Forum: Other Geocaching Related Equipment Info and Reviews
Topic: Walking sticks
started by: Rob
Posted by Rob on Mar. 20 2002,10:07 amNot long ago I noticed some hikers using what looked to me like the newest fad. They were walking down the trail with what looked like ski poles in each hand. They were flailing around with the things like their lives depended on them. OK, always one to jump on the latest band wagon, I checked them out at our “up scale” camping store in San Diego. (A16) $125 a piece for collapsible, aluminum poles complete with straps and little rubber feet like things.
Just wondering. Is this one of those west coast trendy fads or are these things appearing else where?
My walking stick is a 5 ft. length of sch-40 PVC pipe with a cap on the end. (I even had my coworker imply that I was a sissy for using a stick at all.)
Posted by DxChallenged on Mar. 20 2002,11:15 amNot sure aobut the ski pole hiking stick fad......
but I have a GREAT hiking stick. I bought it on e-bay. It's a hand carved stick which was 60" long and has been cut to size. It has a wood spirit carved in the grip, a compass mounted inside the top and a rubber tipped end.......Must say it has improved my ability to stay upright while hiking!!
And it looks great too!!
Posted by barrington on Mar. 20 2002,12:27 pmI usually don't use it unless I'm out taking pictures, but my walking stick is a collapsible camera monopod. It's lightweight tubular aluminum, adjustable length from about 18" to over five feet, has a foam rubber grip at the top, and the bottom tip has both a rubber foot and an extendable steel spike. And a screw thread on the top to mount a camera, of course. It will support about forty or fifty pounds before the collapsible joints slip, so you can lean on it, but not pole-vault over streams . It cost me twelve bucks on eBay.
Most often, if I feel the need for some support on the trail, I just look around for a suitable stick or dead tree branch to make me tripodal, then leave it at the trail head for someone else to use.
Posted by mikechim on Mar. 20 2002,3:11 pm
Nope their not just a west coast fad. I don't use them (basically cause of the cost) but I'd like to. Not for day hikes but for the long backpacking trips. There not so popular yet that you can find them at used sporting good stores, but all the new sporting and camping goods retailers have them. Maybe I'll find some along the side of a trail one day
Posted by Gimpy on Mar. 21 2002,1:58 amI picked mine up last year at the "Renaissance Festival". One of those medieval extravaganzas' that are held during the summer months. This guy has a large booth set up there every year, selling these hand carved walking sticks. Really nice stuff. Not sure what type of wood they're made of, but very sturdy & lightweight. Mines about 4 1/2 ft. tall. with a nice rounded handle & a 7" high wizards face & beard carved into it. Some really great detail. Never thought I'd spend $70.00 on a freakin' stick, but this is a work of art.
Posted by DxChallenged on Mar. 21 2002,4:48 amSo Gimpy was this the festival in Sterling, NY?
Love the turkey legs.........
Must say I got a GREAT deal on e-bay. about $30 less than you paid.....guy works out of his home sells at fairs in the summer for sig more........or so I was told........but was first rate.......and man was that an interesting package for the mailman to deliver!
Ran into a member of society for creative enacronism last night while I was picking up another bolt (20 yards) of quilt batting.........methinks we may have more cachers comiming our way! Let's do a cache out near Sterling
Posted by Rob on Mar. 21 2002,10:26 amOne of my problems with walking sticks is loosing the darn things. You’d think you would get used to having it all the time but man, I just wander off without it. I’d hate to do that with an expensive stick.
Another problem is having a spare hand. I still walk around with my GPS in my hand and with a camera & water bottle, I end up doing a lot of juggling.
I'm now experimenting with one of those water bottles with a straw attached. (Jury is still out on that contraption). Oh yeah, I guess a external antenna for my E-map would solve the other problem.
Posted by GeoRockers on Mar. 21 2002,11:57 pm
I rarely go caching without one.
