Regardless of what your ability is in terms of hiking and walking, a wooden staff is a great way in which you can make the effort that little bit less and ensure that you have some solid support as you are hiking. I actually bough a staff from Steve Sorensen Select Staffing recently and it has dramatically helped me during my ramblings.
I have actually found that I use the stick as much for walking as I do for poking, prodding or clearing space when I hike and it is an accessory which I really wished I had bought many years before hand. You don’t have to buy a staff of course, if you are particularly handy when it comes to woodworking then you could pick one up as you are on your travels and refine it to suit you.
However you go about getting your staff however, there are some certain things that you should be looking out for so that you get a staff which suits you and which serves its purpose.
You will always be using your hand to control the staff and so you should ensure that you get a staff which has the perfect spot to place your hand. In order to do this you should make sure that it feels comfortable to hold, that it has no pieces of wood or branch sticking out which will irritate or hurt you, and that you can support the weight of the staff with your hand.
Getting the right length for your staff is not easy, a general rule of thumb is that it should stand around arms-length above your head so as to give you the best support. The best way of finding out which length works for you is to simply try out as many as possible until you get it just right.
Depending on what kind of hiking you plan on doing, you will need a staff that has the strength and durability to help you through your walks. Really you should be looking for a maple or oak staff as these are known to be not only durable and strong, but also very lightweight, the perfect combination for anyone who is looking at getting their hiking boots on.
There is nothing to say that you can’t let your personality shine through with the staff that you have chosen and you should carefully look at the design and decoration of your staff before you buy. The staff that I purchase has the horn of a sheep at the top and it has a yellow stripe in the centre, whilst these look great for decoration they also ensure that people know which staff is mine when I hike in a group.
Make sure that you take your time when selecting a staff, getting it right is tough but when you do, you will have a great staff that could last you a lifetime.