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JAK
2008-07-05, 13:33
What do you guys thing of the merits of a hiking staff as a psychological weapon?

I am thinking of carrying one. When I am out hiking with my daughter she always makes a stick for me anyway, its usually rotten, but I've gotten used to hiking with one and I kind of like it. I'm definitely a one stick guy not two. Last winter I ran into a pack of Eastern Coyotes. I was on this small island on the frozen Kennebecasis River and my the time I got down to the river to see them they had already run past and were way gone. They are very fast. Anyhow, when I got down there I noticed I was carrying a rotten branch off a tree in my hand. Don't know how that got there. Thinking if I am going to do such silly things I might as well carry one. So, aside from its effectiveness or lack of effectiveness in the unlikely event of successfully or unsuccessfully beating off a Black Bear or pack of Eastern Coyotes, are there any psychological advantages to carrying a big stick, either by improving my posture and behaviour in such an encounter, or as an object the animals might more naturally recognize and respect than a can of bear spray or an air horn?

Hiking staff as a psychological weapon? Yeah or neah?

JAK
2008-07-05, 13:55
Interesting videos on Quarterstaff.

http://www.quarterstaff.org/gallery/videos/index.html

SGT Rock
2008-07-05, 15:33
Get one of those staffs with the sword inside: http://www.handmadesword.com/710.html

blueridgetreks
2008-07-05, 16:11
My friend uses a hiking stick made from sassafras, about $20 online. He actually hides them on different hikes here in Virginia for people to find, geo-caching, http://www.hikingupward.com/hiking_sticks.shtml

I guess the sassafras is pretty tough, should take care of those pesky coyotes. I use hiking poles from REI, I guess I'll have to sharpen up my tips to get those coyotes through the heart!! Happy hunting....

Mutinousdoug
2008-07-05, 17:00
A staff can:
Extend your reach.
Increase your apparent size.
Add to your striking leverage.
Steady your balance.

That's all good, right? Incorporate a spear and you have a significant close quarter weapon.
I like it.

oops56
2008-07-05, 17:09
Gee i did not guess it could do all that. Do you think it could split wood

Mutinousdoug
2008-07-05, 17:14
Gee i did not guess it could do all that. Do you think it could split wood

Well,
Then it would be a hatchet, Oops.

JAK
2008-07-05, 18:10
Wicked looking sword there Rock.
I think I'll start with just a stick and maybe something sharper later.

p.s. Now that's got me thinking. Here is a hiking stick Margaret picked out for me.
With this new use in mind as a potential anti-bear weapon I suppose I should smooth off some of those branches eh. ;)

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p243/JAK_45/Easter2008/Easter2008_12.jpg

CaSteve
2008-07-05, 19:46
Get one of those staffs with the sword inside: http://www.handmadesword.com/710.html

Cool... I could be a samurai hiker!

pure_mahem
2008-07-06, 04:58
Psychological advantage of carrying a BIG STICK is you can talk much more softly!

RBrownkatz
2008-07-06, 09:18
I'm phobic about dogs, having been attacked several times after being assured "He won't hurt you". Still have scars from the one whose owner said, "He's never done that before."
The dogs sense the fear.
I started carrying a stick and feel more confident. They sense that, too. No more dog problems. Psychological "weapon" for sure.

JAK
2008-07-06, 09:36
A staff can:
Extend your reach.
Increase your apparent size.
Add to your striking leverage.
Steady your balance.

That's all good, right? Incorporate a spear and you have a significant close quarter weapon.
I like it.I was thinking maybe that cold steel knife with the hollow handle in the other thread. Wondering also how it might serve for slashing brush. Almost too long of a handle then maybe. There are some small hatchets with hollow handles also. Wondering also, hardwood vs softwood vs aluminum or even titanium. I had a crazy idea awhile back of a titanium hiking staff also serving as a tent pole and a stove pipe. The tent pole is nothing new, but I think tent pole and stove pipe at the same time might be new. 1.5" inside diameter may not seem much, but it would be plenty for a very small wood stove when you consider the draft it would create. So maybe hiking stick / quarterstaff / tent pole / stove pipe / spear / polearm weapon ??? I suppose you could take it further and it could have a bearspray attachment, or serve as a shotgun or musket. Of course the more complicated it is the more stuff to remove from my butt when the bear is done with me. ;)


Anyhow, what would be the best way to quickly attach something like a hollow or round shafted knife or hatchet or spearhead from something like a solid hardwood or hollow titanium hiking staff?

