Somehow I seemed to have ended up with a lot of different trekking pole camera mount gadgets. I don't think it was deliberate but I have quite a few, so thought it might be fun to look at some of them and compare their pros and cons.
As you can tell from the photograph above, my trekking poles of choice are the carbon fiber Gossamer Gear Lightrek (LT4s). I've actually made a couple of modifications to these (big surprise, right?) that I'll share on a future post with a much closer look at the LT4s.
Gossamer Gear LT4 Camera Mount The Lightrek Camera Mount is made specifically for use with Gossamer Gear Lightrek poles that have the adjustable strap option. It's made of stainless steel and can be used to turn the pole into a monopod for filming or shooting still pictures. To install the camera mount, simply remove the black plastic machine screw that holds the strap on to the top of the pole. The thread size on the mount is a standard 1/4-20 which will fit almost any camera.
As basic as this mount is, it is beautifully finished with very precise tolerances - the knurling is almost perfect. Simple but very effective.I use my trekking poles as the two supports for my GG SpinnTwinn tarp, so I have to either remove the camera mount from the top of the handle when I am using my poles for the tarp (which means the strap comes off temporarily), or put up with the camera mount sticking into the ground and getting all muddy and chewed up by rocks. So far I have removed it each night, but I'm considering putting the original black plastic screw back in and leaving that until I need to use the pole as a monopod. That's really my only niggle.
Trekmount The Trekmount camera adapter is a relatively new device that was created by avid hiker from California. He says he had the idea for the design of the Trekmount while backpacking for several weekends in the Los Padres National Forest.
What's unique about the Trekmount is that it offers a monopod conversion option for a wide variety of trekking pole brands (including Leki, Komperdell, Black Diamond, REI, and most others), without the need for any assembly. As you can see in the photos, the Trekmount attaches to the side of the trekking pole handle and is secured in place by a strong velcro strap. The clever contours of the Trekmount allow it to fit around the form of the trekking pole handle very snug which in turn helps keep it in place.
I found that the Trekmount did a perfect job of holding my small camera securley in place for taking still shots. The plastic washer/nut that comes on the thread is a little rough around the edges and may not be the best type of plastic to use, but it did do the job. As a side note the Trekmount came with a spare washer/nut which was a nice touch.
However, I did experience a bit of a failure with my Trekmount. After using it for the very first time, I tried to unscrew my camera from the mount and ended up pulling out the metal thread that was embedded into the body of the mount. In hindsight I have to confess that this was probably more user error than a defect in the product. I may have simply over tighten the camera instead of using the washer/nut to tighten it.
A small amount of crazy glue later and everything is as good as new. I'll be more careful next time. Rumor has it that there is a Trekmount adapter for smartphones in the works, which as an iPhone camera addict I look forward to seeing.
The StickPic #2 Readers of my blog will most likely already be familiar with the StickPic. I've been a big fan of it since the day I got it. It's simple and extremely well made. Here's a previous post I wrote about my first encounter with the StickPic.
Unlike the previous two camera mount options I've mentioned, the StickPic attaches to the tip of the trekking pole. Because of this and the variation in the diameter of trekking pole tips, you have to make sure that you order the right size StickPic for your make and model of trekking pole. My GG LT4s use a size #2 StickPic for example. If you're not sure what size you need there is a simple sizing chart on the StickPic website.
Another significant difference between the first two camera mounts and the StickPic, is that this one allows you to turn the camera back at yourself to take point of view photos with you perfectly framed in the shot. Great for scenic photos when you don't have anyone to take your photo or for taking video of yourself on the trail.
So there you have it. Three different types of trekking pole camera mount options that I had lying around. If you know of any other good trekking pole camera mounts that are worth sharing with everyone else, or if you have any feedback on the ones that I've mentioned in this post, please a comment below.
Disclosure: Gossamer Gear and Trekmount provided Brian's Backpacking Blog with complementary trekking pole camera mounts to review. The author owns The Stickpic and paid for it using their own funds
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