Walking stick tip

7:28 p.m. on October 3, 2010 (EDT)
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167 forum posts

I use one walking stick while hiking, I like the way it helps going up or down trails. I use only wood that is on the ground, I will not cut any tree; any if you spend time in the forest you'll find many walking sticks. I used rubber chair ends on the stick and they only last around 18 miles before they are gone at the bottom. I felt there could be a better way and I got a 1/4 metal drill bit and drilled the bottom of the stick. I have used it for more than 100 miles with no problems. I just drilled it until the bit stop, it will not fall out, if you use a wood bit the hole will be to big. When the stick wears out you can remove the bit and use it on a new stick. The bit on the bottom gives me a lot of control while walking, the stick slips very little now. I feel it doesn't damage the trail, or has very little effect on the trail. Total investment .75 cent for bit, stick was free. That's my 2 cents.

7:34 a.m. on October 4, 2010 (EDT)
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1,124 forum posts

Hey, Oldman you arnt that old :)

I too use wooden walking sticks. Thanks for the tip.

9:15 a.m. on October 4, 2010 (EDT)
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167 forum posts

I had gray hair when I was 18, it was cool then but the name has never gone away. If you use the bit, keep the bit drill slow, or you may break the stick.

4:52 p.m. on October 5, 2010 (EDT)
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306 forum posts

I also use wooden walking sticks when not using my trekking poles. I use them due to a bad knee and they do wonders for me on descent. I bought these rubber things, they just slip on the end of the stick (sort of like the rubber thing on crutches) and they have so far lasted more than 20 miles. I will try to remember where I got them and re-post.

7:33 p.m. on October 5, 2010 (EDT)
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3,956 forum posts

When I first started hiking people would leave their hiking stick at the trailhead for others to use, and you simply left it there when you were done with it.

They weren't the custom kind of course, but it was a cool system. I don't see it done that much anymore since so many people use trekking poles now.

Good advise about using a drill bit, I hadn't thought of that.


8:45 a.m. on October 6, 2010 (EDT)
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I use one of those six foot, plastic coated, metal shafted tree stakes you can buy at a nursery for about seven bucks. It's lighter than wood, the texture on the shaft provids excellent grip, and it needs no special tip.


9:20 p.m. on October 6, 2010 (EDT)
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167 forum posts

Thanks for the info, I don't coat the stick with anything, I like the natural wood. I don't like to drill it and put a strap through the stick and around my hand. I feel it's a risk that if I fall could break a bone. I also like just using the one stick to keep the other hand free. I do try to rotate from one hand to the other, and used it as a weapon one time against a dog, I didn't hit the dog but I was ready, it's owner came and said sorry.

8:07 a.m. on October 7, 2010 (EDT)
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1,630 forum posts

I have always used a walking stick or trekking poles. Up until about 3 years or so ago I only used a stick I would find at a trailhead. Now I use a pair of black diamond alpine carbon cork trekking poles.

In my opinion, the difference is night and day. Sure sticks work fine, but trekking poles do it much better in my opinion. It's more an ergonomical thing I think. I.e. you can adjust to the exact height, has a good grip etc.

I was medically discharged from the military due to a parachuting accident, which left me with a bad left knee and a broken l6 vertebrae in my lower back. So I find that actual trekking poles really allow me to enjoy my hike and not have my old injuries get inflammed and bother me.

If I am only doing a short day hike , like 4 or 5 miles or less I will just use a stick most of the time. Anything beyond that, especially with a full pack I much prefer trekking poles. I also now use a trekking pole tent, the Nemo Meta 2P, so they are neccesary to carry regardless now.

You can save alot of money by just using a stick or some other item that can double as a walking stick, but if you have the $ I highly suggest at least trying them out. You can always return them if you are not happy/satisfied. For me, it is one of the best things I never did, my knees and back thank me at the end of every day of hiking.

7:56 p.m. on October 7, 2010 (EDT)
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306 forum posts


I have used and left quite a few sticks at the trailhead (some of the trails in the Great Smoky Mtns) like you mentioned unitl I made my own. I had some tree branches in my backyard that had fallen down and made two nice ones...one of oak and the other of hickory.

April 22, 2018
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