JAK
2008-07-06, 09:46
I also like something along the stick sword idea, where the spearhead might be permamently attached at one end or the other, and the end of the staff is like a sheath which is simply removed to expose the blade. Many options I suppose. I think I will just start with a simple quarterstaff as I think about it all some more. Something fairly long weighing about 2 pounds and see how that feels after about 10 miles or so. Then think some more about weight and length and taper and whether or not to be able to fix a blade on the end or incorporate one into it.

Mutinousdoug
2008-07-06, 12:35
I was thinking maybe that cold steel knife with the hollow handle in the other thread. Wondering also how it might serve for slashing brush. Almost too long of a handle then maybe. There are some small hatchets with hollow handles also. Wondering also, hardwood vs softwood vs aluminum or even titanium. I had a crazy idea awhile back of a titanium hiking staff also serving as a tent pole and a stove pipe. The tent pole is nothing new, but I think tent pole and stove pipe at the same time might be new. 1.5" inside diameter may not seem much, but it would be plenty for a very small wood stove when you consider the draft it would create. So maybe hiking stick / quarterstaff / tent pole / stove pipe / spear / polearm weapon ??? I suppose you could take it further and it could have a bearspray attachment, or serve as a shotgun or musket. Of course the more complicated it is the more stuff to remove from my butt when the bear is done with me. ;)


Anyhow, what would be the best way to quickly attach something like a hollow or round shafted knife or hatchet or spearhead from something like a solid hardwood or hollow titanium hiking staff?

I think the easiest way to quickly attach a CS bush knife to a staff would be to drill and pin it with a couple of cotter pins or detent pins. I don't see a good way of doing that and have the blade draw down tight onto the staff though and the ends of the pins would stick out a bit. How about the kind of spike you see on ice axes? They commonly come with a rubber cover and would serve to keep you standing up as well as a stabbing point/marshmallow toaster. Fashioned from a big lag screw, you could remove it if required. Come to think of it, there are places that sell canoe poles and spare metal tips for same that might give you some ideas. The canoe poles are about 12' long as I recall so may be awkward getting in and out of your car, etc.
I think titanium is going to be spendy.

JAK
2008-07-06, 14:54
That's interesting. There are various tips out there, blunt or pointed, light, or something right up to a 25" long hewing spearhead that weight 1.5 pounds. For practical reasons I would want to keep it light, something I would be more likely to carry all the time on my long hikes. This rules out the heavier spearheads. Maybe keep the bushknife or hatchet separate also. I think I like the simple idea of a tapered and capped tip. I wonder if a javelin would make a decent hiking staff? The youth ones start at 400g or less, and a little over 6' long. You would need to add a high grip. Might be fun to design a hiking staff/spear that could be thrown.
http://www.neuff.co.uk/javelins.html

Looking at martial arts for some ideas and inspiration, I got the sense that spear play, along the lines of WuShu Spear, seemed to be the most appropriate for defence using a long pointy stick. Looks like a fun sport, good for conditioning, and useful almost from the get go even though I know it has a long learning curve like anything...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT3t6cDRDCE

JAK
2008-07-06, 17:59
This fellows hiking stick incorporates some interesting ideas.
http://www.luxurylite.com/ssindex.html

I wonder, for example, how well a simple tubular spear tip might work.
Here is an experimental tubular bayonet for a sten gun.
http://www.battledressandbayonet.com/prod_desc_8_3.html?sno=298

Mutinousdoug
2008-07-06, 22:54
I'd think a tubular spike would work well enough defensively and perhaps allow you to store the blade reversed over the staff for storage/transport. I had a short spike tube like thing with a bicycle grip handle on it that my dad used with his metal detector for grubbing around in the dirt for junk. ( He was looking for a watch he'd lost in the snow one year, long ago; I used it with the detector for finding errant aluminum arrows in the grass back when I fancied myself an archer.)

oops56
2008-07-06, 23:44
I made one years ago for my metal detector also i use it to get dandelion roots

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d52/oops62/stoves%202/th_dandelionpicker.jpg (http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d52/oops62/stoves%202/dandelionpicker.jpg)

JAK
2008-07-07, 23:55
Well I've decided it will be made of wood, and from a sapling not a broomstick.
Also, I want to make using just a knife. So now I need to make a knife first.

