Sunday, August 29, 2010

Walking Sticks

My walking sticks
Whenever I head out to the woods, one of the things that is always with me is my walking stick.  On those rare occasions that I forget it or can't bring it, I feel like something is missing.  The picture on the right is two of my walking sticks.  The one on the left I've been using for a few years.  It's made from a Basswood sapling cut off to chin height and has an ivy pattern woodburned into it.  Basswood is lightweight and fairly strong although it dents and marks fairly easily.  This one has a couple of years and quite a few miles on it and it still looks good, but you can tell it's been well used.  The stick on the right is one I'm currently working on to try out.  It's a hardwood tool handle from the local lumber store, I've sanded the finish off of it and woodburned a rattlesnake around it.  I still have some details to finish on it but it's almost ready to go.  It's an imported hardwood (Ramen, I believe) and it seems very close to Maple in workability, weight and strength.  A little more pyrography and an oil finish and it'll be ready to go. 
As with most of us, I don't like to carry anything in the woods that doesn't have mutiple uses, So as shown in the picture below, I drill a hole in my sticks at the perfect height to be used as a pole in various tarp setups.  That way I'm not looking around for the right height stick and I can get a tarp setup quickly if it starts raining or getting dark out. 
Tarp Setup with walking stick
I also have a little bit better peace of mind with a good, heavy piece of wood in my hand while on an outing.  I've used my sticks to ward off loose dogs in the woods, to encourage wild creatures to keep moving across a trail and to clear debris from my path. I've never had an altercation with another person in the woods and hope I never do, but I'm confident a hardwood walking stick would make an effective defensive weapon if that were to happen.  So if you don't already use one, grab yourself a walking stick and give it a try.  I can't imagine being in the woods without one. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Can be good for steadying a gun, and testing the depth of water when crossing and BEFORE you step in!
    Good post.