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Hiking poles


softball29
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I have searched on the forums here and am coming up empty, so I thought I would post a thread. ...

 

I am looking to invest in a hiking stick. Not one of the metal poles that can be purchased at a wal-mart or something, but rather a well-made wooden hiking stick.

 

I thought, at one point, I read on here about someone who makes them for a decent price, engraves their name on the stick etc., and ships them to the person etc. I was trying to find that as well.

 

If anyone knows some people that might make them or a good place to pick up a wooden hiking stick, could you let me know? My family is hounding me for a Christmas list, so I wouldn't mind adding this to the list if I could find a stick I know I would like etc.

 

Thanks!

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I have searched on the forums here and am coming up empty, so I thought I would post a thread. ...

I am looking to invest in a hiking stick. Not one of the metal poles that can be purchased at a wal-mart or something, but rather a well-made wooden hiking stick.

I thought, at one point, I read on here about someone who makes them for a decent price, engraves their name on the stick etc., and ships them to the person etc. I was trying to find that as well.

If anyone knows some people that might make them or a good place to pick up a wooden hiking stick, could you let me know? My family is hounding me for a Christmas list, so I wouldn't mind adding this to the list if I could find a stick I know I would like etc.

Thanks!

My personal favorites are sticks that I have gathered over the years from beaver ponds. They have had the bark removed, are nicely sun-bleached, stout, and nicely chewed to a point. I have used both a magnifying glass and a soldering iron (OK, wood burning tool) to burn the date and the name of the river into them. I have a very nice collection spanning about 30 years, and each one is a memory.
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I went over to Home Depot (or maybe it was Lowe's) and bought a 1.125" diameter wooden dowel about 6 feet long and took it home, sanded it, cut a bit off one end and sprayed it with lacquer. Then I wound some leather trips near one end and tacked them, drilled a hole close to that end, and put a 2 foot piece of nylon rope through it as a lanyard. I now have a nice hiking stick, and the entire thing cost something like $10 and is quite serviceable.

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I think you'd want something about chest high, with a handle 10-12 inches foot long. The longer length can be useful on downhills and you can slide your hand down the stick some to "shorten" it on uphills.

 

I use trekking pole and simply adjust the length as needed, but since you can't do that with a wooden stick you'll move your hand's position on the stick as different lengths are required.

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A 6 ft. staff of ironwood (Eastern Hophornbeam) is nearly indestructible and has a multitude of uses. If you can get an old-style golf shoe spike for the end, even better. It finishes off very nicely and would be a trusted friend and ally for many years. Learn to use it like Little John of Robin Hood fame and you go forward without fear.

 

I say 6 ft. for you, others like them just a bit longer, some shorter (like my "boss"). :lol:

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In 1978 I found a stand of bamboo along side Interstate 10 in Florida. Went over and cut me a hiking stick. Still have it and it is still very servicable. You can find them on Ebay.

 

A side note when going off road in Florida be sure to watch for Fire ants. I looked like a fool stading along side the Interstate with my pants down trying to get rid of them :>}

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I have searched on the forums here and am coming up empty, so I thought I would post a thread. ...

 

I am looking to invest in a hiking stick. Not one of the metal poles that can be purchased at a wal-mart or something, but rather a well-made wooden hiking stick.

 

I thought, at one point, I read on here about someone who makes them for a decent price, engraves their name on the stick etc., and ships them to the person etc. I was trying to find that as well.

 

If anyone knows some people that might make them or a good place to pick up a wooden hiking stick, could you let me know? My family is hounding me for a Christmas list, so I wouldn't mind adding this to the list if I could find a stick I know I would like etc.

 

Thanks!

Why are you so dismissive of trekking poles? Yes, there are crummy, cheap ones - that's true of a most products. But a good trekking pole has a lot a advantages to a hiking stick. They're much lighter. They have a shock-absorbing system. Used correctly with the strap, there's virtually no hand fatigue. They can be adjusted for the terrain (shorter uphill, longer downhill). They collapse down to a convenient length for carrying or attaching to a backpack, so you don't look like a doofus when walking on a surface where a hiking stick is unnecessary (paved trail, for example).

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They collapse down to a convenient length for carrying or attaching to a backpack, so you don't look like a doofus when walking on a surface where a hiking stick is unnecessary (paved trail, for example).

What's wrong with carrying a big stick, as long as you're walking quietly? At least one ex-president seemed to think it is a good idea :lol:

 

I'd go for a good hiking pole any day over a hiking staff too. Other than the advantages you've mentioned, for more difficult terrain, having one hiking pole in each hand really improves stability. Rather hard to do with hiking sticks.