Perhaps I will also make it so the knife can be fixed to the staff when I am done. I have facilities to do hardness testing and heat treatment here, so that should be fun. It will be something fairly primitive and cheap though. I might use a saw blade of some sort, but thicker than a hacksaw blade. If will see if I can find a thick sawblade made of a plain high carbon steel so I can differentially heat treat it when I'm done. This should be fun.

JAK
2008-07-08, 09:38
OK. So I want to make a knife, including some teeth, in order to make a hiking staff. I have also been thinking about ways to attach such a knife/saw to the hiking staff. I could use it to slash or sawing through high branches, for example. This got me thinking about the ability to bore small holes through hardwood or softwood, initially as a means of fixing such such blades to a shaft. If I can bore small holes in the woods, I could make dowel joints. This might be useful, for making such things as chairs, ladders, cots, whatever. What are the means of boring small holes in wood? ...perhaps up to an inch in diameter, and up to an inch maybe an inch and a half deep?

I'm thinking this is one of the many jobs of a small knife. I'm also thinking a single edge is better for this than double, so that you don't end up chamfering down the opening too much as you gouge around deeper.

What is the best shape of small blade for boring such holes?
Is it ever worth scorching such holes when done? If so, how?
Is it even possible to make journal bearings out of wood in this way?

So then do I make a small pocket knife first?
What is a good size of small knife if boring 3/8" to 1" holes is one of its jobs?

CaSteve
2008-07-08, 22:26
Jak,

Check out this book on page 29 (search inside the book for knife): http://www.amazon.com/Primitive-Technology-Book-Earth-Skills/dp/0879059117/ref=pd_sim_b_5

-Steve

JAK
2008-07-09, 10:00
That looks like a great book. Thanks.
I wasn't quite able to get to page 29.

SGT Rock
2008-07-09, 15:14
Have you checked out blade forums?

JAK
2008-07-09, 15:29
Have you checked out blade forums?I'll do that. Thanks. I tried make a hole in a piece of wood last night. Some knives and some wood is better than others for that sort of thing. Also curious about using fire for such things, and other tools like awls, or nails.

p.s. I've now joined www.bladeforums.com as JAK_47
Thanks Rock, but don't think you can get rid of me that easy. ;)

JAK
2008-07-09, 20:29
Some really cool knives made in Pictou Nova Scotia.

One has a 5 foot long handle, for fillet of whale.
The other is made from some really old penis. I shit you not.

http://www.grohmannknives.com/pages/unusual.html

FireFighter56
2008-07-10, 00:30
it's not my stick u need to worry about lol.....i never leave home without my 9mm.....not even church...in this day and age...i trust no one.....well...maybe my wife....wait...ok...lol

that and i use aluminum walmart sticks.....all they will do is piss something off lol...

JAK
2008-07-10, 00:58
Well I suppose however prepared you are always worse fates possible than
having your fossilized penis turned into a knife handle 10,000 years from now.

FireFighter56
2008-07-10, 01:12
LOL.....yeah...thats not cool.....no...not cool at all...LOL

JAK
2008-07-10, 01:15
Ya know you can't take it with you. LOL

FireFighter56
2008-07-10, 01:44
i can't ?

lol


but ...it's mine

dixicritter
2008-07-10, 14:23
Not if you're married....LOL.

Didn't you read the fine print on the marriage license? :wink:

FireFighter56
2008-07-10, 14:29
i almost forgot......lol....thanks for reminding me .....LOL

Kodiak Jim
2008-07-10, 18:22
As for attaching things to the end of a stick, have you looked at a wooden paint roller stick? They have threads on them. Some of the expensive paint roller sticks may even be aluminum.

