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Author Topic: Best way to hike with a tripod  (Read 3372 times)

headmj

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Best way to hike with a tripod
« on: December 18, 2020, 01:00:33 pm »

I have a fairly average tripod and head that weighs about 6 pounds.  I have tried several ways to carry it into the field.  In its own bag, not good.  Strapped to a camera backpack.  It always felt like it wanted to fall off.  The hassle has me leaving it in the car more than I should.

Am I missing a great way to carry?

Thanks

Mike
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chez

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2020, 01:32:21 pm »

I carry my tripods strapped to my packs. Does you pack have special straps and "cups to hold the tripod legs"? If you have a choice, strap it to the middle of the pack as 6lb hanging off one side can cause fatigue quite quickly.
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TomRobbins

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2020, 07:09:55 pm »

I've been carrying my carbon fiber tripod with a strap slung over one shoulder or the other for many years. So long and often, in fact, that it sometimes feels as if I can't walk in the woods without it. It can dangle between arm and hip around belt high, or sometimes I rest my hands on it while it hangs right in front me. Obviously, this has simply become a habit. I've never seen anyone else carry a tripod like this but it works fine for me.
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degrub

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2020, 07:28:04 pm »

Llama or pack mule works great. Even a horse will do.
Seriously, carry it slung over your back similar to carrying a rifle.
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chez

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2020, 10:22:08 pm »

Llama or pack mule works great. Even a horse will do.
Seriously, carry it slung over your back similar to carrying a rifle.

What about the pack that is on the back? Depending on where one hikes, something not firmly attached and just slug over a shoulder can become a hazard.
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KLaban

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2020, 06:19:24 am »

It's why we have assistants.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2020, 09:54:21 am »

It's why we have assistants.
Yes!

I was going to suggest: Hire a Sherpa.

I gave away my heavy Gitzo while I was still in my 70s. Haven't missed it. My "big" camera now is the Sony RX10M3, with a zoom range of (35mm equiv.) 24 to 600 mm and excellent image stabilization. Yes, it's easy to get sharp images hand-held at 600mm. Of course I can't do time-lapse waterfalls, but I leave those to others anyway.

I've never missed the Gitzo.   :)
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Joe Towner

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2020, 12:00:42 pm »

What bag/pack are you using?

What camera gear are you shooting - to get an idea of the weight on the tripod.
What are you shooting - to get an idea as to what & how you're capturing it.

Do you need a full height tripod or are you working low most of the time?
Would a trekking pole with a QR clamp work?

What other gear are you hiking with? Would adding a small blanket or ground cover with the tripod make it more stable on the pack?
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Jonathan Cross

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2020, 02:10:15 pm »

Just to add to Joe's list, can I ask why you need a tripod, as opposed to want?  The current set of cameras are so much better at reducing noise and have image stabilisation that one can hand hold for images that one would not have done even a few years ago.  The pixel count is such that cropping is much more possible to get the framing you exactly want and still have good size prints, though maybe not very large ones.  Even then upscaling can give good results.


Jonathan

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Jonathan in UK

chez

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2020, 09:51:33 pm »

Just to add to Joe's list, can I ask why you need a tripod, as opposed to want?  The current set of cameras are so much better at reducing noise and have image stabilisation that one can hand hold for images that one would not have done even a few years ago.  The pixel count is such that cropping is much more possible to get the framing you exactly want and still have good size prints, though maybe not very large ones.  Even then upscaling can give good results.


Jonathan

I always go out with a tripod. In the good light ( dusk / dawn ) when it's dim and stopping the lens down, exposures easily go into seconds. I just cannot fathom hand holding anything close to that shutter speed.
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Jonathan Cross

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2020, 04:30:43 am »

Can't argue with you, Chez, you definitely need a tripod.  I am not a before dawn or late evening person, preferring to use some artistic licence in post-processing.  I am also doing much more b&w so the golden hour is not so important.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

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Jonathan in UK

HSakols

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2020, 09:27:48 am »

If I'm really hiking with a tripod I don't use my regular Lowepro backpack.  Instead,  put my gear in a Lowepro Nova 180 and place that bag into a large backpack.  I'll even place the tripod in the backpack.  I find it is a much more comfortable way to carry gear in the mountains. For shorter hikes, I carry that dam tripod. 
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Paul_Roark

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2020, 11:24:39 am »

I use a carbon fiber Gitzo (GT1551T) and hang it on my belt, with a small nylon cord tied around a leg to stop it from swinging wildly.  It's minimally noticeable when hiking.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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headmj

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2020, 06:13:07 pm »

I carry my tripods strapped to my packs. Does you pack have special straps and "cups to hold the tripod legs"? If you have a choice, strap it to the middle of the pack as 6lb hanging off one side can cause fatigue quite quickly.