Edited by Chrysalides
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They collapse down to a convenient length for carrying or attaching to a backpack, so you don't look like a doofus when walking on a surface where a hiking stick is unnecessary (paved trail, for example).

What's wrong with carrying a big stick, as long as you're walking quietly? At least one ex-president seemed to think it is a good idea :lol:

 

I'd go for a good hiking pole any day over a hiking staff too. Other than the advantages you've mentioned, for more difficult terrain, having one hiking pole in each hand really improves stability. Rather hard to do with hiking sticks.

 

Well here are my few cents ... in my wide ranging area there are many different terrain difficulties most of common items simply did not quite cut the mustard.

 

I eventually settled on ... of all things ... a shovel handle!!!! Supports much weight in difficult terrain ascents and descents, gives me extra reach when in rattle snake territory etc. etc.

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I have searched on the forums here and am coming up empty, so I thought I would post a thread. ...

 

I am looking to invest in a hiking stick. Not one of the metal poles that can be purchased at a wal-mart or something, but rather a well-made wooden hiking stick.

 

I thought, at one point, I read on here about someone who makes them for a decent price, engraves their name on the stick etc., and ships them to the person etc. I was trying to find that as well.

 

If anyone knows some people that might make them or a good place to pick up a wooden hiking stick, could you let me know? My family is hounding me for a Christmas list, so I wouldn't mind adding this to the list if I could find a stick I know I would like etc.

 

Thanks!

Why are you so dismissive of trekking poles? Yes, there are crummy, cheap ones - that's true of a most products. But a good trekking pole has a lot a advantages to a hiking stick. They're much lighter. They have a shock-absorbing system. Used correctly with the strap, there's virtually no hand fatigue. They can be adjusted for the terrain (shorter uphill, longer downhill). They collapse down to a convenient length for carrying or attaching to a backpack, so you don't look like a doofus when walking on a surface where a hiking stick is unnecessary (paved trail, for example).

 

I am dismissive of them because I've used them and I would prefer a good hiking staff. I've used good ones and bad ones (and actually own a set) and I'd like a good hiking staff at this point.

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I eventually settled on ... of all things ... a shovel handle!!!! Supports much weight in difficult terrain ascents and descents, gives me extra reach when in rattle snake territory etc. etc.

 

.snake-pulling-cow-large.jpg

Rattle snake!!. That's not a snake. This is a snake.

PS. can you spot the cache location?

 

Or this one

http://www.hemmy.net/images/cool/snakefence02.jpg

http://www.hemmy.net/images/cool/snakefence01.jpg

 

Caching in Australia anyone?

At least we don't have grizzly bears.

Edited by bshwckr
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I've owned many a store bought hiking/trekking pole, and I've used many different wooden staffs. For the environment I cache in, I'll take the heft of a wooden staff any day. I had a trekking pole collapse under a load, dumping me on my keister. The pole itself was fine. It was the locking mechanism that failed. Since then, I've had a tough time putting my faith in them.

 

If you want a unique piece of wood, you might try Tree Line USA.

I've purchased from them before and never had a problem.

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I have a few pieces of natural wood for staffs ( including a nice home made one from WAY back in Scout days)...

 

Have some mid range walking poles, but I use them for moving brush etc. and as tracking sticks... when out and about... cacheing, SAR etc.

 

However, in the interest of recycling and practicality, I usually head for the local hockey rink...

usually one can get an adult hockey stick out of the dumpster... or ask around. There are one piece of wood types, usually ash, but they are getting rarer... or laminated ones. These are quite tough but not really 'pretty'. Fortunately, they tend to break of down by the puck end, the blade gets snapped. Which leaves a usuable length of stick. Shape it up to suit your hand, pad if needed. I often leave the blade stub to be reshaped and smoothed. Makes a great tool for cleaning out eaves without getting too close to the edge. Be creative, I can use it to clean out drains etc. (which is cover story for playing in puddles).

 

Doug 7rxc

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I can certainly see the attraction for using a stout stick when geocaching. The extra durability can certainly be a positive for pushing brush out of the way or whatnot and in my neck of the woods you NEED something to poke into holes in case venomous snakes are present.

 

However, good trekking poles are good and useful. I own a pair of fairly durable shock-absorbing ones. I find them most useful when backpacking on trails, and they help with evening my gait and giving just a little bit of stability when needed. Of course you can't put all your weight on them. I've seen them fold in half when treated this way. Yes, some locking mechanisms are a bit unreliable, and this is part of the reason not to put too much weight on them. But there are better locking mechanisms out there, too.

