Up next in Hiking Equipment & Tips (14 videos)
Take a hike! But don't go before checking out the hiking equipment advice and hiking tips in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Leather cord
- Stain or varnish
- Steel wool
Find a stick
Find a straight, strong stick or branch. Long roots and saplings with a diameter of 5-to-7 inches at the wide end work well. Look for sticks with a slight taper, and long enough to trim to about 5 feet 6 inches in length.
Strip your stick down to the bare wood, peeling away the bark and trimming off all of the bark, branches, and knots. Use a saw to remove anything that you can't scrape away with your pocketknife.
Let it cure
Allow your stick to dry out for four to six weeks. A warm, sunny location is best, but the most important thing is to keep it dry. Check it periodically for insects and rot.
Sand your stick
Sand your stick after it's cured. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper, such as 120 grit, and work your way up to a fine grit, such as 600 to 800 grit. Sand your stick until it's smooth and poses no splinter threat.
Drill a hole
Drill a hole through your stick, near the handle, and thread the leather cord through the hole. Then tie a knot in the cord so that you have a wrist strap.
Apply a coat of oil stain or varnish, and then a coat of polyurethane to protect your stick. When the polyurethane dries, rub it with fine steel wool, and then apply another coat.
Paint your stick in any style you like, or else keep it natural looking. Go for a hike and use your stick for support as you traverse rough terrain.