How to Make a Good Walking Stick

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A good walking stick can provide a distinct difference between disaster and safety, and a third point of contact can certainly take a great deal of pressure off of the knees. Find out how to use a walking stick for stability when conditions are wet with help from a recreational kayaking instructor and outdoor adventurer in this free video on walking sticks.

Part of the Video Series: Camping & Backpacking
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Video Transcript

When considering how to make a walking stick one would probably consider, why do I want a walking stick first. When we're backpacking or when we're camping we are two-legged, just to have a third leg sometimes can mean the difference between disaster and comfort and safety. That third point of contact when you're covering rough terrain can take a lot of pressure off your knees, just give you that little bit of extra stability when things are slippery, when things are wet. So hopefully you're making a walking stick because you're not injured, and you want to prevent the injury. What you should do is find a nice, stout stick, a stick that is fairly straight and is going to support your weight. In this case I found a nice small piece of black birch, cut it off at a length that I thought would be comfortable, preferably longer is better and then you can fine tune it. And for that I just used a little small backpacking stove, saw rather. Now the height of the walking stick, it's personal comfort. I like my stick just to be about right angles, okay, so if you look at my arm you can see that it's at right angles. That's a good comfortable length for me. That allows me o reach down, over rocks, reach, reach up high as I am going up and get a little bit of extra support as I go along. So this is a nice stout stick, it's not too elaborate, and all we've done is, we've just taken a nice piece of leather and we've lashed it on. We've done that while it was wet and what's happened is as the leather and as the rawhide dries, it creates a nice comfortable handle. So when considering a walking stick, obviously you could decorate, you could carve your name into this, you could do all kinds of fancy things. My dad had one that was, was measured, so like every foot he had a special mark so that he could measure things. How deep things were and things like that. So, you know, be creative, have some fun. This is a very personal tool and a lot of people put a lot of work into this. I obviously haven't but it is still fun to make anyway. Thanks very much, safe adventures.

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