New Walking Stick


Dave Markowitz
March 25, 2012, 05:06 PM
Yesterday I was at one of my friend's homes, who lives on a wooded plot in a rural area. He let me take home a piece of maple that had been down for awhile. Today I made it into a walking stick.

I used a Gerber folding saw to cut it to length, a 'hawk to knock off the branches, my puukko to debark it, a Case Trapper to whittle the end so I could put on a rubber chair leg tip, and finished it off with beeswax rubbed in by hand, then buffed off the excess. I left some of the cambium on the wood to give it some character.

The diameter at the top is about 1-3/8", tapering to about 3/4" at the bottom end. It's ~5'6" tall, same as me. I used a 5/16" bit to drill a hole for a 550 cord lanyard.

It should make a nice stick for walking in the woods, and has enough length for fending off nasties.

If you enjoyed reading about "New Walking Stick" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 25, 2012, 06:31 PM
Handsome walker.....nice find and work.

Dave Markowitz
March 25, 2012, 07:08 PM

Dave McCracken
March 25, 2012, 08:43 PM
Nice stick....

March 25, 2012, 08:55 PM
Fun it is. Nice job.

Owen Sparks
March 26, 2012, 12:07 AM
Yoy might want to cut a little more off the small end. As I understand it a proper hiking staff should be "heart high" or the height of the middle of your chest. When going up hill they serve the same function as the handrail on stairs. When going down they lessen the impact and save your knees. You will find that chest high gives you the best leverage and puts the height of the staff right about where a handrail would be on the stairs when you are negotiating hills.

March 26, 2012, 02:37 PM
I make mine to top right at the same height as the armpit. Nice staff but anything above the shoulder is extra material.

Owen Sparks
March 26, 2012, 03:28 PM
And heaven forbid if you did have to use it to defend yourself the extra length will make it slower and require more room to use.

bubba in ca
March 26, 2012, 09:05 PM
If I get him in the throat he won't notice how long or short it is....

Owen Sparks
March 27, 2012, 10:43 AM
That "IF" part gets a lot bigger the longer your stick is as it takes more room to use it. What if there are any trees by the trail when you have to take a swing at a bad guy?

Dave Markowitz
March 27, 2012, 10:51 AM
I'm going to leave it this length. I can always slide my hand on the staff for optimum leverage.

It's fairly light so the it won't be slow if swung or jabbed with. If I don't have room to swing, that's what the Ruger is for.

March 27, 2012, 11:25 AM
Longer may be better in a jab, like a heavier bullet.

Owen Sparks
March 27, 2012, 04:01 PM
If it is "fairly light" it probably will not have enough momentum for circular strikes anyway so just stick with thrusting techniques where you can add the mass of your body behind the strike.

Dave Markowitz
March 27, 2012, 07:01 PM just stick with thrusting techniques where you can add the mass of your body behind the strike.

There's more than enough of that. :uhoh:

Brian Williams
March 27, 2012, 09:55 PM
Nice staff but anything above the shoulder is extra material.
But anything above the shoulder can be used, it works to keep long low hanging branches away from your face while keeping your hand from getting scratched from thorny branches or soaked if it had been raining. Not all sticks are total weapons, there can be uses not for self defense or offence.

March 28, 2012, 03:28 AM
I knew an 'old guy' that used a staff that was just above shoulder height.
He used it to stand/balance and walk by hanging off the staff with one hand,
and hold it lower down with the other at about waist height.
He couldn't move quickly, but was totally independent,
living on his own for the last twenty years of his life.

This man was thrown off a tractor when he was 19 years old,
and was run over by the trailing equipment.
He suffered extensive injuries, and against the odds survived.
His was blind in one eye, and without his staff couldn't walk or stand.
The medical profession wasn't as good at reconstruction in the late 1940's.
He used this staff for nearly 70 years!
It was an old pitch fork, blunt as a nail head from hitting the ground,
but this is what he used, even around the town where we lived.

I thought I'd throw this in to show you have to use what works for you.

March 28, 2012, 08:00 AM
Like I said I like what you did.

Im also 5'6''. I like a 66" sticks. and I like Rugers. :)

When you get time, try a 34 " cane, and a 48 " staff. Perfect for guys like us.

Dave Markowitz
March 28, 2012, 08:44 AM
This one is about 34", IIRC:

March 29, 2012, 01:00 AM
I think a longer stick is nicer for off-trail hiking. You can use the extra length on steep ground, and if it's strong enough, you can use it to sort of pole-vault over little streams. And, if you hold it just below shoulder level, on level ground, the top part counterbalances the lower end, and it swings more easily, so you don't use as much force to move it.

My dad had one that he made by splitting a piece, so the grain was not interrupted anywhere. Very nice.

March 29, 2012, 03:11 PM
Darn it Dave that cane is perfect! back to the bench for me!

Owen Sparks
March 29, 2012, 03:40 PM
What is that cane made of Dave?

I love the way you finished the root ball. It looks like an African knobkerry.

Dave Markowitz
March 29, 2012, 07:18 PM
That cane is English blackthorn, purchased from I bought it a couple years ago when my back was really bothering me and I found that having a third point of support was handy. The only thing I did to it was cut a couple inches off the end.

March 30, 2012, 01:46 PM
Great looking walking or hiking stick.

Owen Sparks
March 30, 2012, 03:12 PM
Let's get the terminology straight to avoid confusion.

As I understand it, anything roughly waist high is a walking stick or cane, even if it is made of some other material than rattan cane.

Sticks that are taller than the waist are usually called staffs. (hiking staff, English quarter staff etc.)

So, that would make the long stick in the first post a hiking staff and Daves nice knobed blackthorn a walking stick?

Dave Markowitz
March 30, 2012, 04:12 PM
I think a staff is just a longer walking stick, while a cane is one of the shorter ones. IOW, "walking stick" is a more general term.

If you enjoyed reading about "New Walking Stick" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!