I just returned from hiking 40 miles with a 50-lb pack in the West Texas Guadalupe Mountains. If it were not for hiking sticks, my legs would be gelatinous globs right now. They’re a must – even for kiddos and their ultra-cartilaginous joints.

What’s a good way to make them relish such long, arduous journeys on the trail? Well, a hiking stick that colorfully displays all of their hiking achievements, of course.

How’s that, you ask?

If you’ve a hiking stick, you might be familiar with hiking medallions – metal badges from various parks to affix to your walking stick as a memento and symbol of your achievements.

Father-of-the-year, Jacob, has a similar concept that combines 3D printing and the great outdoors.  His hiking stick design came about as, “Something for my kids to hike around the woods with this summer. Each time we go hiking or camping the kids earn another bead.”

The ‘beads’ are 3D printed collars that can be dropped onto the hiking stick (a PVC pipe) and stacked to the child’s liking. Like so:

3d printed hiking stick ring collars

Jacob has provided 32 different beads, including a handle, a foot, a GoPro bead (!), one with a ring and many, many others. He used PLA for the prints at a 20% infill (some with supports) and a 1″ PVC pipe for the stick. He recommends glow-in-the-dark PLA for some beads and scaling 50% if you use 1/2″ PVC pipe.

This just looks loads of fun and is wide open to customize with your kids. You can download the model at MyMiniFactory or over at Tinkercad where you can jump in and remix right away.

Have a model you think everyone needs? Share the link and details with us here!


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.