This page is going to be in two parts. The first section will deal with my experience as a traveler, the 2nd will talk about the various canes and possibly more depending on what I have sent to me since a lot of it will be foreign to me.
Lets start with my experience with canes. I've been blind since birth, so I started like most blind children at the age of 5 or 6 learning what canes are, streets, and the like. Most canes made today are black golf handles with aluminum white with red stripe and a tip. The tip may vary, and I still have one such cane that is my size. We'll talk about size later on. The ones I remember, the tip either is on by default and feels round, and a bit lengthy in diameter. Other tips on these canes were short. You start with one small size and work your way up to the size you will most likely use for the rest of your life.
Most training is done during the daytime, where light is not a factor. As you continue to grow up, you may want to go out at night. While these canes may work for you, I've had a personal experience where I was crossing in the evening hours at a crossing I'm very familiar with. Two different cars, crossing at the same crossing going from the northwest corner to the southeast corner, almost hit me. They both started to turn, and it was my turn to go. I put the cane out like we're taught, and they did stop, but i had close encounters.
What did I learn? I learned I needed a different cane. Maxi Aids sells a glow green cane from 24 inches I believe all the way to size 60. Personally, this cane has saved me quite a number of times. This cane has material that will glow at night, and it glows up to 6 hours. It can recharge from any light source from sun, to the light in your bedroom, and even a flash light. A note about these canes, however. I believe these canes have pencil tips, as one day, I had a tip, and the next thing I knew, it was gone. Maxi Aids had told me that they were hook tips, but there was no way to take off this tip.
While searching for information about canes, I saw a company who sells a tip that blinks at night. Blind Mice Mart, a company that sells all sorts of products including canes and tips, calls this type of tip the Night Walker tip. Its a hook tip, and it is described to have a blinking light which you can turn on and it knows when you're standing still and not using the light. The light is apparently good for 200 hours. You may find this information useful, but I have not personally used any of these tips. I can't vouch on how good they work. I can say, the glow green cane, which glows all the way through from head to tip, may be better for you then just the tip.
One thing you should consider though, is that while the glow green cane is in your pouch, the bottom section which has the tip, may be dark as it is in the holster most of the time. The majority of the cane will get light unless you're in a dark place for a long period of time. When we talk about different types of canes, we'll go in to more detail on the different kinds and will also talk about tips which I'll learn about at the same time.
In 2016, it came to my attention that I needed a different cane in case the glow green canes needed to go back for repair. The glow green canes come with pencil tips, and after awhile, the tips tend to disappear. They say it is a hook tip, but when I baught a hook tip, it was different than these tips. While they hook, it hooks completely different. I still like my glow green cane, but found something cool.
I baught a cane called a hilite (highlite) cane. It can come with various tips. Maxi Aids is a distributer of the ambutech line of canes. You can get these canes in various colors.
I ordered a blue hilite cane, but they had sent me the black golf grip one. After getting it exchanged, I found that the marshmellow tip I ordered seemed to work well. It does not get stuck on every single crack like the pencil tip does. The black golf grip cane has a very large tip which made the cane very heavy. I personally didn't like this, and I do like the one on the blue.
I do like the glow greens because they will glow at night, where these will not, but I have had great experience at night using this hilite cane as well. I just am not too fond of the pencil tip as it gets stuck in every possible crack where it is noticable. I think thats how these tips tend to get lost is when they get stuck.
I'm at a place now where the glow greens didn't work well. The carpet is nice, but different than other carpet, and the cane was getting stuck in this carpet. The blue hilite cane with the marshmellow tip seems to work with this type of setting. Each person is going to have different experiences, and that is what makes us all unique.
Have a tip story you'd like to share? Send us a contact form and I'd be happy to put it up with your name attached.
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Jared Rimer would like to thank John Field from Wisconsin who got in touch with a mobility instructor named > Stephen McAuliff who is a certified mobility instructor for the State of Wisconsin at > Vision Forward Association. Steve is a > Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist.
We'd also like to thank all of the web sites who sell canes and other devices for the blind and visually impaired. Without you, we would not have the awesome technology we have today.