If you’ve spent any amount of time hiking with a child, you know that it doesn’t take long for them to find and pickup a walking stick.
Unfortunately, these sticks are often dead branches that have fallen to the ground, and offer little to no support. I’d like to share a tip with you on creating a walking stick for your child that’ll not only provide them with adequate support, but will also create a sense of responsibility and pride for young outdoors people.
Putting them in charge of their walking stick gives sometimes distracted young hikers something to focus on – and even something to brag about around the campfire.
This is a sponsored article. I am a Bernzomatic Torch Bearer, though all opinions expressed are my own.
- Start off by finding a piece of greenwood that’s adequate height for your child. This is important, as I mentioned earlier – dead wood breaks too easily, and won’t be worth the time that you’ll put into it.
- Using a knife, whittle the bark off of your stick. Depending on the age of your child – you could include them in this step. However, I find enjoyment in working on the walking stick by myself – and then making a ceremony out of presenting the finished walking stick to the child.
- Once you’ve got your stick bare, I use a Bernzomatic torch to char the outside of the stick. Here, I’m using the Bernzomatic TS4000, which is a high output, trigger controlled torch. It allows me to cover a wide area pretty quickly – resulting in the petinaed look that I’m going for.
- Once you have your stick charred, I used a paper towel to rub away any excess char – keeping it off my kids clothes when we’re out hiking. I figure they get dirty enough on their own!
- Now that I’ve got the sticked charred, I’m going to add a leather handle. I picked up this colored leather at an arts & crafts store. If this stick was for me personally, I’d probably choose a different color – but kids love vibrant colors…even in the woods.
- One thing that’s important to keep in mind when cutting your leather, is that it’ll stretch over time – so be sure to account for that with your cut.
- Using a leather punch, punch out holes down one side of the leather, as evenly as possible.
Continue by matching up holes on the other side of the leather – to create your lacing system.
- I’m going to use paracord to lace the handle, with a single back and forth sew. If you’ve got the time – or want a different look, you can lace criss cross back down again.
- To finish off the project, I like to add a charm to the paracord end – to personalize each stick, and so that the kids can tell them apart easily.
Now it’s your turn – get your kids outside, and onto the trail.