How to Make a Walking Stick

You can make a walking stick yourself from wood or bamboo, and then enjoy your new handmade equipment outdoors. Walking sticks come in handy when you are hiking, because they help you keep your balance and gain leverage on inclines.

Choose a stick that is comfortable in your hand and will support your weight. Wider sticks will bear more weight, but may be too heavy to lug around after long periods of walking.

Opt for a bamboo stick. Bamboo is lightweight and hollow, so you can even carry items inside your walking stick after sealing the end.

Pick a stick that is well aligned. When the top and bottom of the stick are on the same axis, the stick will be well balanced, even if there is a bend in the middle.

Suit the stick length to the activity. Hand-height sticks may be more comfortable for walking, whereas shoulder-height sticks help provide leverage when hiking up or down hills.

Put your gloves on to protect your hands from needles and sap.

Remove any protruding branches with the hand saw. Make your cuts as close to the stick as possible, without gouging it.

Peel off the bark. Depending on the freshness of your stick, you may need to use box cutters to completely strip the bark off.

Don your dust mask.

Sand down any knots in the stick so that they are flush, using 100 grit sandpaper.

Sand down the remainder of the stick by hand using 200 grit sandpaper. Be careful to sand with the natural grain of the wood, as sanding against the grain can cause splintering.

Sand the entire stick again with 400 grit sandpaper.

Wipe the stick down with a rag to remove remaining sawdust.

Insert a small screw in the bottom of the stick.

Apply linseed oil liberally to the stick using lint free rags.

Hang the stick from the screw in the bottom and let the oil dry.

Wax the stick with household wax after the oil dries. Your walking stick is complete!


Remember that you will be carrying the walking stick for long periods of time. Heavier sticks may become burdensome.


Knots in sticks may be weak points in the wood, which will decrease the durability of your walking stick. Always cut away from yourself when using box cutters.

Things You'll Need

  • Box cutter
  • Stick
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Hand saw
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • 400 grit sandpaper
  • Dust mask
  • Rags
  • Linseed oil
  • 200 grit sandpaper
  • Small screw
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