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The Amazing Lasting Forests "Stick": personal, numbered

A design for a walking staff that is under development.

The Stick is next best gift any outdoors person could get. It can be your prized possession (even if no one will give you one as a gift). This is a wildland and walking tool that will save your life, help you be safe, help you exercise and achieve a new state of health and physique, reduce falls and make life easy.

It is a tool with amazing possible uses. It is an educational device -- you can learn from it and with it. You can teach others about the great outdoors using it. It is a symbol of seriousness about exploring the great outdoors. Feel unity with hundreds of others also using the staff.

  1. Use it as a snake stick
  2. Use it to turn over logs and rocks and prove for salamanders, etc. (be sure to replace rocks and logs)
  3. Use the white band at the base to measure the depth at which it disappears in a lake or pond. This given an expression of water turbidity. (Similar to a Secci disk reading for comparative purposes.)
  4. Use the rule to measure the length of a fish or other object.
  5. The staff weighs xxx. Use the weight for comparative purposes.
  6. Use the conversion card for all types of metric conversions of area, length, weight, and other units.
  7. Use the beaufort scale for wind velocity estimate.
  8. Use the small flashlight for emergency situations.
  9. Use the luminous patch to allow others to follow you at night along a path.
  10. Use the waterproof match box to start a fire.
  11. Use the carefully designed emergency lost-in-the-woods kit in Unit A.
  12. Use the enclosed lanyard as a tourniquet if snake bit.
  13. Use the vial of baking soda as first aid for bee bites.
  14. Weight small objects using the measured lever marks.
  15. Use the universal threads with staff as a monopod for
  16. Use the threads for a gun "y" support
  17. Lay it between 2 branches for airing out coat, etc. at a lunch break.
  18. Use it as a sun clock.
  19. Determine precisely a right triangle.
  20. Estimate the slope of a trail or land surface.
  21. Measure the height of a tree.
  22. Estimate the distance to a deer.
  23. Measure the diameter of a tree
  24. Weigh a deer.
  25. Use the compass. Determine direction.
  26. Hopefully never, use it as a weapon.
  27. Lean on it. Rest.
  28. Flick rocks out of the path.
  29. Use it to point. When along with people out in the field, pointing a finger hardly ever works well. Pointing out a bird or animal with the staff will increase the chance that others will see them and increase their pleasure and knowledge.
  30. Use it for applauding a speech or performance. Thumping it on the ground along with your friends and other people as they thump with the staff makes a wonderful noise of appreciation.
  31. Use it to exercise. Be creative but also send 2 dollars for our pamphlet on an unusual set of exercises with the staff.
  32. Store personal odds and ends.

Walking and Thinking

Jogging is good for some people but walking and hiking are excellent activities for young and old. You can talk, pass on the wisdom of age, to youth. It burns about xxxx calories per when on relatively flat ground, yyyyy when on an incline/rough terrain.

Walk with your toes pointing straight ahead. Change hand for your staff; share the exercise. Bend your knees a little when walking downhill. Get sturdy shoes with a heel. You need a heel to keep from slipping when going downhill. Light weight boots are good but don't go too far. You need support. A metal shank or strip in the sole and a stiff inner-heel support to keep you from rolling your boots when it is wet and you're walking side-hill. Modern hiking shoes don't have enough support. Your foot, ankle, and leg muscles are exhausted at the end of a day. They've been adjusting to every rock, stick, or contour. Optimize: light and sturdy. Write us for our recommendations (send $3).

Warning from the Surgeon-Sergeant: This staff can be harmful to your health if you stick it between your feet while walking. Be careful out there.

Hiking is usually at a rate of 2 miles per hour. A forced march (military) is usually at 5 miles per hour. You may want to measure carefully 1 or 2 miles, then calibrate your speed when walking with your staff.

Use No. 88. Resting

It is often dangerous or impossible to sit and rest during a hike. Put the staff on a rock or curb at an appropriate height so that the top is secure in your armpit (like a crutch). Stand on one foot (reverse feet later). This is a classic stance of Nigerian herdsmen who, all day, watch over their animals.

Use No. 93 . Length

The staff is vvvv inches

It has a scale for inches and cm.

You can lay CCCCC of these staffs end to end around the equator and be silly, tired, and very hot and frost bitten because there are some snow-capped mountains along the equator.

If you pounded these on top of one another it will take of them to "get to China" or through the diameter of the Earth. You probably couldn't use any of them then.

Use No. 67. Vertical.

Planting a large tree or flag pole so that it is vertical is not so easy. Straightening a falling barn is not easy. Sometimes eye glasses fail; doubts arise. It that really vertical?

Hold your staff near the bottom by your thumb and forefinger. Let it swing freely. Gravity assures it is vertical. Decide and act.