JAK
2008-07-10, 20:14
That's an interesting idea. Maybe something tree trimmers use also.

samhain
2008-07-10, 20:25
I always carry a staff when out in the woods/etc. I feel naked without it.
Mine is made from a large dowel rod with a hook on the end that I use to pull myself up embankments, push saw-briars up out of the way, fish my hat out of the water...

My daughter carries my old one with a hook on the end and we link staffs for me to pull her up steep grades.

FireFighter56
2008-07-10, 23:34
samhain thats a great idea for a walking stick....i'll have to try that lol

Wise Old Owl
2008-07-13, 14:40
Keep in mind it's the one weapon you are still allowed to board a plane with (so long as there isn't something inside) - but you won't need it for coyotes.

JAK
2008-07-13, 18:39
I understand that I won't need it for coyotes, not even Eastern Coyotes. But that didn't stop me from grabbing a stick when I heard them that morning. So now I think I will just carry one all the time and save me the trouble, for coyotes, dogs, bears, excessively territorial ATVers, whatever. I like the fact that its non-treatening, yet subtly persuasive. So its a great confidence booster if nothing else and perhaps it can be a great conversation piece as well. Friendlier conversation that is. ;)

FireFighter56
2008-07-14, 00:00
i still rather my 9mm..... :P

JAK
2008-07-14, 00:33
Another great conversation piece. ;)

johnny quest
2008-07-14, 13:00
http://www.luxurylite.com/ssindex.html

JAK
2008-07-15, 10:16
http://www.luxurylite.com/ssindex.htmlYeah, alot of very good ideas there, and a good complete package also. I like the 48" one piece. If it was 72" and 1.5 times thicker also, with the ends reinforced a bit for striking it would still weigh only a pound and be quite a beast. That needle knife is rather nasty looking. Would it be better to whack a bear or poke a bear or stab a bear, assuming your best hope is for him to simply go away? I was wondering also if you could have a bear spray attachment, or just carry it in the handle. For now I am just going with a big ugly stick and my hatchet. I haven't decided on a camp knife yet, so just a hatchet and a small swiss army knife and my one pound hatchet. I might be able to ground the hatchet down a bit also, and add a slightly longer handle some day if I ever need to replace it, but it is good for now. I won't bother with bear spray on this trip, but if I do see a can before I go I might. It's only because it is just myself and my small daughter that I am concerned at all, and not so much in July as May or June or the Fall. We leave for the Fundy Footpath Thursday night and our plan is to do the whole 60km this time. She is a great little hiker. She does whine a bit sometimes, but I'll have my stick with me. ;)

SGT Rock
2008-07-16, 19:07
Ever since I saw one of those sword staff things in a movei I've wanted one. No really good use for it though.

samhain
2008-07-16, 21:05
Yeah, alot of very good ideas there, and a good complete package also. I like the 48" one piece. If it was 72" and 1.5 times thicker also, with the ends reinforced a bit for striking it would still weigh only a pound and be quite a beast. That needle knife is rather nasty looking. Would it be better to whack a bear or poke a bear or stab a bear, assuming your best hope is for him to simply go away? I was wondering also if you could have a bear spray attachment, or just carry it in the handle. For now I am just going with a big ugly stick and my hatchet. I haven't decided on a camp knife yet, so just a hatchet and a small swiss army knife and my one pound hatchet. I might be able to ground the hatchet down a bit also, and add a slightly longer handle some day if I ever need to replace it, but it is good for now. I won't bother with bear spray on this trip, but if I do see a can before I go I might. It's only because it is just myself and my small daughter that I am concerned at all, and not so much in July as May or June or the Fall. We leave for the Fundy Footpath Thursday night and our plan is to do the whole 60km this time. She is a great little hiker. She does whine a bit sometimes, but I'll have my stick with me. ;)

I've started carrying one of the Gerber Brushhooks and I love it. It's light as a feather (albeit a feather with a long plastic handle and a big curved blade on it but you get the picture).
http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=GB2773

I have both machete and hatchet needs covered.