On my 2nd caching trip, I reached into a hole to get the cache... first, I heard the rattle snake, then I saw it.
During the winter, it made a great counter balance while on the muddy trails in the hills, and it really helps out during an ascent.
I normally attach an eTrex to the wrist strap of the hiking pole... haven't forgotten it yet!
Posted by DxChallenged on Mar. 22 2002,1:00 amHey Georockers......from your signature:
A 1/1 via the trail around the hill? Nah... that's too easy! Let's go up and over! Why follow a trail when we can blaze our own?
I'de say that you've done a number of Gimpy's caches....yeah been there done that and love it
Now my question is....I have the walking stick, the 35 pound pack (might as well be well stocked) and my V. I just figured out that I need another hand And we're leaving for a 2 week caching vacation tommorrow.
I have thought of strapping my V to the walking stick but it's "my precious" right now so don't think I could have it that far away.
Fearless has suggested that I stap my auto mount to a plate in front of me...so I just have to look down...Uh yeah, that goes along with nerdy boots.......
Posted by CameraThyme on Mar. 22 2002,9:58 amFor me, a walking stick should be a must as I am always stumbling about. My QPTWMPGP has come to my rescue, or my Ray Of Light, when I possibly could have managed the terrain with an extra pod. I've been eyeing them at a local well-known outdoor store. $125 a pair here for the "fancy" boogers. Someone tell me where one can get the stick that is also a monopod for a camera, and I'm buying into this! -CT
Posted by Gimpy on Mar. 22 2002,10:55 amMy monopod always goes with me & though I wasn't planning on using it as a walking stick, it has come in handy on occasion. Very lightweight & sturdy. Can't beat it for keeping the camera steady for nature shots. Have gotten some great pics at a whole lot of cache locations.
Posted by Rocky on Mar. 22 2002,8:26 pmWalking Stick? How can I run 3 GPSRs, and carry a walking stick, Im already 1 hand short?
Posted by CameraThyme on Mar. 22 2002,9:46 pmI get it now, Gimpy. Now imagine if you took one of those new, fancy boogers of a "hiking staff" and did some little 1/4 in mount under a soft ball of rubber or somethin'. :-) Let me know when you get one ready ( I will give it a test run for you!)
Posted by GeoRockers on Mar. 23 2002,12:55 am
You have to protect precious!
Hey Fearless! Please take this photo and post it to the forums!
Posted by GeoRockers on Mar. 23 2002,1:08 am
Wow! Great idea!
What would you name this new multi-purpose stick?
How about HUCStR (Hiking, Utility, Camera Stick, Ruber)?
Posted by Gimpy on Mar. 23 2002,1:53 amBeing a machinist & having all the necessary materials in the shop right now, I just may go ahead with this. Wouldn't take any time at all to fabricate it. Just a simple 1/4-20 threaded stud anchored in the top of the staff with a neoprene or hard rubber washer or gasket. Hmmm. I'll let you know.
Posted by Morseman on Mar. 23 2002,2:12 am
Once I can be sure that I wont keep falling out, I am planning to try to strap my GPSIII+ to my bouyancy aid, for canoeing.
One co-worker asked why I'd want to know that I was on a river, when I could dip my hand in the water.
Posted by mrmom on Mar. 28 2002,2:31 pmMULTI TASKING WOODSMEN (WOMEN) ASSISTIVE DEVICE
FEATURES: sturdy hardwood construction, a secure non slip rubber base (great on rocks), a tapered shaft (great for poking under rotting logs for the hidden cache), a utility hook (to grasp onto tree roots/limbs while climbing), a storage hook (hangs on to your pack when not in use), too many features to list them all!!!
You can find these M.T.W.(W.)A.D.'S at Walmart for around $15.00.
Look in the cane department!
Posted by Harrkev on Mar. 28 2002,3:02 pmI have seen on some web sites really neat walking sticks.
