Making Your Own Hiking Staff...
They are an important part of any walker’s accessories. They help take the weight off your knees and assist in maneuvering down the steeper descents.
The length of a hiking staff can very quite a lot, the recommended length is six feet or about, 1.75 meters. It can take the form of a simple plain stick, the kind that you break off branches while on the trail, or it could be high-spec with such sophisticated features as telescopic paraphernalia and adjustability.
Prices can range from a few dollars to over a hundred. But, if you want a bit of a bargain, then head off to the woods and select and secure your own stick.
It should be a sturdy straight wood. About 1 ½ inches round, or 3.4 centimeters. Any type of wood may be used, but, the most suitable woods are ash, hickory, oak, and iron wood or “muscle wood”. You may also use good grades of sugar maple, elm, wild cherry, yellow birch, Saskatoon, and mountain ash for your walking stick.
You can use it to fathom the depths of swamp holes and murky streams, or for guarding your face when pushing through heavy undergrowth. You can also use it for finding your way in the dark and for carting bundles over your shoulder when wading through a stream.
Hikers have found all kinds of innovative uses for the humble walking stick. It can be used as poles for making an emergency tent, for signaling at a distance, for improvising a flagpole, for constructing a small bridge, and as poles for an emergency stretcher. In addition, you can also make use of your stick for the forming of a barrier for crowd control, as well as for pole-vaulting ditches and streams.
How to Construct a Staff for Hiking
This simple guide will help you to make your own hiking staff before you hit the road:
• First of all, pick and cut a straight 6-foot sapling that is approximately ½” round at the broadest end.
• Then, put the sapling in a cool dry place. Wait for 3 or 4 weeks before doing anything further with the fresh wood.
• Cut the stick to 5’6” long.
• Then, remove the bark carefully. The bark over the second 12” may be left alone to provide you with a better hold on your hiking staff.
• Next, trim off any knots until the stick feels fairly smooth.
• Mark at 1 foot intervals beginning at the top (the thicker end).
• Mark out the top 6” at 1” spaces.
• Finally, treat all of it with oil stain or preservative.
These steps are, of course, rather excessive for a simple walking stick that you employ for a little extr support. But kind of nice hiking around places carrying an interesting looking stick that’s a cut above something you just put together from an old branch in the woods.