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
I added a 1/4 inch x 1/2 inch bolt to mount the tripod ball head
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:
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:-)
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,
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
What an ingenious solution to an age old problem. Even if I had such a camera mount, I’d only have 2 trekking poles with me. Think I’ll stick with my Joby Gorillapod for now – at least that’s my present thoughts.