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Walking Sticks

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I've decided that a good gift for me would be a walking stick, but I'm not sure what (or where) to get a good one. I'm more interested in a staff that is wooden and tall. My brother says I should just cut a limb off a tree in our backyard and carve it myself :) but I'm not sure I'm up to that.


What type of staffs/sticks/etc. do you use? Why do you recommend them? Where could one get one?



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I prefer aluminum trekking poles. They are light weight, sturdy and collapsible, which comes in handy if I need to stick it in my pack while climbing, or bushwacking. The fact that its collapsible also means I can take it along when I travel, as it fits in my suitcase.


If you are looking for a good price for trekking poles, check here.

Edited by briansnat
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Wooden and tall? Try an industrial broom or mop handle. Cut to size if necessary. You can get a rubber tip for it at Walgreen or whatever drug store you have nearby if you like. I put a strap on the top using a screw, or you could do it with a hole, like the commercial ones, if you have a drill handy.


Many major sporting goods stores sell aluminum trekking poles, either collapsible or not. IME the collapsible ones tend to be a little fragile, especially if you put much side load on them. The one I had snapped when I tried to use it to move some briars out of the way. My former mop handle handles that with ease.

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:D Myself, I use ski-poles, from the thrift stores ($1.00-$2.00) a piece. I find here in the desert southwest that the work and hold up well ~~~ Was given a inexpensive collapsible one, it was a joke (coming down a farily steep hill side, it did collapse) Oh well I'll stick to myel-cheapO ski-poles. :D Edited by Mzee & Associates
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Doesn't anyone just walk into the woods and cut their own walking stick anymore?


I know I don't. Now that I live on the left coast I'm afraid of being attacked by militant tree huggers if I dare harm a tree for my own benefit. I use cheap ski poles like Mzee. But I cut walking sticks all the time I lived in Tennessee, and still do when I go back there to visit.

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Yes, El Diablo's staffs are pretty cool. I've had trekking poles highly recommended to me by a colleague who has done the Pacific Rim, Continental Divide, and Appalachian trails.


Certianly finding a nice stick in the woods and scraping off the bark with a pocket knife works - I still have a stick that I found a few years ago.


If you want fancy, aside from the other suggestions, ebay can be a good outlet.

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I have an aluminum adjustible height stick. It has an internal spring that allows you to adjust to three shock settings. It's suppose to protect against injuries due to shocks to the elbows etc.


Frankly, it's a pain in the neck as the settings keep changing. I wouldn't get one with the spring again. But the collapsible light wieght features are nice.



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I made mine from 7/8" diameter aluminum tubing. Used a section of wooden dowel in the end for a replaceable tip, and some wetsuit neoprene for a grip. Made a smaller "twin" for my son out of 3/4". They are light, strong, and were very inexpensive.

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I recently bought two "Trekking Poles" as they are called at the local Target department store for about $20.00 each. They collapse for easy storage and can expand to a maximum height of 53 inches.

I did the same thing some time ago. They have two kinds... one has a hard black plastic handle, the other's handle is rubber/cork and costs a little more. I bought the rubber/cork handled one which was like $26, I think. I like it much better than the stick I used to carry... it's much lighter so I don't get tired of carrying it like I did with the stick. If I *do* get tired of carrying it, I just collapse it and attach it to my backpack with a mini-carbiner. And the rubber tip (removable) has much better traction when walking over rocks than the stick which used to just want to 'skip' over rock surfaces.

I also like how you can rig the straps around your wrist so you don't even really have to grip the handle (explained better here: Trekking Poles.)

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I prefer my two section adjustable aluminum one. I like how it has a rubber cane-like foot for hard surfaces, and it can be unscrewed to utilize the spike end. Great range of adjustment size is convenient. I tried out a 3 section bungee connected collapsible one, but it seemed too flimsy and would fly apart when I was doing Samurai bushwhacking impressions- <_< Heeyah! Returned it.

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If I were a two-legged person, I'd set my heart on one of Lafrog's hiking staffs. He carves them over the winter and then sets them out as FTF prizes at the caches he hides. They sound beautiful, and they have a FROG on 'em. What's not to like?



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I use a pair of Leki Titanium walking sticks. I really do not care to the idea of a single pole, with a pair of pole you have much more stability on steep terrain. I also like the titanium for the light weight construction, wooden poles are going to be very heavy on a long hike, My second choice would be aluminum walking sticks.

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One option for a nice wooden pole is the walking sticks that the Boy Scouts of America sells in it's Scout Stores. My son bought one and stained and sealed it, and added a protective tip.


Gander Mountain stores also sell a nice collapseable walking stick that can be purchased via their web site or at one of their retail stores.



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I use a 60 inch hardwood broom handle I got from Home Depot for $6. But I was not content to have a plain stick, so I looke to the work of El Diablo for inspiration. A week and a few dollars later I had my hiking staff. My little bro (Red Mage) made one too.



I way behind on this thread...I've been out of town.


You can buy a hiking staff...or make your own. As far as the wood ones go like I make, it's probably just as cheap to pay me to make them for you, but you won't get near as much satisfaction from it as making one on your own.


They are not as hard as you might think. Look at the one done above. They just take time, a little money and patience.


I would be happy to make one for you, or I would be just as happy to guide you through the process so you can make your own.


El Diablo

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Wood staff? Where do you chuck it when it is in the way???


Give me a nice set of colapsable sticks ANYTIME!!! There when I need them, tied to my pack when I don't, and I never need to look for a stick while shaking in fear from the ever observant tree-huggers.


Trekking poles are available everywhere... check some out.

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I recently bought a walking stick at a local craft; town,mall, market(Metamora, IN) It was everything I thought a walking stick should be: light weight wood, slightly crooked like a tree branch and cheep, $7. Until I tried to put it in my car trunk, it was about 4in too long. I could cut it but I don't want to. I should have bought a collapsable shaft.

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Wood staff?  Where do you chuck it when it is in the way???


Give me a nice set of colapsable sticks ANYTIME!!!  There when I need them, tied to my pack when I don't, and I never need to look for a stick while shaking in fear from the ever observant tree-huggers.


Trekking poles are available everywhere...  check some out.

When is it ever in the way? The treking poles are nice, but they won't give you what a wood staff will. Can you pole vault a stream with yours? How about flip over a rock or a log without damaging your staff? When you go up and down steep terrain can you slide your hands up and down the staff without having to stop and adjust the length? If your in the middle of a summer thunderstorm, do you want a metal pole in your hands or hanging from your back?


When I'm dead and gone my personal staff will be a proud heirloom of one of my kids or grandkids. Yours poles will be recycled into a beer can. My staffs are custom made to the individuals wants and needs, yours are mass produced. Mine were produced by nature and then immortalized by me. Yours came off an assembly line.


Yes. I'm biased. I love wood hiking staffs and I love creating them. I also love teaching others on how to create their own, so that they may have that same proud feeling I have everytime I make one.


BTW...I don't fear tree huggers, or anyone else for that matter.


El Diablo

Edited by El Diablo
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I know that there are a lot of very nice expensive options out there, but I am very happy with my $20 adjustable treking pole that I bought at Target. Retracts to 18" for storage and expands to about 4' and everywhere in between. I am a big guy (6'3" and 270#) and it is VERY strong and stable.

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