Trekking pole tripod – camera mount

Travel with a tripod? Planning for a long trek on foot, it is important to pack and travel as light as possible. But does that mean you have to compromise on recording the experience? I pondered that when considering alternatives to a camera tripod. For the Camino de Santiago de Compostela I will be taking my DSLR camera because I anticipate some unique sights – perhaps in low light, or long exposures. For this, I would normally take a lightweight tripod. But walking is serious business, and weight is a serious issue.

After some online searching, it came down to either a really small low tripod or finding a convenient rock or wall or post. But, being a bit of a tinkerer I also checked out Thingiverse.com and, sure enough, there was a design for a trekking pole camera mount. What a great concept! Of course, my wife and I will be walking with trekking poles for stability and to keep weight off our knees – which means we have four between us.

I considered making something like that from wood – fairly straightforward – but if you know someone with a 3D printer – or happen to have recently acquired a hobby-level one then it’s time to put the machine to work and make something more useful than a plastic unicorn…

It took a couple of tries, but the finished mount came out light and strong

Trekking pole camera mount
Trekking pole camera mount

I added a 1/4 inch x 1/2 inch bolt to mount the tripod ball head

Trekking pole camera mount
Trekking pole camera mount

And then it was time to test the full assembly with the upturned trekking poles – and it is very stable! I have no hesitation in trusting the weight of the camera to this setup:

Trekking pole camera mount
Trekking pole camera mount

For the addition of a few grams I now have a very workable alternative to lugging a tripod. The key thing here is that sometimes it’s worth taking a fresh look at what you already have to find creative solutions:-)

 




3 Comments

  1. Is this available for purchase? Either the final product or a file to drive a 3D printer.

    I have been carrying a custom made carbon fiber tent pole to serve as a third leg with my micro tripod. I attach the two trekking poles, the tent pole and the micro tripod together with a strip of Velcro.

    Your solution would be much more reliable, elegant, and user-friendly.

    Thanks and good luck,
    Morgan

    Morgan Bearden
    1. It is available as a free download from Thingiverse (thing 650943) — it was designed by Tom Dreyfus. Your solution also sounds like a good one, though Tom’s camera mount means that you don’t need to carry an extra pole if you are walking with a companion who also has a pole 🙂 – Cheers- Jerry

      Jerry Everard

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