Walking canes are handy to have when you take a hike, but they are also necessary as you age. Regardless of your age or infirmities, there are numerous walking canes and different ways to make them and make them slip-proof. Here are just three of the ways you can make your own durable canes and/or make them slip-proof.
Making Your Own Walking Cane
If you are the crafty sort, you can take the young limbs of a willow tree or a sapling's trunk and turn it into a cane. If you cut the limbs off the tree just right, you can create the handle base of your cane almost instantly.
- Hack at the trunk with a less-than-ninety-degree angle just below the limb, cutting it free with the extra trunk matter still attached.
- Now, using a whittling knife or wood stripper, take the bark off of this limb. The soft underwood is exposed.
- Sand it and buff it until it is smooth, then use at least one coat of waterproof polyurethane or shellac to seal the cane entirely.
- As for the handle portion, you can sand it smooth so that there are very few areas that could splinter into your hand and coat the handle with your polyurethane or shellac too. As an added touch, wrap the handle with soft cloth and/or yard to create a firm grip.
Making Your Cane's Foot/Feet Slip-Proof
Whether you just finished making your own cane or your doctor prescribed a cane for you, you can make any of these slip-proof. One way is to apply rubber ends to the cane's foot or feet, depending on the base and number of feet your cane has. The rubber ends slip far less than the metal or wood ends of the cane. Another way is to slice open tennis balls and insert the foot or feet of your cane into the center of the tennis ball(s). When pressure is applied to the end of the cane, the natural resistance of the tennis ball pushes back, disallowing any slippage that would ordinarily occur when you lean on the cane for support.
Making Your Prescribed Cane Unbreakable
Some wood canes are prescribed to patients, while others may receive a metal cane. Both can be damaged by dropping them long distances on hard surfaces or by using the canes to hit something hard. Every so often, a cane of this type can break. To make them virtually unbreakable, wrap the cane's body in thick cloth or foam and tie string around this padding at intervals down the length of the cane. Now you can drop it or smack stuff with it and the padding will protect it from damage. (Homemade wood canes do not have this problem, so if you made your own cane, you need not worry about its durability.) Contact a company, such as Pro-Med Equipment & Supply, for more information.