hiking - monopod

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by technobear, May 5, 2007.

  1. technobear macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2007
    can anyone recommend a monopod that can be used as a hiking pole?
    have any experience with one?

    was looking at the gitzo range (1560 etc) , but not sure this will stand up to be a hiking pole. similarly manfrotto?

    id also like quick release for camera, so camera stays in pack whilst hiking, but is quick to mount.

    im not so keen on the leki offering, seems more hiking stick than monopod.

    i know tripod would be better, but just know if wont be used/taken.

    (to be used with canon 20d + 30mm lens, and possibly sigma wide angle)

  2. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Can't think of any monopods which would double as a hiking pole.... I can offer a suggestion for quick-release: I have a Gitzo monopod and have mounted the Wimberley C-10 clamp so that it is easy to slip any of my long lenses or the camera bodies on there using either Wimberley plates (on lenses) or the RRS L-Bracket (on camera bodies).
  3. Macanadian macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2006
    Hiking - monopod

    "can anyone recommend a monopod that can be used as a hiking pole?
    have any experience with one?...."

    I wouldn't do this myself... I can see two options:

    If you are good at wood working or know some one that is.. Why not try to convert a walking stick into a monopod.


    Get a small tripod for macro photography (stands maybe a foot high). Hold the tripod against the trunk of a big tree or a large rock. This will steady the camera..

  4. oblomow macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2005
    I recently bought a gorrilapod slr-zoom ( the largest gorillapod, can handle several kilos of gear) and a manfrotto head with quick release plate. I haven't
    hiked with it yet, but it feel solid. It's also pretty light.
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I'm not a pro photographer, but I really like my Leki Sierra. It's light, collapsable and doubles as a really nice trek pole. I suppose it is a trek stick first, but as a monopod, what does it need to do other than hold the camera?
  6. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    I use a Manfrotto 679B. It's pretty darned solid.

    I've used it as a walking stick, camera crane, mic boom, defensive weapon, oh, and... monopod. :)
  7. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth

    I went through this exercise a few years ago with, IIRC, a Bogen.

    In the broadest and most sweeping of generalizations, "it can't be easily done". The basic reason why is that as soon as you mount any sort of QR on the top of the monopod, you lose the ability to hike using the top "knob" of the hiking pole ... usually, the most important on steep descents/ascents.

    It also didn't help that the Bogen was quite heavy versus a standard Leki hiking pole, or that I kept on losing its rubber tip on muddy trails (and buying replacements designed for canes at the local drug store).

    Overall, my conclusion was to go back to the standard lightweight hiking pole, and to spend some money upgrading to "IS" lenses. I figure if its important enough to stabilize with a monopod, if IS isn't buying me enough stops, I really need a dedicated tripod.

    FWIW, I've been finding that stabilizing on a tree, lamp post, wall, etc, and bumping up the ISO has usually been "good enough".

  8. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I seem to remember (and some great forumer might know where it is) seeing a beanbag like thing that you could attach to the bottom of your camera. This would allow you to use "whatever" as a tripod because the bottom of the camera would conform to whatever surface you set it on. That might be an option to use, especially if it can rest on top of a normal walking stick. Then you have a walking stick and an incredibly small but useful "tripod". Just figured I'd throw out an alternate suggestion.

    Ahh here's a link to it.


    I don't own one but it might be worth looking at.
  9. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    It might sound like a good idea, but that doesn't mean that it is a good idea :D

    When I'm using a beanbag, I find that it is most needed when I have a telephoto and for that, the approach is to support the lens as much as the body, not just the camera body. In contrast, the Pod sits under just the body, which means to me that its mostly for small P&S cameras, or for an SLR that doesn't have much of a lens (weight hanging forward).

    And even then, its marketed appeal seems to be for being able to toss the camera onto a wall and using its timer to then get a group photo that includes the camera's owner. I agree that its a hassle to get a camera balanced "just right" on a wall or whatever to do this, but the simpler alternative is to not be in the photo (or ask a passing stranger to take a photo for you).

    Anytime that we're going to try to balance something on top of something not stable (the handheld walking stick), we're going to have a lot of 'wobble', due to the lack of an actual hardpoint at this interface point. IMO, something like the Pod isn't going to make a real difference, and might actually make things worse because it adds a flexible/squishy elment (the Pod) to complicate things. Personally, I'd just assume go without it and to use self-bracing techniques to 'lock in' as best as possible for the situation.

    For beanbags, I have & recommend the Kinesis "Safari Sack". Buy it with fill, for you can always pull the fill out.

  10. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2003
    RI -> CA -> ME
    Good walking stick and one of these...


    The strap lets you attach to the walking stick, a tree, whatever.
    I have one I have used with my D200 and it has been very handy.

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