Though walking poles are useful for a variety of purposes, fighting with them was not part of their design. There are rumors of walking poles that have secret knives that come from their handles, but most of these are simply rumors, and the poles themselves are generally not used for any violent purposes.
Still, there is reason that airports do not allow these poles on airplanes – despite their harmless purpose, these poles still have a long shaft, a sharp tip, and can be swung hard enough to injure others. Any pole can be dangerous, and walking poles have the added “advantage” of a sharp, pointy tip that can cause additional harm when pointed at an attacker. Walking poles may not be designed to be weapons, but when necessary they have the potential to cause harm to others.
Fighting off Animals
This is primarily true when it comes to fighting off animals. Walking poles have a sharp tip and long stick that allow you to threaten animals and keep them at bay when they look as though they are preparing for an attack. Snakes, dogs, and other animals that may show aggression to those using the poles can be pushed backward without having to risk injuring your hand by pushing the animal away. Their sharp point can also be dangerous, so if drastic force is necessary, the pole would be an effective interim weapon.
–Fighting off Muggers
People that use walking poles for Nordic or fitness walking may find that having one of these walking sticks, while not a great weapon, is still a useful pole to have on hand in case you are in a frightening area at night. Like any long pole, it can be swung at a moment’s notice in order to hit anyone that may be trying to take your belongings. There are many people that prefer to use their walking poles when they walk at night because of the dangers of night walking and the prevalence of criminal activity in their area. It’s imperfect, but it is better than nothing, and adds a bit of security to those that prefer to walk at night.
Adequate is Better than Nothing
Unless there is no other option, walking poles should never be used as weapons. They are designed for fitness, and not meant to cause harm to others. But if you are going on a late night walk and would prefer extra protection, the walking pole is still a useful tool for fending off those that may try to attack you. And if you are out in the wilderness and happen upon an unfriendly animal, the length of the pole (as well as the sharp tip at the end) give you the opportunity to shoo away any animals that may threaten your safety.
Walking poles are meant to be used for fitness, but they are still long poles that are useful for emergency needs. If you need a weapon quickly, these poles may work for you.