We use all kinds of “scratchers” to satisfy our needs. Tools are important since scratching each other’s backs is like a “tick check” or a choice of last resort.
Bears, deer, hunting dogs, and many other itchy critters love a good scratch. Bears use trees, dogs articulate their necks and legs while other critters roll around in the dirt.
Outdoorsmen are more creative when scratching their itch. We have all used a tree or rock to deal with an itch but this usually results in tree sap, dirt, or a tear in our shirts. A stick, screwdriver, hammer, or other tools work but lack control and accuracy.
Targeting the exact satisfying spot is the ultimate goal. Commercial back scratchers come in many configurations. Bamboo, small hand shapes, wheels, and other features come close but not quite. I have an old broken fly rod that still has a large stripper guide attached that can be effective.
My favorite scratchers start in the kitchen. A “Pasta Spoon” works well to cover the entire itch. It has several long pointed fingers and the curved handle supplies the leverage, power, and control needed. There are also many other unique cooking implements that do in a pinch.
My second, and most reliable, choice is a “Buffalo Rib Bone”. You can acquire a similar rib from any beef, elk, or large critter. The curved shape gives the best leverage, accuracy, and control. The rounded end is gentle but perfectly shaped to address the exact source of the itch. I carry one in my truck, camp gear, boat, and other frequented haunts. They also make great gifts!
Of course the best back scratcher I have used is my wife! Her long and strong fingers are equipped with perfectly sharpened, decorated, and shaped nails. Sometimes the back scratch expands to a neck and head rub. Talk about feeling great! The problem with this back scratcher is convenience, willingness, and reliability. They are rarely at the camp, in the boat, or on site when you need them.