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How to wrap a walking stick handle

Updated March 28, 2017

A hiking or walking stick provides an added point of balance and stability. For a good walking or hiking stick to work, it needs to be the proper size for your body and arm length and have a grip that's cushioned and absorbs sweat or moisture. The padding prevents bruising to palms and fingers and the wrap absorbs moisture so your hand doesn't slip down the shaft. Custom wrap your walking stick with the colours you like and add custom knots, beads or designs.

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Cork tape wrap

  1. Wipe down the grip area of the hiking stick to prepare it for the cork tape. Cork tape is the tape used by cyclists and is designed to provide cushioning and moisture absorption. It comes in different colours and widths.

  2. Place the end of the cork tape at the top of the walking stick and begin to wrap it around the walking stick shaft on the grip area, heading down the stick about 20 cm (8 inches). Overlap each successive wrap by 1.25 cm (1/2 inch). The back of the cork tape has adhesive, so place your wraps carefully to avoid resetting it.

  3. Use the scissors to cut the cork tape when your last wrap is approximately 20 cm (8 inches) down the grip on the shaft. Coat the final wrap with clear epoxy with a lip of 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) going onto the walking stick. Let the glue dry.

Leather or paracord wrap

  1. Choose a main colour for the wrap using coloured leather straps or paracord. Wipe down the grip on the walking stick.

  2. Wrap three tight coils around the top of the walking stick grip area. Tie a loop-knot into the main line after the coils.

  3. Wrap, so each successive wrap is directly next to the previous, down the length of the grip of the stick. Wrap down approximately 20 cm (8 inches). Use scissors to cut the end of the cord or leather strap. If using paracord, hold a lighter flame under the cut to melt the end and prevent frays.

  4. Slide beads or tie any fancy knot to the end for decoration as you wish. Wrap a very tight coil of black electrical tape around the final coil and 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) on the walking stick shaft.

  5. Tip

    Many national parks and forests sell hiking stick emblems and metal badges. Add these to your walking stick to customise and show where you've went hiking.

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Things You'll Need

  • Clear epoxy glue
  • Paracord or leather strips
  • Scissors
  • Handlebar cork tape
  • Lighter
  • Electrical tape
  • Beads

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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