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Hiking Stick


DanIAm
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I hope I don't come across as unintelligent here, but I got a few questions about hiking sticks.

 

I can see their value and I would like to get one myself. However I can't see where people go out and buy ones pre-made as if they work any better. I am sure I am off here, hence the post. What am I missing here? Could I not go to Home Depot, purchase a long wide in diameter push broom stick, or perhaps a wooden closet bar. I would cut this to my needed length and use it as I see fit. What are the advantages of say buying a professional hiking stick?

 

Thanks,

GeocachingGuy

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I've read elsewhere in these Forums that Cachers have bought and used Broom Stick Handles for Walking Sticks Just make sure it can support your weight (lean into it like a crutch) and is about shoulder high and not too heavy to lug on the trail. I made my own from Birch dead fall.

 

Take Care,

Mike

''Oh Jersey, we salute thee. Oh Jersey, sovereign state. Oh Jersey, magnificent empire; magnificent home of the natural slob. Oh Jersey.'' Jean Shepherd

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I bought a hiking stick at G.I.Joes. Here's why I think it's better than a closet dowell..........

 

1) It has a foam grip which is comfortable.

 

2) It has a lanyard in case I need to let go of it.

 

3) It weighs only 10 ounces.

 

4) I only paid about 25 bucks for it.

 

5) It has a rubber "foot" which grips well on slippery surfaces.

 

Here' a pic of it.

 

654123.jpg

 

 

OG

 

Prophetically Challenged (or is that Pathetically?)

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There are a lot of opinions in these threads already about hiking staffs. You can't go wrong with the Home Depot route, but there are advantages to the collapsibles and there is an asthetic appeal to the beautiful handmade Geo-hiking staffs that El Diablo makes.

 

I for one went with a collapsable staff for ease of backpacking. It also has a rubber tip that can come off to expose a pointy tip. There are some trail systems that have started banning the use of the pointy tips. The knob comes off so that I can attach my camera and use it as a mono-pod which is handy when I want to include myself into the picture.

 

Some of the collabsables come with a shock absorber. They seem sturdy enough and I can see the advantage they would have in relieving some of the feedback the staff will give when striking rocks.

 

Collapsables come in three styles; bungee corded like some tent poles, twist-lock systems and push button lock systems. I have the the push button type which works well for me.

 

Cheers!

TL

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Just use a broom handle or a closet dowel.

 

You can still add a cushion grip (bicycle grip), lanyard, rubber tip, or a metal point if you wish.

 

Paint it or carve it to your hearts delight.

 

You won't have a lot of money tied up in it if it breaks or you lose it.

 

or you can buy a graphite and kevlar trekking staff with built in shock absorbers and spent upwards of a hundred bucks to look cool.

 

===========================================================

"The time has come" the Walrus said "to speak of many things; of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and Kings".

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I like trekking poles. Its not a matter of looking cool either. I prefer them because they

collapse and fit in your pack when you don't need then, or when they get in the way (like when climbing).

 

They are also easy to bring along when you travel, as they fit easily into your luggage.

 

And best of all, they double as poles for snowshoeing and cross country skiing and the tip fits nicely into the grommet of a tarp so you don't have to bring extra poles on backpacking trips.

 

Check out Sierra Trading Post for some good prices on trekking poles.

 

 

"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day" - Dave Barry

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I made my onw staff, Went to craft store bought bamboo rod, 8.99. Then went to Kmart, bought rubber chair leg mounts, 1.99 Drilled a hole at the top, looped 550 cord (free while I was in Army) and tied to make the lanyard. Then went back to craft store (forgot, from old age) and bought leather cord. Wrapped at top for a grip. Don't recall the proice of the leather cord, but I also still have a lot left.

 

Now, I am also buying quite expensive also, but for 55 bucks is a light up system that I will fashion to the top of the staff so when I night cache.

 

I bought a GPS. Now I get lost with style.