 

But I hate trekking poles for off-trail use because they are too lightweight to really push through brush, and they get snagged easily on brush and easily punch into rotten wood and all sorts of other crap that makes them annoying.

 

Renaissance fairs tend to be good places to look for wood walking sticks. It's probably a bit late in the season to look, however the one here in Texas ends this weekend so there might be a chance.

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Sorry for my off topic above but I wanted to share the scary snake pictures I found.

As I get older and my legs are complaining more on the longer up and down tracks, I have been getting interested in walking poles. One of the issues I have with them is that they do not look very "cool". Ever seen anyone doing Nordic walking. :angry:

I like the idea of the wooden staff. Its closer to the act of picking up a stick on a walk. May look good in Gandalf kind of way and it is a superior weapon with longer reach than a walking pole. (good for snakes and FTF stouches)

Also with one staff versus 2 walking poles, you have one hand free to hold the GPS.

Realistically though, my reading indicates that 2 walking poles are the way to go.

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I use a hockey stick shaft. They are durable and inexpensive when you find broken sticks in the trash at hockey rinks.

 

Trekking poles don't work well in the steep skree fields I hike and cache in. I've bent many expensive ones and don't trust them with my safety.

 

Do you use two hockey stick shafts or just one?

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Sorry for my off topic above but I wanted to share the scary snake pictures I found.

As I get older and my legs are complaining more on the longer up and down tracks, I have been getting interested in walking poles. One of the issues I have with them is that they do not look very "cool". Ever seen anyone doing Nordic walking. :unsure:

I like the idea of the wooden staff. Its closer to the act of picking up a stick on a walk. May look good in Gandalf kind of way and it is a superior weapon with longer reach than a walking pole. (good for snakes and FTF stouches)

Also with one staff versus 2 walking poles, you have one hand free to hold the GPS.

Realistically though, my reading indicates that 2 walking poles are the way to go.

 

Two poles are definitely the way to go to take some pressure off your legs. As far as the cool factor, I long ago

disregarded that. I do have to withstand countless "where's the snow?" comments by passing hikers (everybody has to be a comedian).

 

BTW if you're looking for a weapon, I wouldn't want to be on the the business end of a trekking pole. They are pointy.

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I eventually settled on ... of all things ... a shovel handle!!!! Supports much weight in difficult terrain ascents and descents, gives me extra reach when in rattle snake territory etc. etc.

 

.snake-pulling-cow-large.jpg

Rattle snake!!. That's not a snake. This is a snake.

PS. can you spot the cache location?

 

Or this one

http://www.hemmy.net/images/cool/snakefence02.jpg

http://www.hemmy.net/images/cool/snakefence01.jpg

 

Caching in Australia anyone?

At least we don't have grizzly bears.

 

What kind of snake is the brown one? That puppy is one long snake!

 

I made my own staff and I think I did pretty good if I do say so myself! Most people would say you need to debark the wood, I didn't bother, I just sanded dried and sealed...turned out really nice! I'll see if I can find any pics! This is cheap and really rewarding as far as pride and useage, I know my staff will handle most anything I throw at it!

 

Here it is..

 

1f703116-de01-447a-b01f-e94539c7aeca.jpg

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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I don't know about NY, but around here you can find more hiking poles than you can shake a stick at (sorry for the pun) at local apple festivals in the Fall, and heritage day festivals year around.

 

Many of the people who travel around the country to different maple syrup/apple butter/Fall festival type things have all kinds of hiking poles carved for sale.

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I use a hockey stick shaft. They are durable and inexpensive when you find broken sticks in the trash at hockey rinks.

 

Trekking poles don't work well in the steep skree fields I hike and cache in. I've bent many expensive ones and don't trust them with my safety.

 

Do you use two hockey stick shafts or just one?

 

I use only one. This leaves my other hand free to hang on by my fingernails :unsure:

 

Depending on the terrain, I switch the single stick between hands to assist in uphill/downhill areas.

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I have searched on the forums here and am coming up empty, so I thought I would post a thread. ...

 

I am looking to invest in a hiking stick. Not one of the metal poles that can be purchased at a wal-mart or something, but rather a well-made wooden hiking stick.

 

I thought, at one point, I read on here about someone who makes them for a decent price, engraves their name on the stick etc., and ships them to the person etc. I was trying to find that as well.

 

If anyone knows some people that might make them or a good place to pick up a wooden hiking stick, could you let me know? My family is hounding me for a Christmas list, so I wouldn't mind adding this to the list if I could find a stick I know I would like etc.

