! ). I totally agree that it should be less of a ‘thing’ so writing a business- oriented post that included this point was very important to me. Glad your stick is working well, I am very aware specific needs mean ours don’t fit everyone but it’s just nice to have options. Take care 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks , Naomi. The message seems to be , and I support the spirit of it, : ‘Don’t make assumptions about me …or you’ll get some stick’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It was difficult for me to accept that I needed to use a walking stick when I was only 23 years old.
    The funny thing is that after a while of getting my first stick my great aunt who was in her 80’s needed to use one but was refusing… it was me who got her to get one by saying “if you need one get one, look I have one Aunty B and I use it when I need to”. Sure enough 4 days later she had one!

    Balance issues mean I fall over a lot and 23 years later I rely on wheelchairs, rollator and yes… walking sticks.

    I got a lot of criticism too for being too young 🙄 and even when in my 30’s.
    It took a lot of support from friends to help me gain the confidence needed to begin enjoying the independence of utilising mobility aids.

    Thanks for this post and wishing you wellness


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