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icon_wink.gif Myself seeing as how I'm a (FRUGAL) old man I use discarded ski poles (they have grips, tips etc. and I pick them up for about a buck at the second-hand stores. ~~~ I have used them for the last 14 years or so here in the desert and have had no problems ~~~

 

Mzee ~~~ "And now where"

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Well, I wouldn't go out and spend big bucks on a stick. Ski poles work great...will give out after awhile if you use them like I did, but can be replaced with old ones for next to nothing in hand-me-dwon shops.

 

A couple of my friends carved their own sticks out of vine maple alder...very strong.

 

I personally use a hickory hicking stick that my grandfather gave me, but for years I used broomsticks and ski poles.

 

Only advantage to professional hike staffs are the ones that collapse down and are adjustable in lenght. That can be nice in mountaineering. I'm going to buy such a pair for that use only.

 

Besides that, I'd stick with a one-piece stick as I feel they are stronger and less likely to break down. No need to spend money...probably have something around the house that will work.

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Well, I might as well offer my opinion. I have a hiking staff made of Plum Wood (that's what the tag said anyway). It is about 5 1/2 feet long and I wish it were a little longer. It is varnished or laquered or something and has a rubber "crutch" tip on it and a leather lanyard on it. I don't need it for hiking but I like it. When I have it I find uses for it. It helps me vault small streams. I used it once to vault a dry ditch that I didn't want to have to climb into and out of. It is also nice for poking around in the brush looking for that elusive cache under all the leaves and stuff. When you hear that hollow ammo box clang you know you have it. I paid about $9 for this staff at our local Scout office and it has been a great investment. A broom handle or closet dowel might work just as well but $9 isn't that much and the finish on the outside keeps the splinters out of my hand.

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quote:
Originally posted by TotemLake:

There are a lot of opinions in these threads already about hiking staffs. You can't go wrong with the Home Depot route, but there are advantages to the collapsibles and there is an asthetic appeal to the beautiful handmade Geo-hiking staffs that El Diablo makes.


 

When the boys expressed an interest in hiking staffs, I asked El Diablo to make one for each of my boys. It was a combination Christmas present and celebration of our first full year of caching. When George and I did Well I'll Be, he used his El Diablo staff while I used an old ski pole as we made our way across the river. Both worked perfectly...George just did it with more class than me. El Diablo's staffs are as much a piece of art as they are functional.

 

George

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That's a great log Dad! I especially liked the fact you had a life vest on your son. That's very safety-minded of you! I see (and I'm sure a lot of others do too) very risky behavior out on the trail. Every summer we see accidental drownings of children on the news & in the papers. It's refreshing to see that you aproached that river with awareness and also taught your son respect for the water!

 

Three cheers for you!!

 

Og

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I ran across a hiking stick a few months ago that also doubles as a survival kit (system). I haven't purchased it because I think it's a little overkill for the local park and other areas I go. I never knew you could spend $200+ for a hiking stick, and another $200+ for the accessories... But for the serious wilderness hiker, I could see the advantages....

 

Here's a link to this very interesting Survival Staff.

 

-----

Cache Quest

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Just make sure it is VERY strong. I was crossing over a fence using a neat looking natural pine stick I had found and "thought" was strong...Ha, I used it to steady myself on going over to the downside when the next thing I know I hear SNAP and I'm falling...Luckily quick roll and I landed on my back using my pack to break the fall...I thought to myself DARN i broke my "nice looking" hiking stick,as I held one of the pieces in my hand, then I look to the left of me and sure enough snapped in two.. Only problem was the other piece was still stuck in the ground with a nice jaggy point sticking up right beside me..Missed by -- that much...About that time the shakes started with the relization how close I came to being the first geocacher shish-ka-bob... OUCH... R

 

Without your brain, a map is a piece of coloured paper, a compass is a glorified magnet, and a GPS is a waterproof battery case." " Foothills SAR "

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quote:
Originally posted by o2bcd8d:

Here is a site with a walking stick that my son made for his Boy Scout hiking. He takes it all the time with us now. http://www.therangerdigest.com/Tips___Tricks/Bamboo_Walkin_Stick/body_bamboo_walkin_stick.htm<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

 

Better keep an eye on Ranger Rick around the Boy Scouts....even if he is "prepared."

