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· Registered
90 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Originally, my son had expressed an interest in stickmaking, so I began to come up with some sort of instruction in order to begin his "education". His interest lasted all of two days but here's what I came up with so far.
Please feel free to add anything that may prove useful to others.

Tips and suggestions for new stick collectors.

Before you go

  • Ask a friend to go. Use "The Buddy System" Whenever possible.
  • Check the weather forcast.
  • Make sure it's NOT hunting season!
  • Check a map (or Google Earth) for ideas of where to go and how to get there.
  • Let someone know your intended destination(s), planned route(s) and when abouts to expect you back.
  • Go through a checklist (Tools, compass, cordage, water, fire, flashlight, , bug spray, maps, cell phone, First Aid Kit, etc,) and make sure you have everything you want/need to take with you.
  • Dress in layers. High visibility colors may be advisible.
  • Take marking ribbon with you. If you see a piece that needs to grow a while longer (i.e. Not thick enough), mark it with colored tape and check it your next time through the area.
  • Learn everything you can, what you need for your intended project and how to do it.
On your way

  • Make note of local landmarks and weather conditions.
  • Note any wooded areas for future reference.
While you're there

  • Ask the land owners permission!
  • Be respectfull and appreciative of the land owners, other people, the property and/or the forrest and it's inhabitants.
  • Watch where and how you step.
  • Stay in contact.
  • Be mindfull of landmarks.
  • Whenever possible, Keep your feet on the ground. Never climb alone.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Keep open flames to a minimun, particularly during the dry season and completely extinguish all heat sources before moving on.
  • If you bring it in, take it out! Don't leave your trash behind.
Before you cut

  • Examine your intended piece carefully for adequate length, girth (at both ends and where your hand would go if you're making a staff), straightness and rigidity. It's a waste of time, energy and resources if you cut first only to find the piece is not usable.
While you work

  • Use the best light you can.
  • Never cut towards yourself
  • Use your protective gear! Gloves, goggles, aprons, masks. SAFETY FIRST!
  • Keep your blade(s) sharp. Dull blades are not only more difficult to work with, they're dangerous! The more pressure you need to apply to use a dull blade, the deeper the wound will be if you slip,
  • Take your time. If you're not sure, find out. The project isn't going anywheres without you.
When you're done

  • Make certain any electrical equipment is turned off, unplugged, etc.
  • Extinguish all open flames.
  • Clean up.

  • Take a course in basic woodworking/ cabnetry (Online or at your local Vocational sghool)
  • Join a carving club or form your own.
  • Follow directions (at least the first time or two. Then develop your own way)
  • Use common sense.
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. (Sorry, I was in the Trash business for about 10 years)
  • Use your resources (The library, order a book online or use other online resources such as http://walkingstickforum.com.)
  • If you don't know, ASK!
  • If you're happy with it, it's good.
  • Teach someone.
  • Learn!
Some things have been repeated more than once either because they fall under several categories and/ or they are worth repeating (Such as "SAFETY FIRST"!)
This list is a work in progress and, as such is incomplete

· Registered
965 Posts
Add: good boots, waterproof, calf high if possible.

For myself, "getting the lay of the land" is a first step. Scout out a whole area. Better to know where the good stuff is, and start collecting there.

Add a whistle to needful things.

Binoculars and/or magnifying glass. Mostly for fun, but its good to be able to start a fire with a glass.

Any rattlers, water moccasins, etc where one is going? Great Horned Owls (sometimes too stupid to know humans aren't prey but attack anyway.)
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