My Story on Hiking Sticks
Working with a piece of wood and converting it into a treasured hiking companion gives me a great deal of pleasure. I feel that by turning that stick into something usesful I'm in a way, saving it's life..
All the sticks that I use have either been found on the ground or have been taken from trees that have been cut down. In the general course of nature, they would either end up as firewood or would eventually decompose in the woods.
Once the new recruit has arrived at the workshop, it is still not assured a permanent home. First, it is stripped of all bark, and then it is sanded down so that the grain shows. The bark is sanded until it is smooth as a baby’s bum and so that the individuality of the grain of that particular piece is shown in the most complimentary light. Sanding is the most time consuming process as it is done bit by bit until the stick fairly glows with life fire.
Only now is the choice made as to whether the stick will join the store of highly desirable Water Gap Hiking Sticks. Yet, the work is still not done. A height must be selected (the raw stick is generally between six feet and seven feet long). Taking the grain and shape into consideration, the best height is chosen for that particular stick. And, of course, the height will determine the owner, so in a way, while the owner chooses the stick, the stick also chooses the owner.
The next step is to oil the stick. This is a time honored tradition, far more environmentally friendly than polyurethane. There is also a difference in appearance. While polyurethane has a heightened shine, it is the oil that brings out the true depth of the wood. This last step also adds to the general feel of a ‘stick with attitude’.
While my "Hiking Sticks" are Naturally made and have retained their natural look and feel, at least once a year you should apply a good wood oil to your stick to keep it from drying and cracking. (the more you do this the better) This is a natural piece of wood and oiling it periodically will help to keep your stick looking good for as long as you own it.
Water Gap Hiking Sticks are found in the garden of the earth, shaped through the gentle hands of a stick whisperer, and then owned by those that value a hiking companion that once belonged to a tree of life.
“The Stick Whisperer”