Hiking Staff: An Old Friend Gets a Few Mods

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by BradGad, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. BradGad

    BradGad Scout

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    My hiking staff is nothing fancy... 54 inches of hickory with a rubber foot and a leather thong for a wrist loop. After dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of outings, I've gotten quite attached to it, and was reluctant to make any changes. But I got over that a couple days ago, and made a few mods.

    15 feet of international orange paracord gives it a more comfortable grip.

    hs1.jpg

    A number of times, I've set the staff down and had trouble finding it in the leaf duff. This is especially the case when mushroom foraging: I'll put it down because I need two hands for foraging, and after moving around from shroom to shroom with my head down, sometimes I'm a tad disoriented when I stand up, and have to hunt around for my stick. It shows up in the leaves a lot better now.

    hs2.jpg

    Because the wrist loop is made by putting the free end left after whipping the handle through the lanyard hole and tying a stopper knot, I can attach another cord to it behind the stopper knot, and reach out with the staff and use the lanyard as a noose to wrangle out-of-reach objects.

    hs3.jpg

    I drilled a recess in the top of the staff and put in a military issue mini button compass. (Sorry for the blurry pic)

    hs4.jpg

    Finally, some shallow notches in the bark give me a rough and ready yard stick. The far right notch is 3 feet from the end of the stick. The far left one is one foot below that. The close set notches measure off six inches.

    hs5.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  2. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Like it a lot. Second only to my knives my hiking staff is my favorite thing to have along.
     
  3. sotramk

    sotramk Guide

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  4. rlh2

    rlh2 Guide Bushclass I

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    Good mods.
     
  5. tree-ratsniper

    tree-ratsniper Guide

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    Cool mods! There was an article in the Backwoodsman a while back about a bamboo staff that the top was hollowed out for a small survival kit. I recall one made of pvc as well... I may try to whip one up someday when time allows. ;)
     
  6. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    sotramk those staffs are wicked awesome! Nice work. I really like the turks head knots.
     
  7. DoglegJack

    DoglegJack Tracker

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    Very nice and useful mods. I like it!

    DLJack
    :42:
     
  8. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Crooked

    Crooked Tracker

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    Excellent thread, with pictures!

    I personally do not carry a walking stick, although I've been considering working trekking poles into my routine that way I can flirt with different farm set-ups.

    As far as a container on top of your hiking staff goes - when I was in the scouts it was popular to get a pill bottle and duct tape it to the top of your hiking staff. It is much smaller than the PVC which is its benefit and downfall. It was good for matches and a few compact survival items that you'd always have around. With a drill you could set the pill bottle flush with the top of your staff and no one would know it was there - we were just kids so we used duct tape. Food for thought.

    Love the hiking staff photos and ingenuity in this thread.

    -Crooked
     
  10. Faiaoga

    Faiaoga Guide

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    BradGad: Very nice post and good ideas, especially the bright-colored loop and the measuring marks. I have often used a staff but have been too lazy to make the modifications. Do you or other people ever put a large nail or spike into the bottom of a staff? I think it might be useful for traction or for (last resort) as a defensive weapon.
    Faiaoga
     
  11. redneck17

    redneck17 Guide Bushclass I

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    some do. though a sharpened and notched piece of steel or aluminum pipe is preferred it seems. as a weapon, I dont think it would work too well.
     
  12. MysticFlight

    MysticFlight Supporter Supporter

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    Nice work....gives me a few ideas for mine
     
  13. BeerBaiter

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    Nice staff and nice mods. Right now I use hiking poles more than a stick/staff, but I wrapped mine with a few feet of safety orange duct tape. It's really handy for spotting them and I've had to use the duct tape a few times too. I wish I had hickory easily available here in WA, but I've only seen the pre cut and prelacuered ones at sports stores.


    Noah
    Because Tapatalk
     
  14. Makarov

    Makarov Scout

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    Try vine maple, good sticks and easy to find in western WA
     
  15. zippydapanhead

    zippydapanhead Tracker

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    Let That Cool Your Ardour Yew Beasty Misanthrope!

    I did a four leather strand braid rather than the paracord on mine. The hand loop gets pushed down to the rubber tip so I can use the leather braid as a sling when I'm working up a steep rock mound sweat and don't want to tie up a hand with my staff. Aerostitch has a small stick on clock with an elapsed time ring that has been very handy for me. They also have clip on gauges for a thermometer, clock or compass to clip on the stick (and holds my grip wrap in place). I thought about spikes and other tips, but I figure if getting rapped in the head with that damn shillelagh doesn't take the Irish :41: out of somebody of something, then a straight jab in the belly with the tip might aught to let some gas out of 'em.
     
  16. BradGad

    BradGad Scout

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    Hi Faiaoga... Thanks! I've actually considered that but never tried it. For one thing, I worry that it would skid on rocks.
     
  17. ironbyron1

    ironbyron1 Tracker

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    Thanks for the thread. Helped me remember that I made a staff out of a closet rod years ago. I think it is in the garage somewhere. I tied paracord around it to make a handle as well.
     
  18. Yankeewoodsman

    Yankeewoodsman Scout

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    This reminds me a lot of the old plans for a Boy Scout walking staff, I'll put it up for your perusal :)

    staff.jpg
     
  19. MarauderMan

    MarauderMan Scout

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    Then you just have to make it a retractable, spring loaded one! ;) Or a screw on one. ;)
     
  20. Buckwilk

    Buckwilk Tracker

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    A hiking staff is a very good deterant for two legged varmints, snakes etc.
     
  21. Royal Wulff

    Royal Wulff Tracker

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    Very nice!
     
  22. Buckwilk

    Buckwilk Tracker

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    Some recommend choosing a stick slightly taller than you are to minimize being stuck or jabbed in a fall. I have found having a branch that Vs at the top is very handy.
     

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