JAK
2008-07-16, 22:47
Well by this time tomorrow night we should be reading in her tent down on Long Beach Brook. We should be leaving Big Salmon River about 7:00pm and that should give us just enough time to get there as the Sun sets and the Full Moon rises, both aroung 9:05pm. Still not quite packed. Can't seem to find the Kelly Kettle. We will make our hiking sticks along the way, probably Friday. I bought a new knife at Roy's Army Navy. He had some old pocket knives and fixed blades and big knives but nothing I fancied so I just picked up one of those light weight French Opinel foldies with a locking blade that should be good enough for light woodcraft. I guess we'll see. I'll be sure and bring the first aid kit.

FireFighter56
2008-07-16, 22:59
i'v been wanting a kelly kettle for awhile now ...but to cheap to get a new one...just wait till i find a used one...

JAK
2008-07-16, 23:46
They are pretty slick and great on long trips in the woods because you'll have enough boiling hot water for cleanup and ablutions and laundry and not just cooking and tea or coffee. You can save some weight and bulk by leaving the base at home, or losing it like I did. Now with my luck I will find the base and not the stove. If I don't find the Kelly Kettle tonight or tomorrow I am just going to bring some cans along and see if I can make a better hobbo stove than I have in the past. It's summer and with Margaret it is more lemonaid and less tea, but we will still have some tea and oatmeal and noodles with tuna which was her favourite last year. Hobbo should be enough and will be lots of fun. Hey, maybe I'll finally perfect the Hobbo and sell you my Kelly Kettle. ;)

Gotta run now. Should have photos by Monday.

MalTheElder
2008-07-17, 01:55
I always carry a staff when out in the woods/etc. I feel naked without it.

I always carry one when I go to town. But I've been contrary since I was lightning-struck the other summer.

Mal

FireFighter56
2008-07-17, 01:59
sounds good jak...have fun....and be safe...ttym :P

Wise Old Owl
2008-07-17, 17:49
Check this out

http://www.tadgear.com/edged%20tools/crawford_hiking-survival_staff.htm

JAK
2008-07-19, 10:03
Well we got as far as Big Salmon River in the car, all geared up ready to go, but we balked at the last minute. Perhaps it was a little too close to bed time. No regrets. Still the best hiking partner in the world. I told her it really was a very big adventure for an 8 year old but she already proved last summer she was capable of it, and if she wants to try again another day that would be OK. We both decided we will try again next weekend, leaving around noon instead of close to sunset. It was a nice drive and we had a good feed of clams and lobster rolls in St. Martin's, and ice cream on the way home. Camped in back yard without incident. :)

CaSteve
2008-07-19, 14:29
i'v been wanting a kelly kettle for awhile now ...but to cheap to get a new one...just wait till i find a used one...

Kelly Kettles are great. It's my favorite piece of cooking equipment. I have the small version & am thinking of getting the larger one. Great for boiling water for dehaydrated meals or making tea to keep the wife happy. On an eight day float trip in May, I used only 1/2 canister of powermax fuel. All of my water heating needs were met by using the Kelly Kettle. I understand the desire to get one at a good price, but even at retail it's a bargain.

samhain
2008-07-19, 23:06
Well we got as far as Big Salmon River in the car, all geared up ready to go, but we balked at the last minute. Perhaps it was a little too close to bed time. No regrets. Still the best hiking partner in the world. I told her it really was a very big adventure for an 8 year old but she already proved last summer she was capable of it, and if she wants to try again another day that would be OK. We both decided we will try again next weekend, leaving around noon instead of close to sunset. It was a nice drive and we had a good feed of clams and lobster rolls in St. Martin's, and ice cream on the way home. Camped in back yard without incident. :)

Good job Dad!!!

Keeping it flexible.

The older she gets the more important that memory will be for her.

The fact that you adapted and didn't take it out on her for getting cold feet and still did something special with her will mean more to her than if y'all actually made it out as planned.

JAK
2008-07-20, 09:13
Thanks samhain.

JAK
2008-07-20, 09:14
Mahogany

The old man kept whittling. Perhaps he would fashion her another animal from the woods, like the bear, or the deer, or the little family of squirrels now left playing on her window sill. Of course she really wanted a new game for her NintendoDS, but she had lost the pen anyway, and her angry father would not buy her a new one for a whole week. The old man did not seem to care much about such things. The old man kept whittling.

