Hikers, walkers, and backpackers often like to use a hiking staff when they go on their journeys. Not only can they be used for balance and an extra support when climbing, they can also be used for self-defense if needed. Outdoor recreation stores sell technologically advanced poles made out of metal and fiberglass. However, if you want a more natural looking hiking staff, you can always make it yourself.
1. A long, straight, sturdy branch
2. A small eyebolt
3. Twelve inch piece of leather thong
4. Leather rectangle large enough to wrap the branch
Optional materials for decoration include feathers, beads, a wood burning tool, name tag, brads and studs, and anything else you like.
Preparing the Staff
The first thing you have to do to create your hiking staff is prepare the branch you have chosen. It should be strong, straight, and have no branches. Using a flat knife or scraper tool, you can scrape all of the bark off the staff. Smooth off any places where branches used to grow with a knife and rough sandpaper. Pay special attention to smoothing the area where your hand will grasp it.
The Wrist Loop and Hand Grip
To create a wrist loop to hold on to your hiking staff, you only have to screw the eyebolt securely into the wood. Find the appropriate place for the eyebolt by taking a short walk with your staff and finding where your hand feels most comfortable grasping it.
After the eyebolt is in place, you simply have to thread the leather thong or strap through the bolt and tie it in a secure knot. If you do not want to use leather, you may use fabric or even a chain.
Whether you make a wrist loop or not, you might also like adding a handgrip to your walking or hiking staff. You can do this by wrapping the leather rectangle around the stick and stitching it in place. You can also use a narrow leather thong to wrap the leather handgrip in place.
In order to truly create a unique walking or hiking staff, you must personalize it. You might like to use a wood-burning tool to burn your name, initials, a small picture, or something else onto your staff. You could even paint a small picture and cover it carefully with sealant. Attaching a tooled leather cap to the staff is another great way to decorate it. The possibilities are endless.
Making a walking or hiking staff is a wonderful craft to do. Not only can it really reflect your personality, it can provide support for you when you walk, hike, or backpack. Creating a unique walking or hiking staff is a fabulous way of spending time around a campfire, or dreaming about your next adventure at home.