This spine shaped hiking pole is carved in a rough shape of a spine. It helps protect and support your real spine when hiking/walking. I carved it from willow using simple wood carving tools, which isn't the best wood to use but it turned out pretty strong, it only flexes a little under my whole weight, I'd recommend using a harder wood for this, but willow happened to be the best stick I could find locally.
I used some simple wood carving gouges and a Dremel to carve this stick, it took about two days to carve. The gouges I used are a 3mm veiner, #6 1/2" fish tail and a homemade gouge which is about a 1" #5.
Step 1: Selecting your pole and preparation
The first thing to do is select a branch with a slight bend in it in the approximate shape of a spine. Ideally you want a nice hardwood but almost any branch will work, you can use freshly cut branch or old deadwood. Make sure that it doesn't have too many small branches or knots. If you use fresh (green) wood you do run the risk that it might split/crack, especially if it is dried too quickly
Once you have your branch selected, you can strip the bark off. With some types of wood you will be able to peel the bark off easily other may need a little more force with a knife.
Step 2: Carve the handle shape
The first thing I did after preparing the branch was to carve the rough handle shape. It can be whatever shape you find comfortable. I chose to carve a simple "oval" shaped handle. I simply made two stop cuts at either end of where the handle is to be and then used my knife to put a gentle curve towards these.