We spent a lot of time playing games during the summers when I was a kid because its 173-degrees in Texas for nearly four months out of the year. We would occasionally venture out into the woods to tear stuff up and run amuck though. The best thing ever was happening on those sticks that survey crews hammer into the ground. We had no idea what they were at the time, but finding one was like finding Excalibur. The ribbons tied to them even made a great handle wrap.
The downside is the survey crews didn’t appreciate it at all. We would use plain old sticks in a pinch, but no matter what we used someone would inevitably end up with bloody knuckles after getting whacked in the hand with another stick sword. A very cool concept over on Naama Agassi’s page is called simply the Branch Holder. It looks like it’s made from one of those things you use to get a grip on a jar with a tight lid only it’s patterned and has two holes in it.
The idea is that you can pass your stick through it and you get a hand guard. That would have saved me several fistfights and scrapped up hands as a kid. Everyone knows hitting the hand of the opposing sword fighter with your stick sword is off limits and immediately calls for a butt kicking. That thing would have looked awesome on the handle of a surveying stick. This is something that the designer should build, but it looks easy enough to cobble your own up.