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How to Use a Hiking Stick

Learn how to use your hiking stick effectively for an easier, more pleasant walk through the woods.


  • Step 1: Brake your descent Use the hiking stick to brake your descent on steep down-slopes. Alternately, use it to push yourself onward on an up-slope. Balance on uneasy ground by allowing the hiking stick to help bear your weight.
  • Step 2: Ford a stream Maintain your balance as you ford a stream by leaning on the hiking stick, which serves as a stabilizing third leg as you make your way through the water.
  • TIP: Wedge the stick between rocks to get more support.
  • Step 3: Pitch a tarp Use the stick to pitch a tarp. Place the stick in the center of the tarp, and then secure the corners of the tarp by ropes to trees.
  • Step 4: Scare away dogs Scare away menacing dogs. Just the sight of the stick can be enough to send a growling dog off with its tail between its legs. With your trusty walking stick at your side, get out there and enjoy your hike!
  • FACT: Hiking sticks are frequently constructed from air-dried tree saplings rather than kiln-dried wood.

You Will Need

  • Down-slopes and up-slopes
  • Stream
  • Tarp
  • Snakes
  • Dogs
  • Rocks (optional)

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