I have a backpack with straps but no foot clips.  The straps try to attach it horizontally.  I have it drop out twice.  I think this pack is too small for foot cups.  Thanks!
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headmj

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2020, 06:14:14 pm »

Yes!

I was going to suggest: Hire a Sherpa.

I gave away my heavy Gitzo while I was still in my 70s. Haven't missed it. My "big" camera now is the Sony RX10M3, with a zoom range of (35mm equiv.) 24 to 600 mm and excellent image stabilization. Yes, it's easy to get sharp images hand-held at 600mm. Of course I can't do time-lapse waterfalls, but I leave those to others anyway.

I've never missed the Gitzo.   :)

I need a porter like in the old movies!  :-)
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headmj

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2020, 06:25:05 pm »

What bag/pack are you using?

What camera gear are you shooting - to get an idea of the weight on the tripod.
What are you shooting - to get an idea as to what & how you're capturing it.

Do you need a full height tripod or are you working low most of the time?
Would a trekking pole with a QR clamp work?

What other gear are you hiking with? Would adding a small blanket or ground cover with the tripod make it more stable on the pack?

I am using a Lowepro pack designed for one camera and several lenses.  I am shooting a D800, Nikon 105 2.8 macro, Nikon 24-85 and 70-300.  I usually carry the macro and the 24-85.  I do shoot macro in the woods and some landscape when it presents.  I am frequently in the woods or at the end of the day or overcast.  I have let the d800 run up to 6400 on auto iso but sometimes you really need support.  Some compositions just can't stand the hi ISO noise.  I have a TrekTech hiking pole that easily becomes a monopod that is very helpful but kind of useless for exact panos.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2020, 01:10:48 pm »

Wandering and photographing London one winter's day, I found myself near the gates of Buckingham Palace.  I had my tripod slung over my shoulder, but the strap was long enough to permit me to carry the legs horizontally at waist level, with the tubes more or less pointing at the horizon.  Two policemen on horseback approached me and asked to see some identification. 

While this transaction ensued, they demonstrated particular interest in my black tripod and suddenly I realized that I looked exactly like a weapon-bearing commando.

Oops. 

I apologized profusely and moved on, resuming my more usual on-the-shoulder tripod posture.
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Eric Brody

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2020, 01:36:24 pm »

Ansel said "carry the biggest tripod you can," (especially if someone else is carrying it.) Essentially all of the workshop leaders with whom I have studied carry their tripods in one hand as they hike. I have a Mindshift Backlight 26L, and even though it has a great tripod carrying system, a central pocket on the bottom and straps on the top, I've found that placing the tripod so far to the rear cantilevers the weight so that it feels even heavier. Carrying it strapped to the side brings the weight forward but then it's wighted on one side. I attach it to the pack only if I know I'll be walking a significant distance without wanting to make a photograph. Clearly the best tripod carrying device is another person  :). However, years ago on the Oregon Coast my spouse was kindly carrying my tripod and tripped on a rock. She managed to fracture her fibula and being a bit far from the car, we were in trouble until a kind soul came along and helped me get her to the car. She's not been asked to carry it since!
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chez

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2020, 02:05:44 pm »

Ansel said "carry the biggest tripod you can," (especially if someone else is carrying it.) Essentially all of the workshop leaders with whom I have studied carry their tripods in one hand as they hike.

Obviously it seems the hikes were fairly simple in nature. Many of my hike in's require my hands to either grab onto rocks or trees for stabilization. Definitely need both my hands ready to grab something at a moments notice.
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viewfinder

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Re: Best way to hike with a tripod
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2020, 03:18:01 pm »

This depnds on where you want to 'hike',...what the terrain is like,...what the locals are like if they 'clock' your tripod etc...

Personally I don't want to advertise that I'm carrying photo gear and prefer to blend into the landscape as just another walker.  For these reasons I use a British Army PLCE 80 ltr 'bergan' without the detachable side bags....my tripod is 24 inches long folded and resides in a stout cardboard tube in the centre of the bag and is thus invisible during carrying, but can be deployed in seconds.    Spare clothing and food/flasks goes in next either side of tube and then cameras and lenses packed into snap top plastic boxes lined with foam...the lid pocket holds waterproof poncho which can quickly be deployed to cover everything in the inevitable sudden rain where I walk in the Welsh boarder country.

This bag is one of the best ever designed by any maker, as befits an army  too financially neglected to have enough trucks!....This is NOT the 'SAS bergan' which is quite an unsuitable design.
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