A good walking stick can serve many uses when forced to travel on foot. For example:
It can be an effective self-defense weapon.
You can lash a knife to the end to make a crude but useful spear for hunting.
It can be lashed between two trees to serve as a cross-brace in a lean-to shelter.
It can be used to gauge the depth of small streams to judge crossing safety. Check the depth of snow drifts as well.
It can provide extra leverage when walking uphill.
You need not go out and spend a ton of money on anything fancy either. Head to your local hardware or home improvement store. Get a wood dowel 48″ long x 1.25″ thick. Shouldn’t probably cost you more than about five bucks. If you want to make it look pretty, you could paint/stain it or even use a wood burner to create designs on it.
I keep mine in my trunk alongside my GHB (Get Home Bag).