King­fisher Wood Works Hik­ing Stick

Backpacker - - Field Test Trail Mix -

Like Clint East­wood says in Pale Rider, “There’s noth­ing like a nice piece of hick­ory.” The hand­crafted, 56-inch-long, inch-thick King­fisher is made from Ap­palachian hick­ory—one of the strong­est, straight­est na­tive woods out there—and pro­duced by a shop that also makes mar­tial arts train­ing weapons. It’s a hand­some piece that wouldn’t look out of place in an art col­lec­tion, but it more than holds its own on the trail. The stick’s strength and car­bide steel tip kept us up­right and con­fi­dent on long down­hills, slick trails, and through wa­ter cross­ings in Colorado’s In­dian Peaks. You won’t have to worry about break­ing it on an er­rant pole plant, and it will prob­a­bly start some in­ter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tions, too. Ding: heavy. $92; 1 lb. 6 oz. (56 x 15/16 inches); comes in 56to 59-inch lengths, and with 1 or 15/16-inch di­am­e­ters; king­fish­er­wood­works.com

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