When something is vertical it is 900 from the horizontal.

Percent is derived by rise divided by run. When something has a 100% slope (foresters and engineers use this expression) it is 450 from the horizontal.

Use No. 55. North and All Other Points.

Unscrew the top half of the gold globe at the top of the staff. Use a usual counter-clock wise motion. (Touch it will a little vaseline to make this action easy in the future and to protect the compass from a long day in a storm or a fall in the crick.)

Hold the staff upright. The end will indicate magnetic North. True North is a little off to the left of that arrow (declination) but you'll need a better device if this is a problem. Check it out at night using the compass and the stars. Or the sun at noon (South.

Aspect is the direction that a slope faces.

Put your back to the slope. Face downhill.

Look at the compass after it settles.

The direction is the number farthest away from you.

Tree Diameter - The scale marked B is the equivalent of a Biltmore stick, a famous device used by foresters in Europe in the 1800's. Hold the stick horizontally against a tree at 4.5 feet off the ground. This is called breast-height and the diameter is usually measured and recorded as dbh or diameter-at-breast-height. Hold the stick at arm's length. Put the zero at one edge of the side of the standing tree. Holding your head and hand steady, read the diameter at the intersection of the other edge of the tree.

Recorded with tree height, distance to nearest tree, and trees along a 100-yard transect, you have all of the ingredients for an excellent forest survey. Measure 30 at random.

Tree Diameter Measurements

The scale marked "B" is the equivalent of a Biltmore stick. This is a famous device invented by European foresters in the 1800's. This instrument uses a straight surface to estimate the diameter of a round object, usually a tree. Hold the stick horizontally against a tree at 4.5 feet off the ground (use the foot and inch increments also found on the Giles Stick). This is called breast-height, this is how the phrase diameter-at-breast- height(dbh) was created. Position your body so that the stick is at arms length. Put the zero at one edge of the side of the tree. Holding your head and hand steady, read the diameter of the intersection of the other edge of the tree. It is as easy as reading a yard stick.

To complete a forest survey, record tree height along with distance to nearest tree along a 100 meter transect. Compare this with measuring 30 trees at random. To randomize your sample choose a starting point and spin your stick up in the air. Follow the direction the stick is pointing and sample the nth tree. Then repeat this process until all 30 samples are recorded. You are well on your way to fulfilling your forest inventory needs. See the next example for estimating the height of your trees.

Height of a Tall Object

How tall is that tower, powerline, tree, building, or cliff? On a sunny day, hold your Giles Stick vertically pointing at the ground. Measure the shadow measurement. shadow. Lay your stick down next to the Is it the same length? If it is, simply measure the shadow of the tall object and that will be equal to its height. If the shadow of your stick is not equal to its length then you must use a proportion. The length of the staff divided by the length of the staff's shadow is equal to the height of the object divided by the objects shadow length, please see the equations below.

length of staff/ length of staff's shadow = height of object / length of object's shadow

A simplified equation is:

Height of object = (length of object's shadow * length of staff) / length of the staff's shadow

Weigh a 'Possum or Something Else - Near the narrow end you will see 5 lines labeled W with the numbers 1 to 5. Place a knife edge (axe, etc.) on the line and suspend the 'possum or whatever you want to weight by a string at the edge of the end cap. If your knife is on the "3" line, the staff will be level if the possum weighs 3 pounds. It will be above the horizontal if heavier than 3. Move the knife to another line to get a better estimate.

Area - If you place 3 staff-lengths in a triangle on the ground, you get an area of xxx . Ecologists like meter square "quadrants" but there is little argument for square or circular except convenience. When things are not normally distributed, long thin quadrants give more representative results. A triangular area for measuring ground cover, plants, insects, seeds, etc. may not be a bad idea. To convert results to a number per square meter, multiply by xxx. (See the D on the staff.)

Lay the staff down to mark off a square area. The are will be cccccc square meters. To convert the results to number per square meter, multiply by. (See the o on the staff.)

Pointer - Trying to get a group to look at a particular diseased tree branch, bird, or elk on a mountainside is almost impossible using your finger (or chin gestures while you fumble with your camera). The Lasting Forests Stick is perfect for this. Sight along it and almost everyone will appreciate the help you provide. Hand it to a group member asking a question about something "out there" or trying to show you or the group something really great.

It's useful on nature walks -- this flower is ..., that hole is ..., this lichen ... When you stop to talk, hide it. It can be very distracting!

Use No. 43 . Use with a Pedometer. - A pedometer is a device like a large pocket watch that measures the distance you walk. Set the dial to zero, clip it on a pocket, then walk. Read how far from the dial.