 

quote:
Yep, believe it or not, all these items fit inside the top portion of my walkin stick. No BS! The Mini Mag-Lite, the small Swiss Army Knife,!----> a condom <----!, water purification tablets, fishing line, hooks, sinkers, etc, including a little bitty compass too. And to make sure these items stay securely inside, I close/plug the top with a plastic cork. Cool, huh?

 

75675_400.jpg

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I STARTED TO NOT REPLY TO THIS THREAD BUT RECENT POSTS HAVE CAUSED ME TO CHANGE MY MIND AND GIVE MY .02 WORTH OF ADVICE. OVER A FEW DECADES I HAVE MADE A FEW OF THESE 'STICKS' IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, HAVE BOUGHT SOME AND GIVEN SOME AWAY AND HAVE EVEN USED A COUPLE OF THROW AWAYS ACQUIRED AT THE TRAILHEAD ALSO. I HAVE COME TO THE PERSONAL CONCLUSION THAT I WILL MAKE AND CARRY A 'STOUT' POLE OR NONE AT ALL. I HAVE SEEN LEKIS AND SKI POLES BENT INTO PRETZELS WHILE SOMEONE TRIED TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE UP A SLOPE OR OUT OF THE WATER UNSUCCESFULLY, WOODEN AND BAMBOO POLES SPLIT AND BROKEN JUST HIKING ALONG, UNTIPPED POLES CAUSE BAD FALLS IN THE WINTER ON ICE, AND MY OWN LIFE STORY POLE BURNED BY MY 3 YEAR OLD USING IT AS A POKER WHILE I TOOK A SHOWER AND HIS MOM WATCHED HIM..... LOL. SO,WHEN I WANTED TO MAKE A NEW STORY POLE A FEW YEARS BACK, I THOUGHT IT OVER FOR A WHILE FIRST. HERE'S WHAT I DID.

 

1.BOUGHT A 'D' SHAPED HARDWOOD CLOSET POLE 60" LONG FROM A HOME PROJECTS STORE -- NOT EXPENSIVE, NOT SURE OF THE WEIGHT (DON'T CARE REALLY), EASY TO CARVE, BUT TOUGH. ORIENTED THE FLAT SIDE TO THE INSIDE WHEN I CARVED HANDGRIPS.

 

2. BOUGHT AND INSTALLED A 1/4" COMBINATION LAG SCREW/MACHINE SCREW STUD IN THE BOTTOM. (DRILL A GUIDE HOLE, PUT TWO HEX NUTS ON 1/4-20 THREAD AND TIGHTEN AS JAMS, RUN THE LAG SCREW INTO THE WOOD (USING THE JAM NUTS) UNTIL THE MACHINE SCREW PORTION IS EVEN WITH THE POLE'S FACE WITH WOOD GLUE IN THREADS, TAKE THE NUTS OFF, PUT A FENDER WASHER AGAINST BOTTOM OF POLE AND RUN JAM NUTS AGAINST THIS WITH GLUE UNDER THE WASHER AND LOCKTIGHT ON THE NUTS. GET A RUBBER CAP FOR 'SENSITIVE' AREAS.) THIS KEEPS THE END FROM WEARING AND SPLITTING.

 

3. CARVED HAND GRIPS THAT FIT MY FINGERS EXACTLY FOR HIKING AND THAT PROVIDE GRIPPING SURFACES IN CASE SOMEONE NEEDS TO GRAB THE POLE TO BE PUULED OUT OF A JAM.

 

4. CARVED AND SHAPED THE POLE TO MY LIKING WITH SYMBOLS, DATES, INITIALS, ETC -- STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS -- LOL

 

5. WILL MAKE dadgum CERTAIN THAT KIDS DON'T USE THIS ONE AS A FIRE POKER C(rying)OL STILL...

 

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR PROJECT

 

"For the captain had quitted the long drawn strife

And in far Simoree had taken a wife." ( R. Kipling)

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quote:
Originally posted by SamLowrey:

Better keep an eye on Ranger Rick around the Boy Scouts....even if he is "prepared."


