Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
Backcountry Gear Clearance and Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#133866 - 05/17/10 09:42 PM whittling in the backcountry
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
ok...so often i like to whittle at camp after a day of hiking...nice to get dry by a fire making a decoy or a nice stick...or heck just something to do in the rain under a tarp...

however i never really thought about the environment...so i guess this goes to my extreme conservation friends...

is my idea of making a walking stick from every state of the AT a bad idea? is taking the branch from its natural decompising spot an issue?

also what about all the shavings i leave behind? i'm not leaving anything that normally wouldn't be there just in a diffrent package....

i imagine my impact is small...but i also imagine that if everyone took a few berries from a bush by days end that bush would be bare....
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

Top
#133868 - 05/17/10 10:39 PM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: MarkNM]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

As long as you're not cutting green wood, I don't see it as a problem.

If it bothers your conscience, then don't do it.

If the idea of a walking stick is too much, then carve a small token from small pieces you find along the trail.

Of course if you want to pick up a rock in PA and take it with you out of the state and off the trail, I'm sure the other hikers would appreciate it. smile
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

Top
#133872 - 05/17/10 10:58 PM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: Tango61]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
i think i'm good then!

and green wood!!! clearly you have never whittled!!!


with my conservationist inside happy...i will probably go with the token idea(orginal idea of the walking sticks was to gift them to my father a cane user for years)...but i'll probably only do that if i see a really nice piece of wood...


anyone have any recommendations on hardwoods of the south...GA<NC,TN area of the trail, and was wondering if anyone ever finished a piece had it stained etc....i'm used to the woods of NE, like oak, maple, birch...and 987090879 pines...but i'm curious/excited to sink my edge into something new!
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

Top
#133878 - 05/18/10 02:10 AM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: MarkNM]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Whittle away responsibly, you're using a renewable resource. If you feel guilty just plant a few trees.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

Top
#133889 - 05/18/10 07:14 AM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: Trailrunner]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
You are not whittling, you are clearing brush and reducing the fuel load......

Top
#133892 - 05/18/10 08:45 AM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: MarkNM]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
I like to whittle sometimes as well, IF I bring a knife big enough to do so. As far as the "environment" goes....I cut and clear more big branches, live green ones, from my park all year long, than you'd ever whittle in a lifetime. Incorporate your whittling with some trail maintenance! grin
One of my most prize possessions is a cedar walking stick with a leather grip, turquoise stones hanging from leather strips, and a silver dollar embedded in the end. Glossy blond finish, with a rubber tip. A guy in my neighborhood asked if he could cut some cedar boughs for walking sticks. I said "take all you want!" (cedars are a plague here). My stick showed up on my front porch....it's art and too pretty to hike with!

Post pics of some of your artwork.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#133916 - 05/18/10 07:48 PM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: MarkNM]
taM Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville, TN
If the idea is a token from every AT state, it could be sort of neat if you combined a piece of deadwood from the crest of the trail in the smokies, where it straddles the TN/NC state line, to represent both states...

I sort of had an idea of something NC whittled on one side of the piece of wood, and something TN whittled into the other side.

Just a thought... laugh
_________________________
Light, Cheap, Durable...
pick two

Top
#133921 - 05/18/10 08:49 PM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: MarkNM]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Quote:
and green wood!!! clearly you have never whittled!!!


Surely you jest!

I've both whittled and carved, green and dry. Both for required effect. Is it easy? NO. Is it worth it? Depends on the piece. The trick is getting it to dry the way you want it to.

_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

Top
#133923 - 05/18/10 09:00 PM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: MarkNM]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By MarkNM

and green wood!!! clearly you have never whittled!!!


I'm not familiar with woods of the South or NE, but some woods in the NW are best carved green; for example, alder is too hard & brittle to carve otherwise. Professional carvers from my tribe will even harvest alder, debark it, split it, and store roughed chunks in water for future use.

The only trees I will actively cut are alders, which fill in roads & trails if left unchecked. Otherwise I look for good wood that's already died naturally, my favorite being western red cedar. The stuff never rots.

Happy whittling! Leaving behind wood chips is worlds away from leaving stone chips. I wouldn't worry about it.

Top
#133931 - 05/19/10 12:12 AM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: Wolfeye]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
i'll have to improve my whittling....most of my green experience has left me sticky...and warped weird...

i don't like completly dead as it can chip off/crack....i like something thats felled but not for years....

i def like the nc/tn idea...i bet i could do something along that everywhere really...
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

Top
#135550 - 06/27/10 02:15 PM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: MarkNM]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
I am a student for Wildlife Biology and am aspiring to be a conservationist in the near future. I have to say, taking dead wood is not a bad thing. When there is room on the forest floor, plant life will quickly take its place and compete for space and light. So taking that stick will allow any seedlings underneath to wake up and sprout, or makes new room for seedlings to land and grow.

As for the chips, just think decomposition and organic matter making all the richer soil.

I see your point, however, where your impact is small, but if everyone did the same thing there would eventually be no berries for birds and animals.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

Top
#135571 - 06/27/10 11:30 PM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: GDeadphans]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Depends on where the dead wood is. In alpine regions, the Forest Service and Park Service want you to leave it strictly alone. That's because those thin soils need all the decaying organic matter they can get. Fires are generally prohibited at or above timberline for that reason.

Of course lower down in the thick forest, there's plenty of wood to play with!

In the interest of Leave No Trace and the next folks to come along, you might want to toss your shavings in the bushes, if you don't use them in your wood stove or campfire.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#135795 - 07/02/10 06:27 PM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: OregonMouse]
CrowKel Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 30
Loc: Alberta
River Sticks;

I think the neatest wood I have ever found was in a creek that ran down a mountain. There was a huge stick jam (not a log jam, cuz the sticks were smaller in diameter). I dont know what this stick orignally looked like, but when I happened upon it, it was knobbly and warbly but still very oddly straight. It was red and dark brown stripes when it was waterlogged, and even now with laquer on it, it is still fairly striped. It is almost 6" tall, and it was a heavy burdon to bring down to the camp. (good thing thats what boyfriends are for)

Its so full of characteristic, and I am going to get some palm leather, cuz on hot days it gets sticky/stinky. <--laquer = yucky. (But I like shiney things) I dont bring it out very often anymore. Its too prized. Fat lotta good it does me at home tho...

(never thought Id feel this way about a stick, but its my favorite stick. Thanks Mother Nature)

Oh yeah, and 1 more thing, the most common game we play, every single time we go out into the woods. Spear the dead log. I have learned how to spear, how to make a spear and what is the best rotted out log to throw a spear into etc. Its all about balance, concentration and will-power, and a little show-offiness smile

Top
#150027 - 05/08/11 12:44 AM Re: whittling in the backcountry [Re: MarkNM]
jwild Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
Whittle away! I enjoy whittling old timey looking fishing lures. If your worried about the impact of picking up a stick or the shavings, then you should probably stay home, better yet you shouldn't own a home, you should sit perfectly still in silence in the middle of the woods until your borrowed energy is given back to mother earth...ok I kid I kid but it is good that you are thinking about it grin
_________________________
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Rockfalll on El Capitan in Yosemite
by balzaccom
09/28/17 09:47 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
2 registered (), 36 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Blackbuzzard, LivelyLiz, Weve, Tones21, Pasquale
12424 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com