Use No. 41. Belt Transect. - Hold the staff in the center, horizontal. Walk a straight line in a representative area. Count objects of interest that fall in the area under the staff (plants, animal droppings, fruits, gun shells, etc.) Multiply the width ( ) by the length to get the area surveyed. If you walked 600 (left heel to left heel distance) and counted 12 items them since there are 43,560 square feet in an acre:

y = 12 = items/acre ( x 600 x 5.5 feet in a pace)/43560

For some purposes you may want to use the entire staff length to the left and right. Some situations (e.g., along a mine or stream) require making observations from only one side.

Use. No. 22. Storage - Use a rubberband to pull the 3 parts together and put them in your pack, hunting jacket, or brief case. Some people put it in a double bread-sack under the front seat of their truck.

Use No. 23. - A Right Angle - The builders of the pyramids probably knew the secret of the right angle. It is the 3-4-5 secret.

Lay out a triangle with 3 staff-lengths along one edge, 4 along another the one that is 5 lengths long is the hypotenuse. You can make the units of any length. A rope or piece of string marked off with measures from your staff works well.

Use No. 78. Weigh a Deer - A strong relationship exists between the circumference of a deer's chest and the animal's weight. There are plenty of variables in a deer's weight -- age, sex, with fawn, full of food -- etc. Nevertheless good equations have been developed and are used with the Dogwood System staff.

Stretch a string or binder twine around the chest, just back of the front legs. Pull it tight into a smooth circle. It needs to press down the hair and be taunt. (Don't over-do it; a strong person can usually make it a little tighter. You want a nice tight fit, that's all. You'll know when after you've tried it once.) Mark, cut, or hold the string like your salary depended on it.

Measure off xxx staff lengths, then hold the rest up to the cane along the D scale. Read the weight in pounds from the line for does or bucks. (Equations for does, bucks, and fawns are available on the Dogwood System's CAPPER disk for the PC computer.)

By weighing many deer and comparing weights over time and between areas new insight can be gained to efforts to improve land and resource management.

Adjust the weight to your best possible estimate of the live weight (WW). If the deer is gutted and the heart and lungs remain, multiply the number of pounds on you staff (W) by to get an estimate of WW. If the heart and lungs have been removed, subtract pounds from W to get the carcass weight.

Record the sex, weight, date, and exact location. Follow trends and make comparisons. When you have 50 or more good measurements and actual weights rom a good scale, send us your name, address, and records and we'll send you a free floppy disk with a program and equations for you specific area and deer herd at no cost. The better your records, the better will be your computer program. If you have a large area, we'll develop a program for each area, for free. The address is at the back of this booklet. Call us if there are questions. Your data will go a long way to helping us understand the region's deer.

Tree Height

Stand back from the tree, about 10-20 paces so you can see the top and bottom of the tree. Have a friend stand at the base of the tree, or use the staff to mark off a height of 5-10 feet.

Hold the staff vertically. Sight along the top of the head of the "standee" or the whatever point you have picked out. A limb may be used as a reference point if you are working by yourself. Slide your thumb down the staff until it's aligned with the base. How many of these units are in the tree? Move it up the tree and check again. If the person at the tree is 5 feet tall and there are 8 units in the tree, then it's approximately 40 feet tall.

The farther away from the tree the better the estimate. Most stands are about the same height. Make a few good measures, then estimate the stand height roughly based on a few comparisons.

Snake Staff

Use the side of it to pin down a snake, to pick it up, to let others see it, etc. Don't hurt non-poisonous snakes.

Use it to look for snakes by turning over moderate size logs or stones. Make sure to return the logs and stones to their original position. Never user your hands to move objects where there are poisonous snakes.

Poisonous snakes like the copperhead are a problem to many people. Researchers will normally leave the snakes alone when they are found in areas that aren't frequented by people. In recreational or high use areas, not killing them seems irrational. Image the full blown scenario of your 4-year old daughter skipping along a forest trail and being bitten. Use the side of the staff to make light blows at the snake. Don't poke out at it and don't break the staff. Once the snake is dead make sure to cover it, because it's still poisonous after it's dead.

Measure the snake and keep a record of the exact location, length, date, weather conditions, circumference, and species of where it was killed. The circumference can be measured with a string and your staff. The circumference should be measured at the anus.

Other Uses....

After you have read this booklet about your amazing Lasting Forests Stick, put the booklet in a safe place. (You know, where you probably cannot find it.)

If you find another use for the Stick that is printable and potentially useful in any aspect of nature study or natural resource management, I hope you'll share the idea with me. I'll include it in the next edition of this booklet and on the website for Those Who have Gotten the Stick.

I wish you many happy, creative days afield with your Stick.

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This Web site is maintained by R. H. Giles, Jr.
Last revision January 17, 2000.