A hiking stick is a pole used to increase your stability and balance on difficult terrain when hiking. It can be especially useful when going downhill or on uneven ground. Hiking sticks are mandatory on the Inca Trail, one of the world’s most dangerous trails. It seems odd that many hikers choose to stick with them on their hikes instead of using the natural features of the ground to stabilize themselves. The reason is that hiking sticks together with insulated or non-insulated hiking boots provide more stability than rocks or roots and are also portable, so they are very popular among hikers. However, you can make hiking sticks more comfortable and convenient to use by decorating them with various feathers or pouches. But let’s start with the materials you need for making your own hiking stick.
The first thing you need is a good branch – one that is not too thick nor too thin. Make sure it is hard enough to endure pressure and strong enough not to bend or break easily. Good branches are usually teardrop-shaped, thick towards the bottom, and thinner on top. Avoid using sticks with a smooth bark as they are harder to grip than those with rough bark. Once you have found a suitable branch, look for a smaller one to use as the handle. The stick’s length will depend on your height: the taller you are, the longer your stick should be.
The next thing you need is some leather or fabric to take care of the rough bark. You can wrap it around the top and bottom end of your stick, but make sure it is not too thick – otherwise, it might not fit into your pack. Finally, get something like a rubber band or string to tie it together with; you need some extra support to keep the two sections of your hiking stick together and tight.
How do you make a hiking stick?
This particular one is a hiking stick made of wood. It contains a wooden handle and a metal pole, and a hook, which allows you to hang on to the walking stick.
The different types of materials used in this one are the wooden pole, which has been smoothened out by sandpaper to make it smoother for holding, as well as it having a metal cap on top for making it stronger. The metallic part is placed on top of the pole because it will hold up better when hikers get attached to it. Some screws have been screwed in at certain points for better support and stability.
How do I choose a walking stick?
You can choose the best walking stick for yourself by considering these factors:
If you’re planning to have fun in nature, you will probably want to choose a lighter one so that you don’t have to strain your body too much, but if you’re planning for a more serious hike or even trekking to save time, then you must choose one which has greater strength.
The stick must be sturdy enough so that it doesn’t break when used. It should also be long enough not to make you feel unsteady. You will be able to reach places further if the stick is long enough.
Consider the height of the person who will be using it. It should ideally be lower than their waist to rest when they fall or sit on rocks.
Choose a stick that has a diameter for greater support. That is what you will be leaning on while walking, so it’s better to choose one with strength.
Choose one that’s your favorite in shape as it can help reduce stress in your body as you go along. Triangular ones are the best support for hikers.
Types Of Walking Sticks/Hiking Sticks
Plain Hiking Stick
These are the most basic type of hiking sticks. They are extremely light but may break very easily if they take a hard blow. If you’re starting or have a strong sense of balance, these can help you hike more comfortably. These are also the most inexpensive walking sticks and generally the easiest to find.
Fancy Hiking Sticks
Be it for fashion, decoration, or other reasons, many people like to customize their hiking sticks with specialized carvings and decorations. There is no limit to what you can do with your walking stick, and anything that you can think of is possible. Your creativity and imagination are all you need!
It is generally the most basic type of walking stick. It is the least expensive and lightweight, but it can break if you take a hard hit or trip on a rock. If this is your first hiking stick, or you are just starting, a plain hiking stick will probably be more comfortable and easier to use, but a fancy hiking stick might be more fun for decoration purposes. If you’re looking for a durable walking stick that can stand up to some abuse without breaking down immediately, consider buying one of these instead of more specialized ones.
These are hiking sticks that are telescopic so that they can be extended out to a long hiking stick when you need one. These walking sticks provide the best of both worlds in that you can carry both portable, lightweight walking sticks and long walking staffs when needed. The only negative thing about this type of hiking stick is that they’re usually the most expensive option.
What are alternatives to walking sticks?
There are many alternatives to walking sticks. For instance, hiking poles or ski poles are used in very much the same way. A few years back, hiking poles were considered cost-prohibitive. However, nowadays, you can get good quality one or two hiking poles for as little as $20, making them a good alternative for hikers who do not want walking sticks.
How long should a hiking stick be?
A basic rule of thumb when choosing a walking stick or trekking pole is that it should ideally be lower than your waist. In this way, you can rest and sit on rocks. If you are about 5’0, then the best hiking stick for you will be around 40 inches. A 6’0″ hiker can use a 48-inch hiking stick. It is recommended to measure your inseam to get the correct length of a walking stick or hiking staff. Hiking is a way to stay in shape and enjoy the beautiful outdoors at the same time
Are hiking sticks good for your health?
Stick to what works for you, and whether or not hiking sticks are good for your health is solely dependent on the individual. A study at Stanford University found that using trekking poles helped reduce impact by 71%. Using a walking stick provides key advantages such as increased stamina, improved posture, muscle coordination, and balance. These things help ease the stress off the knees and also helps in reducing back pain, which many individuals experience because of long hikes in areas with uneven ground. In line with this, always bring your hiking water bottle or bladder with you.
Which wood makes the best walking stick?
The best types of wood for making a walking stick out of are as follows:
This wood is ideal for making the handles of hiking sticks, and it is easy to work with, being very bendable and having good working properties. It has a lovely finish, but it can also tend to check over time.
A type of hardwood that is durable, hard, and has excellent working properties. It is not that bendable as aspen. Therefore, you cannot use this type of wood if you want a walking stick with a bend. It can have beautiful grain effects since it has high resin content when dried out.
It is a type of wood with a straight grain and good working properties. It is also one of the most durable woods known to man. With time, it resists fungi, decay, and shrinkage. As with aspen, it does not have any flexibility, so you cannot expect a walking stick from hickory when you want one with a bend.
A very hard wood which although is very dense, this type of wood can be carved out and used for making handles for hiking sticks in a variety of shapes like dome-shaped handles or crescent-shaped handles, or even flattened ones.