If you carry a cane, what age are you?


August 11, 2010, 05:36 PM
I'm in my late 20's, and I've had a prior ankle injury. I work security, so obviously I can get around pretty good. however, I'm interested in the idea of carrying a cane for a weapon, but I'm not sure if it would look odd with a younger-ish guy carrying one.

So, if some good people don't mind revealing their age in an anonymous poll....

If you carry a cane, what age are you? I'm just trying to figure out if this is something older folks do, or if this is spread out over the various age groups.


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August 11, 2010, 06:04 PM
I"m 21 and every now and again I wander around my less than nice neighborhood with a cane. I just fake a mild limp so no questions are asked.

August 11, 2010, 06:20 PM
54, and I use a cane every now and then.

August 11, 2010, 06:29 PM
Neener--I started carrying a heavy walking stick mid 30s when I was catching a bus to South Central L A--but what helps is that I have a service related bad knee

August 11, 2010, 08:20 PM
62 next week, Started at 56 with neck and back surgery, hip problems, arthritis etc...

But I am still handsome, charming, and rich, and have been told a million times not to exagerate. :)

Joe Demko
August 11, 2010, 08:36 PM
48. I've used one on and off, mostly off, since my mid-30's. I have a damaged knee and arthritis. Once in a while, the knee comes apart on me and it takes a few days of wearing a knee brace and using a cane while it stabilizes. Other times, the arthritis will get the better of me and I'll use a stick for a while.
If you are going to do this, opt for a plain crook headed cane that looks like a therapeutic cane. Eschew knob heads, especially ones shaped like skulls, sword canes, etc. I'd also recommend not striding jauntily along happily brandishing the cane or with it tucked under your arm, but that's just my opinion. The guy who walks with a cane like he actually uses it for support gets little attention.

August 11, 2010, 08:37 PM
I'm 51 but in decent shape. I have carried a stock cane on several overseas trips. While they are no doubt the best non weapon weapon you can carry I have found there are some drawbacks that make them my second choice.

The only negatives of using a cane is it seems more people notice / look at me than when I don't carry it. This may be because I have no overt medical need for one. Also, on public transportation people jump up to offer me their seat.

I prefer to blend into the background so I carry canes less often. I prefer to carry a compact 200 lumen flashlight and a stout pen if in a "no weapon zone"

August 11, 2010, 09:29 PM
I don't carry a cane.


I'm 60, and beginning to feel the ravages of time and mileage, but none of that has reached the parts that do the standing and walking. Well, that may not be entirely true; I'll find out more when I get to the walking/jogging part of my grand plan for discarding some 40+ lbs, but I don't have any trouble with stairs and stuff, and I can stand for hours if need be.

Hands . . . that's a different deal. Arthritis is beginning to take hold there. It has changed the way I evaluate knives and stuff that require any kind of grip. I went from preferring a small, slim EDC to preferring something with a stouter handle (like the EKA Swede 88).

While I don't use a cane, I do have an umbrella (http://www.real-self-defense.com/unbreakable_umbrella.html). It rides in the car when the weather looks funky, and we get plenty of marginal weather up here.

There is a kind of "American" attitude towards umbrellas that gets you funny looks if you carry one in good weather. When I was in England, it didn't matter what the weather was right now. If it was July, sunny, and 85 degrees, and you were seen on the street with a brolly, it was simply "prudent," while here in the USA it's "paranoid," bordering on "weird."

But for at least eight months up in the Northwest, having a bumbershoot close at hand isn't really a big deal.

If what's bothering my hands should move to my knees or ankles, I'll be cane shopping.

Rail Driver
August 11, 2010, 10:00 PM
I keep a cane handy, especially when flying. It's one of the few things they can't take from you. See? We CAN use the disgusting litigiousness of our society against those that would oppress us!

I'm 28 on Sunday. I do have some knee damage, but not enough to really bother me unless I try to run.

August 11, 2010, 10:38 PM
A better question would have been, "When did you start carrying a cane"?

I'm 53 now and I started carrying a cane about 20 years ago.

August 11, 2010, 11:11 PM
I hurt my ankle in HS and it was fine until I messed it up at 32 playing Basketball. I used a cane off and on since. I work out and I use it after long trips since my ankle stiffens up and takes about a 1/2 to lossen up. I always carry one at night and like some others I have been offered seats and the other night at the Wal-Mart a Manager called me over and opened up a register since they only had 1 open at 10 pm at night.

