Many people use a hiking pole as a walking aid, and they can also be useful for clearing high grass and debris from your track as well as fending off small animals or snakes that may cross your path. However, do you really need a hardwood hiking stick for hiking? As a hiker, I have to say “possibly not”, simply because of the versatility and lightness that can be gained by purchasing a lightweight aluminum hiking pole. Watch for end-of-season clearouts and trekking and outdoor suppliers and you can often find a bargain clearance hiking pole. However, when weight isn’t crucial it can be helpful to have a hardwood hiking stick.
Do-It-Yourself Hiking Pole
If you decide that you’d rather have a hardwood stick than a aluminum clearance hiking pole then while you are hiking, look out for young poplar trees where they are over-planted or growing wild in a bunch. These are the best source for your hand-made hardwood hiking stick. Be careful though not to break off trees unless they are already in a tight cluster together, while it is important to use a hiking stick, it isn’t at the expense of the forests that we love so much. Besides poplar, you will find that white cedar is also a great variety of wood to carve out your own hiking stick.
Cutting Down The Correct Tree For A Hardwood Hiking Stick
In reality, not many people look at cutting down trees today with much patience or finesse. However, you want to target places that are already over crowded, and could use a little thinning, as the areas to get your materials. You want to make sure that you select the right tree as well, because while selecting an area where there is an over population of hardwood trees is great, if you go through and take down 10 trees to find the right one, then the exercise is pointless.
For this reason, make sure you spend a little time selecting out the right tree, make sure that it is the right height, the right strength, the right thickness and so on before taking to it. The end result of your hardwood hiking stick should sit at around your armpit, however this is just a general guideline, and some people prefer their hiking sticks to be up to their heads, or even higher.
You can carve the body and the head whichever way you like; the bottom can be wrapped with a strip of leather so that not only does it look good, but it also prevents it from slipping off while negotiating hostile terrain.
Purchasing A Clearance Hiking Pole
Remember, if you don’t have the time or the patience to carve a pole for yourself, you can just visit a specialty sporting goods shop, and select a hardwood hiking stick or a clearance hiking pole that is suitable for the terrain that you spend most time in.