How to Find Walking Sticks

How to Find Walking SticksA walking stick is useful tool when walking and hiking by providing you with both comfort and stability on hilly trails and on flat ground. A walking stick is typically made out of wood native to the region where you are located unless you are ordering or acquiring wood from another location. Walking sticks are available for purchase in stores, but it is often cheaper and more rewarding to find one yourself, especially if you spend extended periods of time out-of-doors.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Finding a Walking Stick

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tree identification book
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Knife
Step 1
Choose a type of wood based on your walking needs. If you are an avid hiker and mountaineer, a hardwood such as oak or cherry is valued for its grain and will provide ample support for your outings. If you hike only lightly and occasionally, then softwoods like alder and firs will suffice.
Step 2
Select a location that permits the cutting of live trees. Your own property is a great place to start, but if not, check local forestry laws and city ordinances to find a place where tree-cutting is permitted. You may choose to contact a tree trimmer to get fresh wood.
Step 3
Find a stand of saplings that have the type of wood for which you are looking---take a tree identification guide along with you, just in case. You can also hunt for young trees in mature forests of the species for which you are looking.
Step 4
Inspect each sapling before you decide cut one down---this prevents wasted resources. Inspect for large knots that can be hard to work with, disease, rot and soundness.
Step 5
Check the diameter of each sapling carefully with a tape measure before you take one. A sapling suitable for a walking stick should be two inches at the base (your handle) and 1 ½ inches at the top (the end of your walking stick). The sapling should be tall enough to produce a walking stick that is the height of your shoulder when holding it. Most 10-12 foot saplings will suffice for this.
Step 6
Cut the tree down carefully with a saw, making the cut below where your handle will be to allow for working. Carefully limb the branches with the saw and trim the bark off with a knife. This will ensure extra comfort when using the stick, and keep your hands from blistering on rough bark. Let the stick dry before using it, or wipe it down with a cloth.

Tips & Warnings

After you find your walking stick, you may optionally sand it lightly to make it smoother. You can also choose to completely finish it with varnish, as well.
Be careful to make sure that you can legally cut trees in your area.
Be extra cautious when you are cutting the tree down to avoid injuring yourself.

Article Written By Justin Chen

Justin Chen is a freelance writer and photographer with 6 years of professional experience in outdoor activities, extreme sports, travel and marketing topics. His professional work experience includes publication with KOMO 4 News Seattle, Fisher Interactive Network, and Demand Studios. He is a current Pre-Med student at Walla Walla University.

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