 

The Condom, preferably UNLUBRICATED, is a Water Bag, and if carried with support can hold about a quart.

 

It can also be blown up like tough balloon and provide flotation.

 

Never underestimate the power of forward thinking, and preparedness.

 

(Former Survival Instructor, USAF)

 

geocan.jpg

 

Trash-out, EVERYtime

 

~~

 

Geo-cach-er, n. generally a highy technically competent person with lots of free time. (see also- "Unemployed", Computer administrator, aircraft technician- defense worker- dot-com executive- systems administrator, et.al)

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quote:
Originally posted by Stunod:

http://www.trekpoles.com/howtouse.htm is a good link with info on how to properly use a trekking pole.

 


 

Ok so you have NO HANDS to use for anything else...

 

geocan.jpg

 

Trash-out, EVERYtime

 

~~

 

Geo-cach-er, n. generally a highy technically competent person with lots of free time. (see also- "Unemployed", Computer administrator, aircraft technician- defense worker- dot-com executive- systems administrator, et.al)

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quote:
Originally posted by GeoCan:

quote:
Originally posted by SamLowrey:

Better keep an eye on Ranger Rick around the Boy Scouts....even if he is "prepared."


 

The Condom, preferably UNLUBRICATED, is a Water Bag, and if carried with support can hold about a quart.

 

It can also be blown up like tough balloon and provide flotation.

 

Never underestimate the power of forward thinking, and preparedness.

 


 

Oh, I realized there had to be a "legitimate" reason along the lines you described. I scanned the article to find some elaboration on this but didn't see any. I was thinking along the lines of a waterproofing of some gear or something of that sort. It just comes off as a tad unorthodox.

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Thrift stores sell X-Country ski poles from time to time. Garage sales are also a good source.

 

Make a mount for your GPS on the handle end, and you can use it to lift your GPS higher to get a position fix when you're in brush, and you can use it to hold your gps by sticking it in the ground while you are signing the logbook and all that.

 

They're also handy for poking around in bushes, rotten treestumps, etc. to look for the cache.

 

They are also useful for encouraging the kids to pick up the pace.

 

I'm thinking of buying a pair, and cutting the top off of one so I can slide one inside the other so I'll have one to hold my GPS and the other to poke around for the cache when I get to the coords. Also, I can join them to make a long one to reach the GPS above the trees to some extent (increase the projection view angle skyward).

 

A Camera Monopod isn't too bad either. I found one, and used it a bit, but returned it to the Geocacher who left it in the woods.

 

But, most of the time I just pick up a broken branch and use that. I don't need a walking stick to walk with, and find the cumbersome.

I just need something to probe the cache site, prod the kids, and project my GPS coverage a bit by elevating the antenna.

 

"I'm not Responsible... just ask my wife, She'll confirm it"

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Sorry bout the caps....... I guess I thought I was writting another military operations order. LOL These days there is no rhyme or reason to what or why I do things sometimes.

 

Anyhow.... good cacheing... &........ HAVE A GREAT DAY!

 

"For the captain had quitted the long drawn strife

And in far Simoree had taken a wife." ( R. Kipling)

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I use the "Gee Pole" off my dog sled. It's a good idea to carry it if you're on a frozen river or lake,you can use it to 'bridge' the hole in the ice you've fallen into: it preventsyou from sinking and can help you get out. Mine was made for me by a Beaver, so it has a nice pointy end. I wrapped rawhide around it and a little stip of Beaver fur for a handle and decorated it with a small silver beaver trade charm, brass studs and some beads. icon_wink.gif

 

woo-woo-wuf!!

