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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    If the ground is frosted or we are on rock, then we just hang the cromach on our arm when using binoculars.
    I regularly hang my cromach over my forearm for all sorts of reasons when I need to use both hands. That's one of the handy features of it!

    I've watched this discussion with interest, holding back from commenting. I don't understand the viewpoints from some people here that you must use a "proper" walking staff instead of a cromach. A walking stick is a walking stick, regardless of the top decoration. For 99% of what it will be used for, it doesn't matter. And I say this as one who has a wide variety of staffs that I use for all manner of things. I have hiked many hundreds of miles through rocky, steep, hilly terrain and used my sticks not only as walking aids for crossing creeks and balance on hills, but functionally for propping up shelters, etc.

    Sure, if I'm doing a serious backpacking trip where I expect to abuse my stick and put it to hard use, I'll use my plain walking staff from Brazos Walking Sticks. The "combi-spike" feature allows the bottom rubber foot to be removed, exposing a spike that's very handy.



    But if I'm dressed for public viewing (i.e. daywear) and expect to spend all day on my feet at a Highland Games or festival, I consider the cromach more of an appropriate stick. I don't find it pretentious any more than wearing other traditional bits of Highland attire. It just suits the aesthetic more appropriately. And the height of my cromach (traditionally it should be to the height of the owner's nipples) is just right for resting my hands at heart level. This is important to me because my hands tend to swell up when I'm walking or standing all day, and I need the ability to raise my hands up to heart level for a while so they don't throb and hurt. I can rest one or both hands at the top bend of the crook.



    I'm sorry, I don't know where to buy a well-made cromach in the USA. There are a lot of sellers offering plain wooden crooks, but finding one with a traditional ram's horn crook in the USA is not easy. I bought mine from Tony Espley in Wales, and couldn't be happier. Yes, they're pricy but well worth the money and the wait.
    @kiltedcontractor, I'll try to get some measurements of mine this evening and post them for you if it'll help.

  2. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Tobus For This Useful Post:


  3. #22
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    Cromach height is a bit of a moving target. Yes I think the ideal height to aim for would be nipple height, but its best to aim a couple of inches higher to start with. Why? Every now and then the tip will break off, often in two inch lengths, so roughly after say twenty years or so of regular and almost daily use, the cromach will need a new shaft as it will be uncomfortably short by then. I think I have had two new shafts with my cromach which must be nearly sixty years old now -------well the horn and silver bits are!
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Cromach height is a bit of a moving target. Yes I think the ideal height to aim for would be nipple height, but its best to aim a couple of inches higher to start with. Why? Every now and then the tip will break off, often in two inch lengths, so roughly after say twenty years or so of regular and almost daily use, the cromach will need a new shaft as it will be uncomfortably short by then. I think I have had two new shafts with my cromach which must be nearly sixty years old now -------well the horn and silver bits are!
    Sounds somewhat, Jock, like the old woodsman who, pointing to his axe in the corner said, "Yup. Best axe I've ever had. It's had three heads and five handles."

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    Sure, if I'm doing a serious backpacking trip where I expect to abuse my stick and put it to hard use, I'll use my plain walking staff from Brazos Walking Sticks. The "combi-spike" feature allows the bottom rubber foot to be removed, exposing a spike that's very handy.
    Tobus, your comment about the interchangeable tip brings me to this link where just such a tip can be added: http://www.leevalley.com/en/home/Search.aspx?action=n American pricing here: http://www.leevalley.com/us/home/Search.aspx?action=n The American page for this Canadian company shows less on the lead-up page, but when you click the link, they're all there.
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

