Do you use a staff or walking stick in the woods?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by TheDoctorWho, Sep 5, 2013.

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What do you carry(in your hands) bushcrafting?

Poll closed Sep 15, 2013.
  1. Walking stick or staff

    133 vote(s)
    73.9%
  2. Machete or axe

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Firearm

    8 vote(s)
    4.4%
  4. Something else

    5 vote(s)
    2.8%
  5. I like to keep my hands free!

    34 vote(s)
    18.9%
  1. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter

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    I used to make a stick when I'd go hiking.

    This winter, for the first time ever, I used aluminum ski poles for snowshoeing, and I'm hooked! They give a real advantage when going up or down hills.
     
  2. backlasher

    backlasher Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    [​IMG]
    This one is made from a surf fishing graphite blank. Light but strong.
     
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  3. Naturalist

    Naturalist Guide

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    I have a nice stick I made from a young maple tree. I cut and then hung it in the garage for about a year so it would dry straight and not take a curl setting on the floor. After a year, I peeled the bark and scraped the stick smooth with my knife, then coated it in varnish to prevent it from rotting. That was 27 years ago and it is still going strong.
     
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  4. mcostas

    mcostas Tracker

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    I have an addendum to my previous post, I was going to just edit that one but thought it deserved a new post.

    I live in the coastal lowcountry and the summers are hot, humid and bug infested. Get into some redbugs and you will be miserable for a couple weeks.

    But I've discovered some new bug control and have found it to be very effective. Now I don't have to hibernate until cooler weather, which still has bugs.

    We don't have large state parks near me but there are some long trails that I enjoy walking, both for exercise and just to enjoy getting out. I've been trying to up my mileage.

    The trails I walk are broken up into sections, but they are more or less connected depending on how much bushwalking you want to do. This past week I wanted to take a day to do all the sections continuously.

    It was the hottest day of the year so far, 99-102. I put ice water in my camelbak bladder, I usually just take a bottle. I donned my bug treated clothes and slathered with my new deet free picardin lotion/spray.

    I get there, I forgot my sticks! I simply cannot walk on uneven ground without them. I was actually recovering from a sprained foot, but it wasn't so bad I couldn't walk. My ankles are the worst though. I decided to just use a found stick like I used to do when I was younger.

    The stick choices were very poor but I found one. Then I found I was used to two and one felt awkward so I got another one. It was a little rough on my hands without a strap to do the work but it was better than not walking. I kind of stumbled a couple times because the sticks weren't straight or matching but luckily no ankle sprains and I got used to using more care. When all was said and done I did 6.2 miles!!! This is a recent milestone for me because ive been plagued with Ortho issues that I'm finally learning to overcome.

    But there's more! A couple days later I wanted to do another woods walk. I decided to try my lekis. I had gotten them a few years ago and although I love the cork grips the anti shock feature is a little more noticable and "boingy" than my black diamonds.

    This time was different though. For one thing I took off the mud baskets, all that did was get caught in grass in the overgrown parts. The grips and straps are so much more comfortable than any of my other ones, which are getting quite dirty and slimy, hence they stayed home this time.

    Usually my hands hurt a little, they hurt a lot if I have no straps and have to grasp which is why I don't make my own sticks anymore if I can avoid it. These things did not hurt my hands at all! I set into kind of a Nordic walking cadence and did 3.5 miles. It was a beautiful walk because there were storms and clouds all around and it was getting dusk so it's like a new trail every few minutes. It's my favorite time to walk, it starts out with birds chirping and ends with crickets and cicadas.

    I'm glad I didn't give up on the lekis. I have 3 brands to chose from, REI ones with twist locks, two different black diamonds, and the lekis. The lekis are the lightest, even with the anti shock thing. The Rei's have a more comfortable grip and strap than the black diamonds but are prone to slippage.

    The contour style of black diamonds are the strongest I think, the other ones are similar and a little lighter but there is a little vibration because of that. Just a little, not a deal breaker.

    The leki's might be my new favorite, at least when I'm "Nordic" trail walking. I absolutely love the cork grips and the straps. Even though the bottom section is twist lock I have no problems with slippage.

    I've come to the conclusion that for my purposes baskets, even the little ones, are more trouble than they are worth. I'll just keep them and the rubber tips in my pack for options.

    Also, sipping ice water every few minutes made hiking in triple digits not unpleasant. Big words coming from me, I am very heat intolerant. I'm trying to change that though.
     
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  5. mcostas

    mcostas Tracker

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    Here is a sample of what I walk. It's salt marsh, and the trails are narrow with a lot of roots. It beats 45 minutes on a treadmill though.

    marshriver002.jpg Itrail2.jpg
     
  6. Tostontostao

    Tostontostao Tracker

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    I usually carry the machete, in the tropics it is usually essential and with it you can do whatever it takes: a walking stick, cut wood for the fire, make the cambuche (shellter), get the food and everything you need ... I carry it in a sheath so it's always close to my hand: and my hands are free ... machete rules!
     
  7. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    Walking staff - from a shaky biped into a confident triped. Also good for deflecting nasty foliage and ???
     
  8. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    Something to add to previous post. Several years ago following surgery I went out to walk on some quite uneven terrain. I use the Swix carbon fiber poles now. Love them, they are just about weightless. Not collapsible. But great confidence with the poles. Still like homemade wooden ones too.

    One thing, I often only want one pole. The Swix straps fit like gloves, but if I want to switch hands I can just turn the strap inside out. Don't have to worry about holding the poles, dropping the poles, whatever.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  9. T Lewis

    T Lewis Tinder Gatherer

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    Back in the day, my sure-footed and woods-wise dad insisted on having a walking stick in his hand every time he headed for the hills. His was nothing fancy; just a sturdy and relatively straight piece of rhododendron with the bark left on. Sure seemed like an unnecessary accessory to me.

    Man, I was a dumb youngster.
     
  10. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    I use a set of Black Diamond walking stick to and from camp. I have questionable balance at times and they really help me when traversing rock uneven ground or crossing rocky streams. They are also great for "moving" big orb weavers out of my way in a hurry if needed. My wife also uses a set. My firearm is always on my hip or chest when in the woods.
     
  11. Caveman Cracker

    Caveman Cracker Supporter Supporter

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    Hello everyone, This is one of my walking staves. We have just returned from a small expedition to the quarry. The runes carved into the wood are supposed to be lucky symbols to help while traveling. IMG_20180815_234553818_LL.jpg
     
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