Carl Levitian
August 12, 2010, 10:37 AM
I'm an old fart now, but I had a serious injury to my right ankle and foot while on active duty with the army. I was in my 20's at the time, and I needed a cane at that time. I got to a point in my 30's where the service injury didn't bother me too much, but still needed a cane for standing and walking around a lot, so in effect I've been on a cane for most of my life.

When I was in my late 20's and I used a walking stick, sometimes people would ask, and I'd just tell them it was a service injury. I noticed that even though I was a little self conscious over using a cane at that young an age, that after a while people didn't ask anymore, and it just became part of my persona. Vietnam was just winding down at that point, so there were other young men on canes around. When I went back to school under the GI bill, I used an Irish Blackthorn stick instead of an old fogy style cane, as I was a bit vain, but it didn't seem to make a difference. And this was a local liberal community college in the 70's. If anything, I got compliments on the nice looking stick, and I think some people thought I was just being eccentrically stylish, not having a clue to the effectiveness of a stick. Only very once in a while somebody would make a joke about what a head knocker my blackthorn stick would make.

These days, I still carry a rustic walking stick instead of the old fogy crook top cane, but nobody says anything. Of course by now I have white chin whiskers, so it may look more natural. But I have noticed that down at the V.A hospital where I go for my health care, I am seeing a lot of young vets from Iraq and Afghanistan on canes because of injuries, sometimes getting used to their new prosthetics.

I think as a young man, you can get away with carrying a nice walking stick with no problem, if you act normal and don't act like it's anything special. If someone does ask, just tell them it's an old soccer/football/running injury, and after a while people who know you will not even notice the stick anymore. It just becomes part of your persona. Really. Just be casual.

I now have a small collection of both Irish Blackthorns and the rustic hornbeam sticks I make for myself. I've carried them right onto airlines, into schools, and other restricted places that have a no weapons policy. A cane is a great weapon in plain sight, go for it.

Good luck.

August 12, 2010, 11:49 AM
i'm 37; i started walking with a cane, for a few reasons.

reason #1: i'm currently prohibited from owning or carrying a firearm, for another 10 months. i'm pretty much restricted to knives, and non-lethal tools, for self defense. knives in PA are a dicey proposition; the only type clearly legal for carry are balisongs, but i don't trust the average LEO to know that. canes are a good compromise.

reason #2: every single injury i've ever suffered in my life has come back to remind me. "hey, Alex, remember me? i'm that dislocated hip you got when you were 16, trying to land that kickflip-to-backslide railslide." or, "hey, buddy, how've you been? it's me, that header you took out of that second story window at Amanda's party. thank G*D for hedges, huh? that was some party."

i wake up feeling every last one of them now. some days, my knees/hips/ankles just don't want to cooperate with me.

August 12, 2010, 12:10 PM
The first time I used one was when I was 18,..at Bragg,..following a bad landing fall. Have used one off and on since about age 40,.....pushing 60 now.....still use occasionally when "arthur" comes to visit with a vengeance.

August 12, 2010, 08:20 PM
I'm one of the younger cane users. Don't like mentioning my exact age but I'm under 35. I have absolutely no physical disability. However, the cane to me is nothing more than a short hiking pole. I've been walking with a stick of some sort on walks and hikes since I was fully ambulatory. It was always just natural to me; I was a boy scout and my father was an avid outdoorsman. Even my current cane is used to be longer, coming up to my shoulder, and I cut it down when I moved to a more urban area.

August 13, 2010, 08:21 AM
I started walking with a cane full-time last year due to compressed discs (yes, plural). I am in my mid-30s. Prior to that, I carried one sporadically in previous 3-year period during my self-defense training. My instructor is a huge cane proponent.

The elephant-size stock cane (properly modified) has been my favorite. If you do get into making/modifying your own canes and walking sticks, be careful. It's addictive. I have two hanging in the back room now to dry the tung oil. Those are just the latest experiments.

August 13, 2010, 08:38 AM
I carried one when I was 22. But I was in a rather nasty motorcycle accident. I had a broken femur, among many other injuries. By the time I was walking %100 again, I was 23.

