Hiking is an excellent way to get outside, explore nature, and challenge yourself physically and mentally. Along the way, many hikers like to collect souvenirs to commemorate their trail accomplishments, such as summiting a peak or completing a thru-hike. One popular way to do so is by collecting hiking stick medallions, also known as trail badges or hiking stick badges. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about hiking stick medallions, including what they are, how to collect them, and how to display them.
What are Hiking Stick Medallions?
Hiking stick medallions are small, usually metal, tokens that are affixed to the shaft of a hiking stick or staff to commemorate a hiker’s trail accomplishments. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, and can be obtained from different sources, such as national parks, hiking organizations, and trail clubs.
History of Hiking Stick Medallions
Hiking stick medallions have a long and rich history. They were first used by German and Swiss mountain climbers in the late 19th century to mark their ascents of peaks in the Alps. In the United States, hiking stick medallions became popular in the early 20th century, and were often sold as souvenirs at national parks and tourist destinations. Over time, they have become a popular way for hikers to commemorate their trail accomplishments and show off their hiking resume.
How to Collect Hiking Stick Medallions
Collecting hiking stick medallions can be a fun and rewarding experience for hikers of all levels. Here are some tips on how to start your collection:
Choose Your Hiking Stick
The first step in collecting hiking stick medallions is to choose your hiking stick or staff. Hiking sticks can be made of different materials, such as wood, metal, or fiberglass, and come in various lengths and styles. Choose one that is comfortable for you to use and fits your hiking style.
Research the Trails and Organizations
Once you have your hiking stick, research the trails and organizations that offer hiking stick medallions. National parks, state parks, and other outdoor recreation areas often have their own medallions that you can purchase at their visitor centers or online stores. In addition, many hiking organizations and trail clubs offer medallions to their members as a way to encourage hiking and support trail maintenance.
Plan Your Hikes
To collect hiking stick medallions, you will need to hike the trails that offer them. Plan your hikes accordingly, and make sure to bring your hiking stick and some cash to purchase the medallions. Some trails may require you to complete certain requirements, such as summiting a peak or completing a specific section of the trail, before you can obtain a medallion.
Display Your Medallions
Once you have collected your hiking stick medallions, you will want to display them proudly. There are many ways to do so, such as:
- Affixing them to your hiking stick or staff
- Hanging them on a display board or plaque
- Attaching them to a hat or backpack
- Framing them in a shadow box or display case
Choose a display method that works best for you and your collection.
How to Display Your Hiking Stick Medallions
Displaying your hiking stick medallions can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Here are some ideas for displaying your collection:
On Your Hiking Stick or Staff
One of the most popular ways to display hiking stick medallions is to affix them to your hiking stick or staff. This allows you to easily show off your collection while on the trail. To do so, you will need to drill small holes into the shaft of your hiking stick or staff and use small screws or nails to attach the medallions. Make sure to space them evenly and in a way that looks aesthetically pleasing.
On a Display Board or Plaque
Another option for displaying your hiking stick medallions is to mount them on a display board or plaque. This can be a great way to show off your collection in your home or office. You can purchase pre-made display boards or make your own using a piece of wood, cork board, or foam board. Arrange the medallions in a way that looks visually appealing and attach them using small nails or screws.
On a Hat or Backpack
If you prefer to display your hiking stick medallions while on the go, consider attaching them to a hat or backpack. This can be a fun and unique way to show off your collection while on the trail. Simply attach the medallions using small pins or clasps.
In a Shadow Box or Display Case
For a more elaborate display, consider framing your hiking stick medallions in a shadow box or display case. This can be a great way to showcase your collection in a more formal setting, such as a home office or living room. You can purchase pre-made shadow boxes or display cases or make your own using a picture frame and a piece of foam board. Arrange the medallions in a way that looks visually appealing and secure them in place using small pins or glue.
Collecting hiking stick medallions is a fun and rewarding way to commemorate your trail accomplishments and show off your hiking resume. Whether you choose to display them on your hiking stick, in a shadow box, or on a hat, there are many ways to showcase your collection. So next time you hit the trails, consider picking up a hiking stick medallion or two to add to your collection.