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Usually I don't have any hiking poles with me when walking. From time to time I think it would be great to wander one or two kilometers with some support while on the track. I then often end up with a crooked, harsh and heavy stick I found in the forest nearby. These pieces don't really satisfy my needs and thus get thrown away soon after.

What characteristics should I look for in sticks in the forest to be used as a hiking sticks and where to look for them (which bush, tree etc.)?

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What characteristics should I look for in sticks in the forest to be used as a hiking sticks

  • Strong and don't snap or break when weight applied
  • Straight
  • Correct height, I like one about the same height as me
  • Smooth but not too smooth. Need to get a grip but not tear you hands apart

where to look for them

I'm going to flip this slightly to what type of tree or bush to use. A good choice is Birch, particuatly copiced birch. Birch is a good sturdy tree and it grows nice and straight. If It's coppiced the tree will grow lots of long stright vertical branches. You probably want to find one of these about the 2-3 thumb widths in size. I'd cut one off as your sure it won't be rotten then (BTW coppicing in this manner is entirly sustainable, the tree will simply grow more so don't worry about harming to treee). Trim any branches and your good to go. A good branch is worth keeping BTW

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    I'd also pick something common in the area: you don't want to risk damaging something uncommon, or inadvertently spreading a non-native species if it survives or has seed (or indeed bugs/diseases) attached – Chris H Dec 20 '16 at 17:59
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    We planted a crimson king maple for my son's first birthday. By the time he was three years old the tree was dead. Something had eaten the bark away close to the ground. I cut the little tree down and carved a maple walking stick that has served me well for the last 7 years. – Lumberjack Dec 20 '16 at 19:52
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    I'd add weight as a factor too: depending on the wood some staffs, especially if freshly cut, can be very heavy. Avoid fresh cut birch or oak for example. – fgysin reinstate Monica Dec 22 '16 at 9:54

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