Yes, people look at a young guy with a cane suspiciously. I got the strangest looks at the lake. I'd walk out to the end of the shared private pier, pound a nail into the post, hang my cane on it, fall into the water and take off riding jet skis. I also got hassled at a night club over my cane (though those days are long gone, now). Granted, I was a young and dumb. I forgot about the warnings not to mix certain things, proceeded to dance with two friends, one of which was a real sweetheart and she held my cane for me. The bouncer almost took it. I paid for it over the next three days when I could barely walk at all.

I can tell you now, after actually needing crutches and canes...you will not catch me using either. Well, unless my only option is to crawl on my belly dragging myself with my front paws. But other than that, never again. But that's just me, YMMV. I'm just saying yes, you will get a few strange looks as a young guy with a cane.

August 13, 2010, 08:59 AM
If you need one you won't worry about what people think when they see you with one regardless of age. I was in my early 50s when a knee injury required a cane for me to get around. Fortunately for me this only lasted for a few weeks and in the 10 years since I've done a lot of exercise to strengthen the legs and haven't needed one.

A friend has a really nice one with a dagger that pulls out and could certainly be used as a defensive weapon .... or offensive for that matter. I still have my old one from the time of the injury but haven't needed to use it since.

Digger Odell
August 13, 2010, 01:04 PM
I have had the need to use a cane for the past five years due to an injury. I am a little long of tooth, but before this I could jog or walk very fast for a mile or more. Since the injury my right leg will just fold up without any warning.
I was going to the hospital daily for therapy, using the elevator. One day I got on & there were 2 men who passed me a short while earlier & the hair stood up on my neck. Nothing happened, but since then I run different scenarios going to parking lot etc. Just how my cane can & would be useful. Good protection when you can't carry. (hospital).... They make a great lighting bolt!!

August 13, 2010, 01:09 PM
Blew out my left knee about four years ago thanks to a bad patch of ice and a big dog in a hurry to get to his stick throwing ground. It still acts up from time to time. I use a telescoping walking stick that can be shrunk down to cane size if needed.

I see a lot of guys limping around without canes, and I think there's some element of machismo involved. At some point you just have to realize that some injuries never really heal, and if you want to get out and exercise you're going to have to make accommodations. I've had a few comments about it over the years just because canes are out of style around the west coast of the US. I figure I'm just ahead of the style curve. When some aging Hollywood stars start using them, everyone will want one.

Joe Demko
August 13, 2010, 01:14 PM
I've only been made fun of once for using a cane. Amusingly, I was mocked for the cane's lack of style rather than for needing it for support.

Carl Levitian
August 13, 2010, 04:04 PM
When some aging Hollywood stars start using them, everyone will want one.

I've received a few comments about "House."

I try to tell them Hugh Laurie is copying my style.:D

Dave Markowitz
August 13, 2010, 04:26 PM
I'm 42 and occasionally use one if my back is acting up. I also use it out in the woods as a walking stick. I've never had anyone look at me funny but I have had people open doors for me while carrying it.

August 14, 2010, 12:33 AM
I am 45, but I inherited arthritis in my knees. Back as far as my High School days my knees would "crack" when I knelt down...made all my friends wince. :D
Most days I don't need it a cane but the days I do its pretty miserable.

BravoSierra is correct: crafting/customizing your own sticks can get habit-forming in a hurry! :D It is fun though.

August 17, 2010, 11:39 AM
I'm 44 but started with the cane when I was 16 after a car wreck. My hip is still goofy sometimes with the weather, so I carry a cane on extended hikes or when I'll be forced to move slowly (as in crowds, lines, etc.). Have a doctor's note and everything, but haven't had to show it. :) (I also have one leg shorter than the other from the wreck and still walk with a noticeable limp.)

August 17, 2010, 11:59 AM
Get a motorcycle jacket and look like House. ;)

August 19, 2010, 02:57 PM
Bad ankles, bad knees, bad hips, bad shoulders... and 6'5" 215.

Nothing like giant levers on bad fulcrums.

I've broken 2 aluminum canes just leaning on them, now alternating between 2 steel canes.