 

Thanks!

I've used a wooden walking stick as well as adjustable treking (hiking) poles. The wooden stick may sound cool, but they are heavy and not adustable. The metal (different types depending on price) poles are lighter, adustable, have handles and wrist straps, and are much easier to use. As an example when going uphill it is more efficient to have shorter poles (a little over hip high). When going downhill it is more efficient to have longer poles (a little over waist high). Before investing in a wooden pole I suggest that you go to REI (or some local sporting goods store) and take a look at the various adjustable poles. They also have a viedo that gives instructions on how to use them. By the way, I find mine very useful when searching for caches in rock piles, since we have a lot of rattlesnakes in the areas where I cache.

 

OldA'sFan

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I went over to Home Depot (or maybe it was Lowe's) and bought a 1.125" diameter wooden dowel about 6 feet long and took it home, sanded it, cut a bit off one end and sprayed it with lacquer. Then I wound some leather trips near one end and tacked them, drilled a hole close to that end, and put a 2 foot piece of nylon rope through it as a lanyard. I now have a nice hiking stick, and the entire thing cost something like $10 and is quite serviceable.

 

I made one similar to this. The cross pointing for the grip looked too time consuming so I used another type of knot. I don't remember the name of it.

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I've been using one of El Diablo's hiking staff's for many years and I absolutely love it. Lightweight and strong - comes in real handy for poking around rocks and bushes. I really don't think he makes them any more - but I'll get a photo of mine on here.....

 

I've used some nice trekking poles but I felt pretty akward with them - probably because I was much more used to the staff. Either way - they are of great benefit on the trail.

 

As for looking like a doofus - I manage that no matter what I do so while Briansnat gets goofy snow comments - I get even sillier wizard references.

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Oh... so, we're not talking about this?

 

nevermind.

 

 

Seriously... (and on topic): so, those trekking poles really do take a load off of your feet? All too often, the people I see "using" them are really just carrying them, maybe randomly letting one hit the ground every few paces. Essentially, they are not using them.

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I have searched on the forums here and am coming up empty, so I thought I would post a thread. ...

 

I am looking to invest in a hiking stick. Not one of the metal poles that can be purchased at a wal-mart or something, but rather a well-made wooden hiking stick.

 

I thought, at one point, I read on here about someone who makes them for a decent price, engraves their name on the stick etc., and ships them to the person etc. I was trying to find that as well.

 

If anyone knows some people that might make them or a good place to pick up a wooden hiking stick, could you let me know? My family is hounding me for a Christmas list, so I wouldn't mind adding this to the list if I could find a stick I know I would like etc.

 

Thanks!

Link to comment

I have searched on the forums here and am coming up empty, so I thought I would post a thread. ...

 

I am looking to invest in a hiking stick. Not one of the metal poles that can be purchased at a wal-mart or something, but rather a well-made wooden hiking stick.

 

I thought, at one point, I read on here about someone who makes them for a decent price, engraves their name on the stick etc., and ships them to the person etc. I was trying to find that as well.

 

If anyone knows some people that might make them or a good place to pick up a wooden hiking stick, could you let me know? My family is hounding me for a Christmas list, so I wouldn't mind adding this to the list if I could find a stick I know I would like etc.

 

Thanks!

 

Craft Fairs that have wood working artists at them are also a great place to find good walking sticks. If you visit Wisconsin and Minnesota you can find them at many of these events.

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Oh... so, we're not talking about this?

 

nevermind.

 

 

Seriously... (and on topic): so, those trekking poles really do take a load off of your feet? All too often, the people I see "using" them are really just carrying them, maybe randomly letting one hit the ground every few paces. Essentially, they are not using them.

 

They don't really take a load off your feet. More like they give you 4wd. They can cut down on the 'pounding' of going down steep hills if you actually use them (palm the grip, use it to control your descent), and they can help with traction and stability on steep climbs. If you really want to put the pedal down, you can get your arms into helping you move on flat ground.

 

I don't use trekking poles when I'm not backpacking or hiking tough terrain. I usually carry one when geocaching so I have something to poke into holes (and avoid venomous snakes).

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They don't really take a load off your feet. More like they give you 4wd. They can cut down on the 'pounding' of going down steep hills if you actually use them (palm the grip, use it to control your descent), and they can help with traction and stability on steep climbs. If you really want to put the pedal down, you can get your arms into helping you move on flat ground.

 

I don't use trekking poles when I'm not backpacking or hiking tough terrain. I usually carry one when geocaching so I have something to poke into holes (and avoid venomous snakes).