Old fashioned wood (the fancy poles make you look like a yuppie) with an old-fashioned wooden knob on top. If you unscrew the knob, there is a thread for attachment to a camera (perfect for those long zoom shots). I will see if I can find a link later if anybody is interested.
Posted by bond 007 on May 18 2002,6:59 pmHiking sticks do work, they help maintain balance and
are an excellant way to take the strain off your knees.
See Backpacker.com Reviews I think...
Posted by Hinge Thunder on May 22 2002,12:09 pm
I am not sure if it a west coast thing or what. I grew up in Seattle area, and have always seen people using ski poles as walking sticks. I don't think they were fancy schmancy $125 ones, but more like $5.00 garage sale ones.
Personally, I don't use a walking stick. I have never quite figured out how I would use it.
Maybe someone can tell me what a walking stick accomplishes? This is a real question. Is it a balance thing? A support thing? Not sure why people use em. On flat terrain, it doesn't seem much use other than something to carry, and on steep terrain, I want my hands free, and not to be carrying a big stick. Am I missing something?
Not to get me wrong, they look really cool.
Posted by Rob on May 22 2002,4:20 pm
Cath & I are backpacking in Sequoia this week (yep, Memorial Day crowds) and I made a point of packing the stick. On our Sierra backpacking trips my pack usually tops 60 pounds. A walking stick is great help when you’re 52 with full pack teetering on a shaky stone in the middle of a thigh deep Sierra creek. I’m a convert though, I still just use a piece of pvc pipe instead of the ski poles.
Posted by lighthouserocket on May 22 2002,5:23 pmi have three walking sticks.. one of the woodspirit type, one plane wood with a compass on top and a spike in the bottom.. and one i made myself with a morel mushroom carving on top and nice leather grip for mushroom hunting.. of course i have never used it for mushroom hunting.. i probably take a stick on 1% of the walking/hiking i do.. usually i just feel to lazy to carry it along.. perhaps this will need to change..
Posted by Road Kill on May 24 2002,2:58 pmI think a handmade walking stick used by it's creator adds charactor to the hiker. This is especially true if the design steps outside the norm. I'ts sort of like having an unusual hat. Grin
Posted by Rocky on May 25 2002,9:25 pmRoad Kill
"I think a handmade walking stick used by it's creator adds charactor to the hiker. This is especially true if the design steps outside the norm. I'ts sort of like having an unusual hat. Grin "
Posted by Quinn on May 25 2002,9:37 pmIf Roadkill were to have a nice sharp and barbed point on the end of his stick he could also pick up dead critters along the way to be used on the grill at the Geocachers picnic.
Posted by Alan2 on May 26 2002,9:32 amAlthough this is not my picture, I use the same setup with my Vista and walking stick. You clamp a RAM tubular clamp adapter onto your stick. The rest of the RAM holder/adapter is simply demounted and then attached to my RAM rubber suction cup on my car's windshield or vice versa. Takes a few seconds. Whats nice about the stick mount besides having your hands free, is the patch antenna faces up, you can always see it and when under heavy cover you can "plant" the stick into the ground to let it stablize and not move so the GPS can get a better lock on the sats.
The one negative is that the balance of the stick is not the best.
< http://img.groundspeak.com/cache/14514_300.jpg >
Posted by Road Kill on May 26 2002,10:16 pmWay to go Inspector Gadgit. I like the idea.
Try this to solve the balance problem. Lower the clamp on the stick 5" and rotate the extension to the left instead of forward. Then turn the GPS 90° to the right and end-up the extension along side the stick as you keep the GPS face up. With the GPS inside and close to the stick, the balance problem should be greatly reduced.
Posted by Alan2 on May 27 2002,7:45 amIf I rotate it inwards, the GPS will probably keep hitting my hip. Also, as I recall when I was setting it up, the weight distribution problem just follows wherever the GPS is located. But you did give me an idea. I could offset it with a counterweight. Maybe I can hook up a couple of lead fishing sinkers on the back side. I'll have to work on that.