My wonderful hiking stick
I was using a bamboo stick a friend cut from some plants growing on her property, but a while ago I got a collapsible stick at REI. I dressed it up a bit with a compass on the wrist strap, a beaded keychain I made, and some black cord wrapped around the handle.
Besides providing support when traversing very steep terrain, or offering balance when crossing a stream on a tree trunk, you can scare off any critters before reaching your hand into that potential cache hiding spot.
If you don't have a hiking stick yet, and you do any hiking at all, I really recommend getting one. Mine is indispensable now.