Please sign in to post.

Portable walking stick

Am looking at Bhutan and would like to know if anyone has a recommendation for a portable/packable walking stick?

Posted by
4935 posts

Mine is a Hammer. I dont remember where I bought it. It was not expensive and has lasted for several years and several trips.

Posted by
113 posts

I'm assuming you are referring to what is often called an "alpine walking stick". I have had my pair of Leki for close to 20 years and they have held up well. They collapse down to about 2 feet so I can fit one in my suitcase on a diagonal.

Posted by
9 posts

Yes, I am looking at an alpine walking stick. I have looked at the Lekis but don't know if I want to spend that much money on an item that I will probably only use once.....but one never knows. J

Posted by
20597 posts

I think walking sticks/hiking poles are prohibited in carry on. I think ---

Posted by
1493 posts

I think walking sticks/hiking poles are prohibit in carry on.

Yes, from what I saw, regular canes - metal and wooden ones were allowed on plane and didn't count against your personal item.

I believe one person had to check their poles; don't know if they were folding or not. But, they could not bring them on board.

Posted by
6027 posts

I got mine at Walmart - 2 for $15. They collapse to a bit less than 2 ft and fit diagonally in my carry-on. I use them all the time here at home on hikes, sometimes just one, sometimes both.

EDIT Agree that now it's possible that they may have to be in checked bag or checked separately. Wasn't a problem several years ago when I had them in my carry-on.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you all. I was hoping that I could get one in a 21" checked bag as I agree that it can't be in your carry-on but am finding none at the moment that fold up less than 24". Will keep looking. Again, thank you. J

Posted by
129 posts

Take a look on Amazon at Trekology Trek-z collapsible tri-fold. ($39.97). They will fit easily in your checked bag (can’t carry them on) as they are only 15 inches when apart. I just used them on an Italy trip they held up fine, there is no flex or give, they remained firm and reliable. And I am not a small man. Be sure to order the right size, one size is for those 5’8” and shorter, the other size is for those 5’9” and taller. The taller size extends out 39 inches with another 10 to 11 inches up to the hand grips. I’m 5’10” and I could have extended the pole another 5-6 inches.

There is a video on the left side of the Amazon page that shows how to set up the poles and how to break them down. There aren’t separate parts , it’s all one assembly that breaks down but stays connected.

Posted by
3180 posts

We’ve got Leki, Komperdell, and REI brand poles. The Leki’s were the priciest, and retract just a bit more than the others, but still won’t fit in an International carry-on bag. If you’re having to check your bag anyway (can’t carry them on as they could be considered a weapon, but then so’s a cup of hot coffee), then get a slightly bigger suitcase that holds the poles, and wrap them/pad them with your clothing.

A single pole or walking stick works for some, but the extra traction and balance from having two poles makes for a better experience on a longer trek. Some are designed to be stiff, for help on steeper uphill or downhill grades, and others are “anti-shock” with springs inside to bounce a little as you use them. The stiff ones are a bit lighter and more durable. Poles seem to one of those “you get what you pay for” things. You may even find them in Bhutan, but the prices and quality might vary. My stiff, locking Leki poles are still going strong, 22 years after I took them to Nepal, and they’ve been handy in Iceland, England, and throughout Colorado and other parts of the USA for trekking, hiking, and climbing ever since.

Posted by
6027 posts

If the inside dimension of the bag is 21 x 14 (common size), then 24" should work diagonally. Or just measure the diagonal of the inside of your bag to see what would fit that way.

Posted by
1133 posts

If you wait until you get there you'll find Chinese knock-offs of the Leki or REI at the same quality (or nearly so) for one-fifth the price.

Posted by
2647 posts

I picked some up from Eddie Bauer that were less than 20 inches collapsed. Seems sturdy enough for me and tall enough...5'8". Only needed them for gorilla trekking and flat walks

Posted by
9 posts

Ladies and Gentlemen: I have made my decision. Am taking Ray's suggestion and getting the Trekology Trek-z collapsible tri-fold poles. They seem to fit the bill for what I need and it is always good to know that a traveler recommends them. Thank you to everyone for their time and help. Joan

Posted by
3238 posts

I wish that TSA would realize that hiking poles can be medical devices. Last year I talked to a TSA supervisor here in Tucson about taking a walking stick as carry-on with a letter from my orthopedist. For me it was a medical device, not sporting equipment.

She said there should be no problem. I took only one pole and it made it through security from Seattle to Amsterdam to Stockholm and from Bergen to Amsterdam to Seattle. No one batted an eye, but I was glad to have the note in case they did.

I definitely used the stick for support and balance, but I would've done much better if I'd taken both poles. The major challenges were slopes and stairs without rails. You don't have to be on a hiking trail or leave the city to experience those.

Fast forward to now. I have my doctor's note (in English, Portuguese and Spanish) and both sticks in a case (these are the ones). They have rubber tips with a spare pair of those. I have canes, but for me cane handles are far too low and at an awkward angle. I need the grip(s) high enough that my arm(s) are at a 90° angle.

Wish me luck with getting them through security starting next week. I have some hope because I saw a very short and old man with a similar pole on the airside in Seattle last year. But we all know how security can vary. At least if they get confiscated somewhere along the way, I didn't pay a lot for them. But it will be a hassle and probably more expensive to replace them in Europe.

Posted by
3180 posts

Following post-ski-mishap knee surgery in March 2001, with a trip to Provence scheduled for June, my doctor suggested I take trekking poles for balance and especially for help with stairs and uphill grades. I was still in recovery mode, and did physical therapy exercises while on the trip, but having the poles with rubber tips was a given.

No problem using the poles going thru airports, and everyone understood their need, no Rx necessary. Getting on French trains, no issue there, either. Really helpful getting around Rousillon. But this was all 3 months before 9/11, and it was a different time.

Posted by
4935 posts

I have taken my collapsible walking stick on many flights foreign and domestic. I attach it to the outside of my carryon bag and always ask the TSA screener if its OK. Never had a problem or needed to explain. It is indeed a medical device, not sporting equipment. I saw the distinction made on the TSA site at one time. The key is having one with a rubber cane-type tip, not the sharp metal pointy tip of a trekking pole. If it ever wouldn't make it through the screening, I'd chuck it, and buy another one over there.

Posted by
7 posts

Last year I went to Bhutan, and took Sterling Endurance trekking poles from Amazon ($40). They collapse to 13 1/2 inches. They (and I) survived the Tigers Nest trek. I cannot over state how happy I was to have two poles, especially coming down. I also used them at the Portala Palace in Llasa, with the rubber tips on. I was able to easily collapse them and carry them on my backpack, when not using them.

Bhutan was amazing, enjoy your trip.