 

They make the most difference in the knees (for me). They are great for walking over rocks while crossing streams when having three points on the ground is better than one.

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Here's how I look at it - Ever been walking up or down on terrain where you wished there was a nearby tree you could hold on to? A treking pole with a well-planted carbide tip in the ground, is like having a portable tree whenever you need it. A hiking stick, that just rests on the surface of the ground? Not so much.

 

Unless your stick has a carbide tip. You can put whatever type of tip you want to on a hiking staff. Not so with trekking poles.

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Thanks all for the responses.

 

jmd -- sounds like an interesting idea.

 

One more question for the experts -- how long of a stick would be good? I am about 5-9, so wondering. I don't know if I want a 6-foot stick, but something better than ski-pole type staffs.

 

I wanted a walking pole for utilitarian reasons only, so I went to Ace Hardware and bought a replacement wooden broom handle. I'm also 5' 9'' and the handle is about 5', so it's the perfect height for me. I drilled a small hole near the top of the broom handle, ran a length of camo nylon rope through the hole, and tied off the ends. DONE! Total investment: Less than $10 and 30 minutes of my time if you count driving to the harware store. :)

Edited by rocketsteve
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...I am looking to invest in a hiking stick. Not one of the metal poles that can be purchased at a wal-mart or something, but rather a well-made wooden hiking stick....

 

I've found that the sticks I like most to carry when out in the woods are ones I've worked on myself. There's something about turning a long stave of wood you found on a hike into something personal and useful that is very satisfying. Plus, it doesn't cost anything!

 

I've seen nice walking sticks for sale at places like Sportsmans Warehouse, for around $25 or so. They look nice, if you want to buy one. A great online resource is Brazos Walking sticks, where you can find cool ones like this:

 

tcwbr1.jpg

 

I needed some sticks in this weekend while climbing a mountain side covered with scree, so I got out my folding saw and cut up some dead wood to make my own. It worked very well having two sticks to brace myself as I clambered up the 45° slope, I must say. I noticed I wasn't nearly as tired afterward, and I may have to look into some aluminum trekking poles now.

Edited by gateti
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When I am hiking steep trails or going off trail in steep terrain I use a hiking pole with a carbide tip. It helps on the downhill stuff and I can shoeter it for the uphill so I can use my arms to pull myself up also. I add some baskets to use it when snowshoeing.

 

On level or not so steep terrain I don't use anything.

 

I have a wood hiking staff El Diablo made me. But I don't take it out hiking or geocaching I wouldn't want to hurt it.

 

I also made one for my wife. Of course it is my favorite one. She used it for some geocaches. She has ad a total knee replacement and some heart problems, so it comes in handy for her.

 

9340f70a-1497-487d-8cda-015fcd349ea2.jpg

 

I made this from a limb I found along a trail on the way to place this cache at a waterfall I wanted her to see. It was her first hike a year after a virus attack left her with congestive heart failure. It is a memento of that 2 mile hike for her. :huh:

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What kind of snake is the brown one? That puppy is one long snake!

 

 

Some sort of python, non venomous, probably timid.

As for the snake in the links, also non-venomous and also probably timid. It is not happy as it is caught in an electric fence. The guys that took the photo cut the fence to allow it to get away.

 

From the on-topic discussion, I think I am going to have a go at making myself a nice walking pole with a bit of artistic carving. I can imagine it becoming a long time friend.

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theres a gentleman here in Souther california that makes custom hiking sticks. his name is sergerguy, also i saw he just started making a hikers survival kit, bit of wood with a compass on top and a matchstick container built in filled with some esentials.

 

find him here

Edited by drain13
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When I am hiking steep trails or going off trail in steep terrain I use a hiking pole with a carbide tip. It helps on the downhill stuff and I can shoeter it for the uphill so I can use my arms to pull myself up also. I add some baskets to use it when snowshoeing.

 

On level or not so steep terrain I don't use anything.

 

I have a wood hiking staff El Diablo made me. But I don't take it out hiking or geocaching I wouldn't want to hurt it.

 

I also made one for my wife. Of course it is my favorite one. She used it for some geocaches. She has ad a total knee replacement and some heart problems, so it comes in handy for her.

 

9340f70a-1497-487d-8cda-015fcd349ea2.jpg

 

I made this from a limb I found along a trail on the way to place this cache at a waterfall I wanted her to see. It was her first hike a year after a virus attack left her with congestive heart failure. It is a memento of that 2 mile hike for her. :huh:

 

Great job on that staff!

 

El Diablo

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