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icon_cool.gif I have found that Calcutta bamboo works very well, the one I am now using is 6 feet long, I have wrapped the base of it in copper wire to keep the chance of splitting to a minimum, also wrapped the area where my hand normally holds on to it with cord for a better grip its flexible so less chance of it breaking, and it does make a formidable weapon. Been using it for over a year with no problems, and if I travel it just gets tossed it the back of the truck icon_smile.gif

 

All who look are not lost

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I made myself a walking stick when I was 15 once summer at camp. I think it was from a Birch (or some other hardwood). I still have it, more than 15 years later and its still awesome.

 

---------------------------------------------------

frog.gif Free your mind and the rest will follow frog.gif

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I've used a hiking stick made of tamarak for 2 years now. I don't hit any trails without it and I'm at the point where I don't even know its in my hand.

Here is the website of the manufacturer if anyone is interested. It's good looking and very light but strong and comes with a medallion of your choosing.

 

Cheers, Olar

 

"You are only young once but you can stay immature forever"

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quote:
Originally posted by Raggs:

I noticed several time in this thread the the El Diablo walking stick was mentioned. I went to El Diablo.com and got a porn site. can you tell me where I can go and see what the El Diablo looks like and what it costs. Raggs


 

LOL...I've never looked to see where El Diablo.com would take you...now I know! You can reach my actual website atwww.geo-hikingstick.com

 

Thanks for the nice mentions guys.

 

El Diablo

 

Everything you do in life...will impact someone,for better or for worse.

http://www.geo-hikingstick.com

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What I like about our purchased hiking sticks ('trekking poles' or something like that) is that they're almost weightless (definitely a relief after the big stick I used to carry), they collapse down to about 18" for ease of stowing and carrying when they're not in use, and they have wonderfully comfortable grips (foam over cork). They also have nice, grippy graphite tips, and baskets that keep them from sinking into loose sand or soil. There's a nice adjustable strap that provides wrist support, too. Do ordinary sticks or broom handles work? Sure. I just found the extra features and conveniences useful.

 

Brian mentioned that he didn't get his to 'look cool' -- I'd go so far as to say that ours make us look like big dorks, because we're carrying fancy Trekking Poles and we're often in urban parks with little terrain. But they're really useful for poking, and you never know when you're going to need a stick.

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Having extensive experience hiking, walking, backpacking, and professional outdoor surveying, I have an opinion that might be worthwhile:

 

Hiking sticks are for sissies.

 

Toss it out and use the saved weight for extra water, film, bird guidebook, or just enjoy the lighter pack.

 

If you ~must~ carry a walking stick (all your friends have one, whatever) I like Lone Duck's idea up the page.

 

Happy hiking,

Bob

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quote:
Originally posted by Bobthearch:

Having extensive experience hiking, walking, backpacking, and professional outdoor surveying, I have an opinion that might be worthwhile:

 

Hiking sticks are for sissies.

 

Toss it out and use the saved weight for extra water, film, bird guidebook, or just enjoy the lighter pack.

 

If you ~must~ carry a walking stick (all your friends have one, whatever) I like Lone Duck's idea up the page.

 

Happy hiking,

Bob


 

That's pretty strong label and if I have to be labeled a sissy for using them then so be it. It helps and also saved me from a serious slide back down a rocky hillside when my leg cramped up.

 

Have tolerance for those that are not as capable as you and be thankful you don't require the need of a hiking stick. Be wary of labeling people like that. Labels have a nasty way of coming back and sticking itself back onto you.

 

Cheers!

TL

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Yeah, walking sticks are for sissies, my Sissy. We both got ours in a walking stick carving class. Her's is made of ligustrum and mine is hickory. Ligustrum is easy to shape and carve until it dries out. Hickory is just plain hard.

 

For us, the sticks aren't just for walking, they help cross obstacles, hunt caches, push scrub out of the way, and break spider webs.

 

I guess a professional stick that could be collapsed and put away might be better, but I haven't ever used one. My hickory stick is strong, hard, and heavy, but I've yet to get tired of carrying it. One thing that could be said about a heavy stick, swing it like a bat and whatever you hit will definitely feel it!

 

I've got a rubber crutch foot on it, but it gets tangled in brush sometimes. I've got to figure out a way to fix that.

