Hiking poles are designed to make hiking easier on your joints, but what if they also help you take better photos? Photographer Justin Quinnell has a solution that can turn any pair of hiking poles into makeshift camera monopods. All it takes is a little creativity and time to modify the pole system. It’s easy! Here’s how:
How To Turn Hiking Poles Into Camera Monpods
– First, find two sticks or branches about the length of the width of your hand. You’ll need one per pole, so four in total. These will be used as extensions for each pole to create an A-frame shape with three legs on which you can rest your camera.- Next, you’ll need to rip off the top straps from your hiking pole. It will allow you to remove the wrist strap.
– Now it’s time for a bit of creativity! You’ll want to split each stick (or branch) down the middle, leaving only around 2 inches at the very end intact. This is the story of how I survived my first solo backpacking trip during hiking with a mirrorless camera. These split ends are what will attach to your camera (see image below). If you didn’t split them enough, they wouldn’t fit.
– if you split them too much, they won’t fit either.- Attach these two sticks/branches onto your poles using electrical tape or another strong adhesive (see photo below). Make sure that when closed up, this extension is secure and can hold weight.
– When all four extensions are attached securely, you should have an A-frame made out of three sticks or branches, with each pole resting inside the frame. Now what? Here’s how to use it
:- Use your modified monopod just as you would a standard monopod. Use it on land for supporting longer exposures, panoramas, and HDR photos.
– You can also attach them to trees for much the same support, but during long exposures, you’ll want to remember that trees move much more than poles do (if attached well). You may get ghosting around moving objects or light streaks running across the sky if there is wind.
This modification could be helpful to use one pole (with an extension) for vertical shots and horizontal images, like when photographing groups of people.
– If you want to get fancy, you can add a ball head mount (or any other creative mounting method) to the top of your modified pole system.
– Remember that added weight will make it harder for your subject, so keep them light.
– You may need to experiment with how tight the extensions are on your poles based on what kind of camera(s) is being supported. Tighten them up if they feel loose or loosen if they’re too tight after adjusting the angle.
– Make sure these modifications are safe before using this new setup – test with just one weight first, then gradually increase according to how it feels. For heavier setups, always choose static objects for attaching branches/sticks onto rather than trees!- It will take some use before you get the perfect fit and feel for using your monopods.
– You can use these monopods to support your camera weight while you shoot. If you’re photographing a scene that you know will require a more prolonged exposure, leave it on a tripod and switch to monopod only when needed for moving subjects.
– Use your stick or branch extensions for even more stability. Since sticks are designed to be pushed down, they’ll hold better than branches which will twist around if something moves them.
– Remember to tighten everything before taking photos! Otherwise, anything loose might fly off and damage/break things in the process (or worse, come flying at the lens). If this happens, don’t panic – adjust accordingly depending on what broke!- If you want to save weight, take out the wrist straps.
They can be helpful if you need an extra hand around your camera, but they add unnecessary weight.- If you don’t have poles and sticks lying around, you can also use trekking poles with removable straps – rip them off and save yourself the time of having to modify the poles!
– Be safe when using these modified monopods! It is not a step-by-step guide on how to do this, just ideas for those interested.
It’s up to you to be responsible and use this information at your own risk! Always test it first with weight on them before taking any photos with your camera supported by the sticks/branches to secure everything.
– Make sure these modifications are safe before using this new setup – test with just one weight first, then gradually increase according to how it feels. For heavier designs, always choose static objects for attaching branches/sticks onto rather than trees!
– If you want to save weight, take out the wrist straps. They can be helpful if you need an extra hand around your camera, but they do add unnecessary weight.
– Try to keep objects on the end of the pole extensions balanced on either side of the monopod – this way, you don’t have any shifting or tilting during use.
Some of you might be hesitant to modify your devices. Still, these modifications can save time and money if you don’t want to spend the extra on buying specialized sticks for this purpose.
Even if you do not want to modify, there is a good possibility that you have all the supplies needed already and can always buy an inexpensive monopod or tripod instead.
This modification turns your hiking poles into camera monopods. With this extension, they can use it for many things, such as a third leg when leaning over a cliff or ledge to get a lower angle. If you are hiking then this post will help you for dry size bags for camera equipment for hikers. You can even use the pole as a makeshift selfie stick if you want to! There are many uses for these things, and it’s up to you how creative you want to be with them!
Charles Wesley is a professional writer and editor, and he loves traveling. This has led him to write a blog about his adventures in many parts of the world, and He has plans to explore more of the world over time. He has worked as a freelancer for several years, and He enjoys working with brands on a variety of different projects. Follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.