Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Central North Carolina
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.
Last edited by CharleyL; 09-05-2019 at 07:38 PM.