Walking staff advice

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Full Member
Jan 29, 2007
Just got me a nice piece of hazel which will be just right as a walking staff. My question is: do i strip off the bark and oil it or leave it as it is. It will look nicer without the bark i guess, but will probably be more vulnerable to the elements.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 13, 2009
It's a matter of choice, there is no right way. Either way treat it with linseed oil now and then and it will be fine.


Need to contact Admin...
Dec 24, 2010
Bark on - much nicer. Perhaps round off each end by cutting a little of the bark away to creatr a dome. Several good oilings after that and job done.


Jan 19, 2004
Which ever you want
Unless you're going to leave it outside in the backgarden when not using it the elements wont make any difference for the sort of exposure we put it to. Even a week long rain storm wont harm it if it's been oiled before and you let it dry out and oil after


Brewers Whoop

Dec 19, 2008
Bark on - much nicer. Perhaps round off each end by cutting a little of the bark away to creatr a dome. Several good oilings after that and job done.

Exactly what I did, and it looks a treat. Thought about buying a brass ferrule thingie for the end, but didn't bother in the end.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 21, 2005
you could do a bit of both - cutting and stripping off bits of bark can create some nice patterns (spirals, rings, diamonds etc)

but it is your staff do what you want and remember you can take it off but you can't put it back on....... whatever you do I agree with the oil it suggestion, it will protect and enhance the wood at the same time.
I add an Alpine spike to my sticks:


It makes the stick last longer, nonslip on rock, and excellent for poking at things. Worth every penny.

If you do add an Alpine spike , make sure you have a cover for it(rubber stopper) when you go into towns or villages, the Police might have a polite word with you if you don't:rolleyes:. I was told walking through Callander that I was carrying an offensive weapon & the tip should be covered. lol glad he didn't look in my rucksack :lmao:

I ended up modding mine into a take down walking stick so I could take it in half and put it in my rucksack to save the hassle.


Oct 11, 2004
Never had any problem or comment about my sticks from anybody in thirty plus years. They are only walking sticks and crooks with a common metal tip and don't even come close to being described as an offensive weapon ("any article made or adapted for use to causing injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use") so the policeman was out of order saying so. Also if it were an offensive weapon covering the point would not have changed that fact, actually compounded the offence as being a concealed weapon.
He may have just had a bad day, but I can assure you he was intent on me covering the spike, I had to buy a rubber stopper from Bain's Tackle shop on the high street.

If you follow the link it also offers a rubber tip to cover it when in towns , so there must be something behind it.
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Oct 1, 2008
south wales
I usually just leave the bark on mine, then again I usually just leave mine in the woods near where I start walking, as it's ready at hand when I start and I don't have to carry it through town or on the train (the place where I go walking is also where I work and is too far to walk to and the station is right next to the entrance of the woods) plus by leaving it there if I don't go into the woods for a while it'll rot down and be returned to nature and I can always pick up another stick (I spent the whole morning just the other week making a bunch of walking staves/sticks out of fallen branches and wind damaged trees for all the volenteers I work with)

I occasionally cut some of the bark away to make a grip or get some old lace/string and make a nice handdle on it.

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