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Trekking Poles, Hiking Staffs, and Walking Sticks

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Do you use any type of trekking poles or walking sticks while you hike?  I never do.  I am just wondering what your thoughts are.  What are the benefits? 

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Always use a staff, my recent one is oak and has a lanyard looped at the top so I can anchor my hand to it and has a cane rubber tip to aid in traction on rock faces, stream/creek beds etc.. It helps to stabilize you up or down hills or steep passages especialy when you have a load on your back. You can use it a defensive weapon to put in between yourself and an aggressive animal. Use it as a centre pole with a tarp for a shade cover or as a rain shelter. Endless possibilities. You can personalize it with trail markers, burnings, engraving and such. 

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I use a LEKI Sierra Photo Pole with soft antishock and easy lock.  It has three adjustable sections, and compresses into a lenth of about 20 inches. It is a great stabilizer.  As Bobimbob said, it has many uses, some of which I probably have not found yet.

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A freind of mine has a walking stick that he made out of a fallen hickory branch, he debarked it and urathaned it ,looks awesome thats what i'd like to do verses a store bought one, has more personality.

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Another item that you can modify your staff is a ferrule in the top of it to attach a camera, a pair of binoculars etc...

Or inset a small liquid filled compass so that you have one all the time.

Some aluminum hiking staffs are in detachable sections which are hollow and can store survival items.They are also expandable/collaspsable to suit your needs.

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Guest adrenjunky

I use a wooden staff that I made out of a piece of cherry wood off my old property. It has 50' of paracord on it along with memories of past trips.

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Keeping with minimal ideas you could use your staff as a fishing pole especialy the lighter aluminum ones with the addition of a fishing reel or an adpter mount to store fishing line to the staff.

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Do you use a walking stick when you are in the woods?  Is it one you've picked up off the ground, handmade, or store bought? 

 

Personally I use a closet dowel cut so it is just a few inches taller than my shoulder.  That's how long my Dad told me that walking sticks should be.  I put a leather loop on it.  It's been a few hundred miles with me and I love it.  I have problems going downhill because of my knees.  The stick absorbs a lot of that jarring every time I step down.  Also good for fending off ornery cows that attack in the middle of nowhere's.

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First, I use my CaneMasters Premium Hickory Street Cane, $100 @ www.canemasters.com.  I love it.  Hickory is HARD as rock.  It is a deadly weapon.  Notice the point at the top.  Get the video, too.  It shows how to defend yourself.  All canes are handmade by Master Mark Shuey, Sr.

Next, I use a SwissGear Hiking Pole, it's adjustable, lightweight, anti-shock, only $10 @ WalMart (lists for $50).

SwissGear_Hiking_Pole.jpg.d1cb0c6d5b33b0e32448d9cd365445e6.jpg

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Hickory_Premium_Street_Cane.jpg.bd54de9bbc0eabf7f3ef570514b54bac.jpg

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Dave469, I use a Rattan Staff that's 2" taller than the top of my shoulder, too.  Rattan bends, but takes a heck of a lot to break it!  It's very lightweight, flexible, and strong.  I ordered mine over 15 years ago through a martial arts catalog, costs $20 more or less, don't recall.  I made a strap with 550 paracord black/olive using the king cobra stitch, looks great and works fine.

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I have a couple that I use now.  One is a 60" HD Hickory rake handle and the other is a 72" piece of rivercane that I cut several months ago while gathering willow.  The cane is ultra-lite and fairly strong and the Hickory is heavy and I can trust it to turn logs and small boulders if I have to.  Of the two, I prefer the cane.

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I use a 6 foot staff that I have had for... 12 years or so (oh my scouting days :D ).  I'm afraid I can't remember the original wood, but now it has been cured to the point that it weighs next to nothing, but can still support my entire bodyweight when I vault down off of something.  It has been useful in preventing fatigue and sprained ankles, and has helped me hobble out of the bush, when I was tired and had a sprained ankle.  So either way, I come out on top.

I've done a few little modifications to it over the years.  I have added a few decorative "badges" from some places I've been, burnt some patterns into the wood.  A useful modification I made to it was to burn it centimeter and inch markers.  While they are not precise (for you machinists out there), they have proven to be useful here and there.  I've been meaning to put a leather thong through the top of it for quiet some time, and I have never had the heart to sand or varnish any parts of it.  I took all the bark off by hand with my first knife, and that's just the way I like it.

 

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I love having a walking stick, especially for mountain trails.  I like taking "shortcuts" straight down the side of a mountain.  A good sturdy staff helps maintain balance and keeps me from sliding on the steep parts.  And it's fun to play Robin Hood and Friar Tuck on a big log crossing a creek.   :lol:

 

I usually just find one when I'm out in the woods.  I don't have one at home, other than my "sword" cane.  I keep that one handy for urban survival.  ;)

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i do what Holly does ... if i really need one, i'll just pick one up along the way that is suitable.  i wouldn't mind making one when i get the time and find the right piece of wood for it  :hugegrin:

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Guest adrenjunky

I am working on building hiking sticks and here are a couple of the test runs.

adventure056.jpg

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adventure053.jpg

adventure052.jpg

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Nice looking AJ :thumbup:

Does the screwed ferule stay tight during a a day or do you have to retighten it at some point lets say at lunch or so?

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Guest adrenjunky

Thanks

 

The joint stay pretty tight. I have only used these on a few hikes, I built them to toy around with and see what I like. I am going to put a couple things on tomorrow and will post some more pics after.

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At work we use the sam e teflon tape that plumbers use to fill in threaded fit that are loosening up I thought that may help if it does come loose once in a while.

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After finding a hiking staff while I was out geocaching (I nicely returned it to it’s rightful owner) I purchased a Cabela's Alaskan Guide Hiking Staff (Item:IK-518272). These list for around $50, but watching the sale fliers, I found it for $25.

 

I really like this.  It is light, solid and adjustable.  It has a shock absorber that can be disabled if you need the staff to be solid for climbing or going down a steep bank.  The match container stays tight and I really like having the camera mount with me when I’m out and about.

 

I did have the wooden handle come loose, but some gorilla glue solved that problem quickly.  The compass in the handle, however, is purely decoration (mine is off about 90 degrees). 

 

I have used this for almost a year now and it has held up very well to the abuse.  I can even disassemble it when I fly and pack it in my checked luggage.

 

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Walking sticks are a must for me these days as I'm 65 and cant just crash through brush like I used to. They are my third leg (never mind Rock)  :nop:  especially on steep banks.I use it to wack limbs down and prop sticker bushes out of my path.

 

I have a selection of favorites but natural is a must as picking just the right one is part of the "outdoor " experience. I like iron wood the best and than diamond willow.

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