Homemade Wooden Walking Sticks

Homemade Wooden Walking SticksYour hike is all that you anticipate. Fresh air, sunshine and beautiful scenery abound. The descending trail ahead seems none too difficult until you discover it consists of crushed rock and pebble. Now you really wish you had a walking stick as your footing slips and your ankles roll. A hiking stick should be on the must-have list for hiking, but you don't want to pay the bucks to get one. No problem. Just make your own wooden walking stick, and express your inner self.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hardwood sapling (oak, birch, ash)
  • Wood saw
  • Knife
  • Fine- to medium-grit sandpaper
  • Stain with polyurethane seal
  • Brush
  • Rubber crutch tip
  • Drill with 1/2 inch bit
  • 12 to 15 inches of small-diameter cord
Step 1
Select a hardwood sapling that is fairly straight and at least 1/2 to 2 inches thick at the handle end. Try to use hardwood rather than soft woods such as pine or fruit woods (apple or pear). Select two or three different lengths of saplings so that you will have a backup in case a stick splits or you make a mistake in cutting.
Step 2
Place the saplings in a cool, dry place for curing. Arrange the lengths so that they are level and supported. Allow the saplings to dry undisturbed for three to four weeks.
Step 3
Inspect the saplings, and select the one that is most straight and will provide the greatest support. Whistlecreek.com can help you determine the correct length for the walking stick. Use a wood saw to cut the stick to length.
Step 4
Peel the bark from the walking stick. Remove limb knots and rough spots with the knife, and sand smooth with fine- to medium-grit sandpaper. Also smooth the top of the stick to remove any rough edges where it was cut.
Step 5
Apply a coat of stain with a polyurethane seal to the walking stick with a brush. Make sure to use a poly seal stain as this will help seal the wood against moisture. Allow the coat to thoroughly dry, and apply a second coat if necessary.
Step 6
Place a rubber crutch tip on the bottom of the walking stick. Tips are typically only available in certain sizes, and it might be necessary to trim around the stick's bottom so that the tip will fit properly.
Step 7
Locate a point six to eight inches below the stick's top. Drill a 1/2-inch hole through the stick, and insert the length of small diameter cord so that there is an end on either side. Join the ends of the cord together with a square knot.

Tips & Warnings

Allow the saplings to thoroughly dry before beginning the project.
Let your creativity show. Carve and shape the stick to make symbols or shapes.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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