One topped in Madrone, one in Tamboti (fragrant but incredibly dense) steel dowel inside the heads attaches to the 3/4" steel shaft, inside the steel shaft is a dowell to keep it from bending, while the steel keeps the wood from breaking.

43" long, 6.5 and 7.5 lbs respectively, and probably the main reason my right arm still keeps me upright today.

You try walking around with a child's bowling ball in one hand all day :D

I've been on the "wrong" end of the Madrone in the hands of my then 5 year old... she left me a raised bruise across my ear, down across my throat and voicebox that took 2 months to heal. (she was trying to bring it to me)

www.mendowood.com << this guy made them

Yes, a Light fast cane can deliver rapid multiple hits. These can too, once you get a gorilla arm behind it.

August 19, 2010, 03:02 PM
30s here and I started using a cane at age 28. Bad back with severe nerve damage and some paralysis in one leg. People sometimes look at you like "WTH?" but I ignore it.

August 19, 2010, 03:11 PM
I have had to use a cane off and on since I was 23 due to a sports injury.

August 19, 2010, 10:06 PM
In my case, under 10.

I used a cane from 6 to 8. Doctors said that I would use it until I graduated to a wheel chair, then a coffin. That would have been before I graduated from high school.

I fooled them.

Then I had to use a white cane for most of a year when I was nine. I've healed up, mostly, though my right eye still isn't much good.

Now I want nothing to do with canes.

August 19, 2010, 10:09 PM
I'm 33 and have been considering a stick for a little while now, due to a knee that likes to lock up some times, and a painful back.
Not so much for daily use, just hiking, walking with the kids, and when we're somewhere with crowds that keep me from walking at my own pace, which seems to make everything hurt.

Big Bill
August 20, 2010, 05:14 PM
I think a cane can mark one as a target for muggers, etc. However, I am 61 (disabled from two heart attacks and bad knees) and have several Cold Steel canes and a variety of custom walking sticks that I made out of chokecherry wood, etc., that I use, along with carrying, concealed, my Ruger SP101 357 mag and a couple of nasty SD knives. Here is a couple of pictures of one I just completed...

August 22, 2010, 12:58 AM
I don't need a cane but I have a couple of nice ones that I carry when I walk for protection from stray dogs and I've thought about using it for protection where other weapons aren't allowed.

August 22, 2010, 02:40 AM
23 but once in a blue moon only

August 22, 2010, 11:22 PM
I am still a young man, but I do tend to carry a walking stick when I am walking in the area around my house. I live in a rural area, so it's not unusual for someone to be out walking with a stick. It comes in handy for teaching unruly dogs who's boss.

August 23, 2010, 01:34 AM
If you are wearing the right clothes a cane fits right in...:D

August 23, 2010, 10:44 AM
I'm 61 now; been using a cane for about ten years ago when my hip went south. I like the aluminum jobs with plastic handles. I tried the wooden crook styles and can't stand them. I hope I never have to find out, but I'm pretty certain that 6000-series anodized tube could break an arm if it had to.

For those of you who need one but refuse to use it -- better rethink that. When my hip started going bad, I limped so severely for a while that I gave myself a spinal curvature. Get one and use it.

When I did start using it, I began to wonder about all those dandies who carried canes as a fashion accessory way back when, and I figured out real quickly why that fell out of style -- one hand is always occupied, making it hard to carry things, and you're forever having to figure out where to put it when not in use. I'd ditch the thing in an instant if I could.

September 6, 2010, 08:36 AM
60, and arthritis has invaded the knees to the point whereby I never can tell when I'll need additional support, so I stash a cane in the back seat or trunk for those embarrassing moments.

September 8, 2010, 04:57 PM
I had a crush injury to my right ankle/heel in an auto accident when I was 19. My foot was literally hanging off of my leg the wrong way,only skin held it on.I was on crutches for 7 months and used a cane for a couple months after that. I went 3 years needing no assistance and then arthritis and plantar fascitis hit. So now at the ripe old age of 26 I'm using a cane again. I went from a therapeutic cane, to a crook top,and I just ordered my first NICE cane.
A few days ago I bought a ColdSteel Irish Blackthorn style,waiting on the big brown truck.

I don't use it 100% of the time, though I probably should just because I'm self-conscious about it.

September 8, 2010, 07:32 PM

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