Pick The Right Stick
Wood species selection is a major concern for wood workers, especially if you're relying on that wooden object as a mode of defense or dinner collection. Select hardwood species for this project, such as oak, hickory, ash, locust, maple, osage, or anything else that's dense and locally available. Skip the soft woods, like poplar, pine, aspen, and their relatives, which break too easily. One other thing to keep in mind when selecting your materials is its starting dimensions. Since there's not much sense in whittling down a mighty tree into a skinny rod, start with a sapling that is growing in dense, shady conditions, which will result in a staff of dense wood with tight growth rings. The ready-to-go size will also save you a ton of carving work. Choose live wood or a recently deceased sapling for your spear.