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  7. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father Bill View Post
    Sounds somewhat, Jock, like the old woodsman who, pointing to his axe in the corner said, "Yup. Best axe I've ever had. It's had three heads and five handles."
    As I was typing that piece, I just knew that someone would come up with that joke! Well done, Bill.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  9. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Cromach height is a bit of a moving target. Yes I think the ideal height to aim for would be nipple height, but its best to aim a couple of inches higher to start with. Why? Every now and then the tip will break off, often in two inch lengths, so roughly after say twenty years or so of regular and almost daily use, the cromach will need a new shaft as it will be uncomfortably short by then. I think I have had two new shafts with my cromach which must be nearly sixty years old now -------well the horn and silver bits are!
    When making my own antler topped versions I just make them a few inches too long and then trim from the bottom until height feels right. The shape of the antler handle changes your grip point. This is more important than overall height. While out running the dogs this morning I checked the height of one of my favourites against Jock's standard and found I grip it just about an inch above my nipple. However, I have to consider that my nipple may be an inch lower than it was when I made this one about ten years ago, everything else is slipping.

  10. #26
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    I'm with Jock Scot on this one!

    Sometimes traditional things can be still really useful!

    My ash cromach is far and away the best of my hiking staves. It is really light, very strong, and it's diameter is smaller than a lot of other hiking sticks which paired with the crook handle makes it very comfortable to the hand.

    The fact that they also look rather nice is just a bonus.

    Me yesterday





    (Wondering about the bright red hose? We do have a fair number of ticks here in the Bay Area so when hiking it is best to have very light or bright socks that will make it easy to spy them if they try to hitch a ride on your leg!)

    Cheers

    Jamie
    -See it there, a white plume
    Over the battle - A diamond in the ash
    Of the ultimate combustion-My panache

    Edmond Rostand

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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panache View Post
    Sometimes traditional things can be still really useful!

    My ash cromach is far and away the best of my hiking staves. It is really light, very strong, and it's diameter is smaller than a lot of other hiking sticks which paired with the crook handle makes it very comfortable to the hand.

    The fact that they also look rather nice is just a bonus.

    Me yesterday


    [IMG]https://scontent-sjc3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/56595514_3164266700255575_2806447719877443584_n.jp g?_nc_cat=109&_nc_eui2=AeEEj5u8-ctx4gt4rMXR-93o5PeSdVEFGbreZ9jC8umRfBBn5Y7Icmm5oAPMdhU6_hw3uye 4NlXNxct4GMfgNsmw2LVoXsXimo6rBn_g2V208A&_nc_ht=sco ntent-sjc3-1.xx&oh=de8ab4d645e3d5a1bf4963520c5c5ccb&oe=5D385A C6


    (Wondering about the bright red hose? We do have a fair number of ticks here in the Bay Area so when hiking it is best to have very light or bright socks that will make it easy to spy them if they try to hitch a ride on your leg!)

    Cheers

    Jamie
    That's a nice stick! Mind if I ask where you got it?

    OP, I have a shepard's crook from tractor supply. They come quite tall (6' i believe) and I've cut it to the height I like. It was only $20.

    It's nowhere near as handsome as Panache's and doesn't taper to the end so it's not as elegant. I'm sure someone could either sand or lathe one to a nice taper though.

    Ironically I've used it for hiking in shorts but never in my kilt. I'll probably use it at the vista highland games in June though.
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

  13. #28
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    I want to thank all of you. A good friend of mine is acquiring one custom made in Scotland and will be bringing it over when he comes to visit me in September. We are having it made in two sections with a nice threaded connector. Will post photos when it gets here.

    CTB
    President, Clan Buchanan Society International

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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctbuchanan View Post
    I want to thank all of you. A good friend of mine is acquiring one custom made in Scotland and will be bringing it over when he comes to visit me in September. We are having it made in two sections with a nice threaded connector. Will post photos when it gets here.

    CTB
    Sounds like a first-rate bit of kit. I'll look forward to seeing the posts!
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by FossilHunter View Post
    That's a nice stick! Mind if I ask where you got it?

    My lovely F-H.C.A.G.* bought it for me in San Francisco at William Glen and Son years ago. I believe they still stock them.


    Cheers

    Jamie



    * Flame-Haired Celtic Amazon Goddess
    -See it there, a white plume
    Over the battle - A diamond in the ash
    Of the ultimate combustion-My panache

    Edmond Rostand

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