 

If I was to do it all over again, I'd do as you suggest and buy a broom stick until I know exactly what I want. Then you'll know what fits you and how you will really use it.

 

A word of cautian with natural sticks, don't lean it against the wall to store. It will bend over time. Lay it flat or hang it from its wrist cord.

 

CR

 

72057_2000.gif

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quote:
Bobgthearch was heard to say: "Hiking sticks are for sissies."

Well, I don't quite agree with that. A hiking staff can serve many other functions than ust being stick you lean on. Properly sized, it can be very useful.

 

The best idea I ever read about when it comes to hiking sticks is the Moses Stick. The idea behind this one is that it is about chin high to the user, stout enough to lean on, and light enough to carry. Being that tall, it can be very useful for navigating the downside of hill because you can reach down with it.

 

Also, the chin high level makes it perfect as a support for binoculars or as a camera monopod. That works especially well if the top of the staff is flattened some. Hunters even use them as a gun rest to true up their aim.

 

quote:
Kite & Hawkeye said: " you never know when you're going to need a stick."

How true. Even though I don't often carry one into the woods with me, I do find myself sometimes searching for one because of a sudden need for it.

 

That Quack Cacher:

Lone Duck

 

When you don't know where you're going, every road will take you there.

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Without completely ruling out the possibility that we may be sissies, I'd still like to say that a hiking stick really can help, even when walking on easy terrain. I go farther, faster when I'm using my stick, and I don't get tired as quickly. If there are hills involved, the stick makes a huge difference, both in reducing the effort of getting uphill, and in helping me keep my balance. I've got a bad Achilles tendon, so there's really no question about the necessity of a stick for me, but even the able-bodied Hawkeye has made the same observations about the stick increasing efficiency on the trail. These titanium things are practically weightless, and the help they contribute is worth a lot more to me than a pack a few ounces lighter would be.

 

Good stick technique is important, though -- if you're just tapping it to the ground every few steps, no, it's probably not helping. Use the wrist strap correctly, coordinate the stick with your opposite leg, plant it ahead before putting weight on it. Two sticks are better than one if you've got significant terrain and are serious about doing things right, but one is far from useless. I'd give up everything in my pack... up to but not including the GPS, before I'd leave my stick behind on a geocaching trip. Okay, I'd probably keep some water, too, but nothing else. Honest. Gimme my stick.

 

And on top of all that, as previously stated, sticks aren't just for walking. There's not always going to be a stick on the ground near the cache site, so what are you going to do when you need to poke in a possibly snake-infested crack in the rocks? How will you balance while rock-hopping across streams? What will you use to fend off aggressive plants and animals (what, you've never met an aggressive plant?)? A stick! It's almost as useful as a towel.

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Don't forget knocking down spider webs on that early morning cache hunt! The first time I saw someone in Linville Gorge with a set of "ski poles" I thought it was kind of weird looking. Once I used one (I usually only use one, just a personal preference) ... I was hooked. Noting better than a extra balance point when negotiating a steep trail with a full pack. Of course they might just come in handy to "whack" anyone that might call me a sissy as well. icon_biggrin.gif

 

----------------------------------------------------------------

Co-founder of the "NC/VA GEO-HOG ASSOCIATION"

... when you absolutely have to find it first!

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As a New Yorker I often cache around urban and surburban parks. No I don't feel like a sissy in fact when I pull it out of the trunk and start walking, I actually feel like someone who is a serious hiker. icon_cool.gif I imagine others thinking now there goes someone one knows what he's doing.

 

Shush. Don't tell 'em. icon_wink.gif

 

Alan

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Hi everyone. The word "sissy" was a last-minute subsitute for "gear nerd." Then I thought, if we all aren't Gear Nerds why are we using our computers to talk about GPS units?!?

 

Anyone here a big enough Gear Nerd to use a caribiner for attaching items to a daypack? There's guys like ~that~ at work...

 

Still no stick for me, thanks. icon_smile.gif

 

Best Wishes,

Bob

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