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Make You Own Hiking Staff

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I've gotten many request over the last two years on how to make a hiking staff. I've worked out a way that anyone who has a little want to can do it.


So if your interested let me know and I'll give you step by step instructions on making your very own Geocaching hiking staff right here in the fourms.


Before anyone comes in here and post a link where you can buy one or telling us all how great a treking pole is...this thread isn't for you. It's for people who really want to make their very own wood Geo Hiking staff, so please don't clutter it up with information on where to buy one, or which is better a wood or treking pole.


El Diablo

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So if your interested let me know and I'll give you step by step instructions on making your very own Geocaching hiking staff right here in the fourms.


I'm interested.

My son is always looking for a stick to use as a walking stick when we go out geochaching.



Edited by Milbank
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I'd like to know, too.

I've often thought about making a hiking staff with a replacable top. It could be screwed on and changed for the season, type of nature hike, or mood I'm in.

I've also been looking for a source for metal tips.

Thank's for offering to teach us.

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Yes, I want to know, especially if you're not going to be making them in the months/years ahead, or is that just an evil rumor?


Specifically, I'd like to know how you embed the compass into the staff? I'm assuming you dig out the top, but how do you make sure it stays embedded?

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What a generous offer, El Diablo! Count me in, as I find more and more uses for one each time I venture out; thus finding myself cursing that I didn't bring one along 'cause I haven't ordered one from you, yourself.



Anne Bonney, Colorado

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Count me in too- I'd love to learn how to make one! It would make an excellent anniversary gift for Bons.



Green wood needs to dry in a rack of some sort to keep it from bending. It will need to dry for a long time (from 6 weeks to a year). The longer, the better.


Sand the wood smooth. Dremel tools work good for sanding knots and such.


Spar varnish is great for wood that you don't need to stain and if you stain it first, it will be good here too. Apply in long even strokes that parallel the grain of the wood. Apply coat #1 and let it dry for 24 hours. Apply coat #2, let it dry for 24 hours. By now you will have a slick surface. Use fine grit steel wool and roughen the surface of the varnish and try to remove any blemishes to coat #2.

This will make coat #3 stick better. Apply a tack cloth to remove any dust before applying coat #3. Apply coat #3 with special care to get the strokes even and to not leave any gaps.


Coat #3 is the first chance you have to make a nice looking outer layer of varnish.

You can go for more coats by repeating the steps between coat#2 and coat #3.


I have cherry walking stick made this way. Turned out very nice.


Carving, is something that I don't do, and didn't want to do on this stick, so I skipped that part, but obviously, you would do that before you stained or varnished it.


Polyurethane varnishes also work nicely. Spar varnish was developed for spars and masts of wooden boats, so it builds up a very thick layer over the wood that resists water and looks cool.

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That reminds me, I still owe El Diablo a picture of me and my El Diablo staff. This picture was taken on a recent hike. The staff looks much better in person than in a photograph. That's the Santa Clara valley behind me. My house is somewhere near the top of the hiking staff.

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I'll join as well.


Currently I'm using a broom handle with a bicycle grip forced onto the top, but would prefer something that looks a little nicer.


I've managed to find some fairly straight cedar, poplar and dogwood deadfalls that are about the right size for a staff, but would prefer some pointers before starting, and perhaps ruining, what could turn out to be a good looking staff.




- Mark (S-4-C)

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