Walking sticks are valued assets to many outdoor enthusiasts. Whether walking around the block, going to a community greenway or trekking backwoods, you can rely on walking sticks to provide extra stability and added confidence. Walking sticks are available from many manufacturers; however, it is not only possible but fairly easy to make a walking stick which can be customised for the user. With some easy-to-find supplies, time and imagination, almost anyone can make a walking stick suited to their own individual needs.
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Types of Material
There are many different types of materials which may be used for making a walking stick. The most common material is wood which is used for the main shaft of the stick. Oak and pine are often used to make walking sticks due to the availability of the material. Other materials such as aluminium tubing and fibreglass tubing may also be used, although these can be more expensive.
Different materials for making walking sticks have different features and benefits. For example, grip tape, which may be used for wrapping the end of the stick to form a hand hold, can be made using different tapes. There are foam-filled tapes which provide a cushion grip, tacky tapes for a more sure grip surface and smooth tapes.
Geography can play a role when considering walking stick materials. For example, the terrain to be walked can dictate the need for a spike on the end of the walking stick or a rubber cap. Typically, a rubber cap or footing is used as this provides good traction for rock and other smooth surfaces. However, a spike may be needed for situations involving snow, ice or loose gravel.
The environment in which the walking stick will be used should be taken into account. For example, if the stick will be used in wet conditions, the wood shaft of the stick should be sealed with a waterproof coating and the grip should be waterproof.
Many individuals collect walking stick medallions as souvenirs. The medallions are tacked onto the shaft of the stick and displayed during walks. Typically, the medallions are designed to fit a particularly sized stick and this should be taken into consideration when designing a stick.
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