Hiking staffs - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 09-02-2019, 01:25 PM
CharleyL
 
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My oldest son and I hiked often 20-30 years ago. After several "purchased" and "home made" hiking stick choices, we found that we liked bamboo poles the best. They were very strong and very light. When they dried out and cracked, they only cracked lengthwise, so they were still very strong. Some plastic electrical tape formed the handle and we would occasionally wrap a few bands of it lower as cracks got worse, mostly to keep them from rattling, so as not to frighten the animals that we liked to meet along the way. For length, we found that we liked ones that were not quite shoulder high, maybe a few inches lower. The ones of about 1" diameter at the top were the ones that I liked the most.
I still have one that is now almost 50 years old. With heart problems and age I have had to give up hiking. My last GP doctor has my last backpack and is enjoying the mountains around Ashville, NC now.I gave it to him, sort of as my "going away present" when he moved away to that area of the Country.

Charley
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post #22 of 25 Old 09-02-2019, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Charley L, like your idea of bamboo, years ago in my youth I worked in a rug store and the rugs came wrapped on bamboo poles,,,we just gave them to the local African Americans to use as fishing poles
DiFalkner,,,I like your idea and wondered where to get full 4/4, and yesterday at a open house, I notice all around the deck, holding the railing were full 4/4,, couldnít rightly take one of those, so tomorrow of to the local lumber yard.
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post #23 of 25 Old 09-04-2019, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Just noticed a pile of what looks like sassafras that has been cut and piled,,,, looks like the trunks of smaller trees,,, all cut to less then 8 ft., and been laying there for awhile..donít know how that happened, but the pile is on my property so going to look in detail tomorrow
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post #24 of 25 Old 09-05-2019, 06:33 PM
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After you lift and move forward a solid wood hiking stick a few thousand times on your first serious hike you will regret the weight of the thing, and a bamboo hiking stick will start to look much better to you. I got to the point that I was trimming the borders off my maps and removing the tags from tea bags to reduce my pack weight. Every ounce left home improves the enjoyment of hiking. Take only what is "absolutely necessary". Everything else is too heavy. You can use a heavy wood walking stick when you walk around the block on relatively flat ground without ever realizing how heavy it is, but get 10 miles and 7 mountaintops away from civilization and it will have a whole new feel "HEAVY". You don't need heavy mountain boots either, especially when walking the mountains of Eastern USA. High top sneakers and two pairs of socks worn at the same time kept my feet in good shape, and I didn't need to lift those heavy mountain boots every single step.

I used to chuckle to myself when I would come upon trail sections that scouts frequently hiked, because near the top of the first mountain there would be all kinds of discarded pieces of heavy civilization that they left behind. Pots, pans, radios, bulky and heavy blankets, hatchets, etc. were frequently seen there, and all in almost new condition.

When I was asked by a new scout leader to go along with his troupe on their first long overnight hike, I agreed, but only if I was allowed to inspect their packs before we left. I made them open their packs and spread out everything that they intended to take with them on their plastic ground covers on the scout leader's lawn before their parents could go home. I systematically went through their stuff and handed excess items back to their parents, explaining that the excess weight was too much for them and these things wouldn't be needed. I got into a couple of heated arguments with a few of the parents who were insisting that their child needed these items, but I made it clear that their child could not go with us if their packs were too heavy. But there were still a few scouts on that trip who wished that they had given even more back to their parents after they started up some of the steeper climbs. They learned a lot on that hike, and all of them thanked me for making them leave the "un-needed" at home. I even thinned out the scout leader's pack before we left, and the kids got a big kick out of this.

Before they went on their next hike (without me) I gave them each a bamboo hiking stick that I had prepared for them, and they were very well received by all. They all learned a really big lesson on that first hike, and likely carried even less weight on every hike after that. Go ahead and take that fancy and heavy walking stick with you. I'm quite certain that you will leave it home when you go on your next all day or multiple day hike.

Charley

Last edited by CharleyL; 09-05-2019 at 06:38 PM.
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post #25 of 25 Old 09-05-2019, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Charlie

Good information there. However, Iím not going mountain hiking,, just short jaunts of 5 miles or so...Also, I am not taking a cast pipe as a hiking staff.
Now back to reality...Today, I looked at the pile of dried sassafrasís and found half a dozen or so good possibilities, some we straight, some had interesting characteristics Most felt very light,,, Iíll strip some bark tomorrow, and take a closer look.
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