This wood was hard, and straight, just some old native species but what a wonderful tree it must have made. What a wonderful bow or arrow it might have been. Perhaps it was from the very tip, or near the root. It did not seem to have any compression grain. The old man reached down and grabbed a handful of shavings. They smelled like her hair, and one or two had left his work and landed there, amongst the curls. They reminded him of his wife who died so young, and long forgotten ways, how the wind blew her hair as they both got swept up those stairs at the train station in Edinburgh, how she would have loved the cottage he built on Magaguadavic Lake, and of Passchendaele.

The old man kept whittling. She sat patiently by his feet watching her Jacob Two Two and the Hooded Fang, or one of her favourite DVDs she wasn't supposed to watch until she was a wee bit older. What a great trunk his legs made those rainy days. They seldom stirred.

When he was done he reached down his great old hand and offered her what looked like nothing more than a giant toothpick. She looked up, absolutely hurt and horrified. What cruel joke was this? Then at once she saw his eyes and understood. She jumped up so suddenly and stood there upon her toes, and kissed his cheek, like it was Mahogany.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs8AXlTwhJ0

FireFighter56
2008-07-21, 20:04
very true CaSteve...but with a new born and gas prices the way they are...i can wait to find a used one for halk the price...i'm in no hurry to get one....but if i find one cheap than good for me lol....glad to hear u still had fun jak ...can't wait till my boy can hike with me....than i won't have to worry about finding a hiking buddy lol

JAK
2008-07-25, 10:50
Kids make the best hiking partners for sure.
Brainwash early and brainwash often. ;)

Jarhead
2008-07-26, 01:19
Definitely a psy-weapon!

JAK
2008-07-26, 04:22
Thanks for the vote of confidence there Jarhead. :)

Dancer
2008-07-30, 16:44
I always think of Charlton Heston when I carry the full on hiking staff. It's a power thing I think. Like you could part the next stream or turn sticks into snakes or strike down a dumbass.... I carry trekking poles, I've already got that "the rules don't apply to me" syndrome. I don't need the Moses power trip too.

Julie

levicolemagic
2008-07-30, 19:33
I use the treking poles. I believe they are aluminum. Its good for hiking but useless for defense of anything larger than a medium sized dog. Then again I have never been attacked by large animals.........yet.

Wise Old Owl
2008-08-24, 01:12
So Jak if you came down the trail like this.....


http://www.weaponsemporium.com/LOR-Gandalf%20w%20staff.jpg

Wise Old Owl
2008-08-24, 01:19
Or came down the trail like this....
http://www.starstore.com/acatalog/gandalf-18-inch.jpg


I assure you many would give you wide bearth.

Rosaleen
2008-08-25, 00:49
If you just want to attach a tip, study the screw inserts used with some arrow shafts and their points. There are screws in hardware store bins that are double-ended.

If you want a more hefty blade, go take a look at better kitchen carving knives. Their blades have a "tang' that extend well into the handle, maybe the entire length of it. Use dictates a totally different design need. For a working, slashing/cutting blade, you may be happier with the handle being part of the hiking staff, with the blade hidden inside the rest of the hollow staff.

Before you get much invested in this, check to see if this type of "sword-stick" is legal where you will be carrying it. I don't want to read about your arrest...

Rosaleen

Wise Old Owl
2008-08-28, 22:34
Wow Rose, you ARE my kind of woman!

Rosaleen
2008-08-28, 22:51
Really?

You like women who like power tools as much as china and appreciate the fine woodwork in museums as much as the paintings on the walls? I'm definitely a strange bird. Luckily my children all were boys. If I had a daughter, she might have some sort of a "complex," poor thing! I gave hubby a spinner once with multiple pictures and told him to choose the wife he wanted to find when he arrived home. It had pics of me working on my car with grease across my face, in a clown costume, delivering balloons, sewing up community theater costumes, belly dancing, and what else, I don't remember. It was probably before I started backpacking or teaching Shooting Sports at the local Scout camp. I should have bought a cigar and had it hanging out of my mouth with a shotgun cradled in arm, just for effect.

I keep my family guessing, for sure!

Cheers!

Rosaleen

Wise Old Owl
2008-08-28, 23:58
OH Yea It's amazing how we find some folk!