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Author Topic: Tripod Carrying Question  (Read 3928 times)
LukeH
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« on: January 20, 2009, 07:17:32 PM »
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Are there any tips that people could give me in regards to carrying a tripod around while hiking? Is there a camera bag around that provides some way to attach it so I could keep both hands free or is it a case of toughen up and just carry it by hand?
Any help would be appreciated
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 07:30:30 PM »
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Many backpack type camera bags have straps for attaching tripods and the like to the exterior of the bag -- often on the bottom.
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Colorwave
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 09:37:05 PM »
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I have a tripod bag with shoulder strap from Calumet (it is a house brand from them).  Pretty inexpensive, too.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 12:51:45 PM »
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I have the upper leg sections wrapped with pipe insulation available at any home improvement store for a few dollars. This makes carrying the tripod over-the-shoulder pretty comfortable even on fairly long hikes since you can switch from shoulder to shoulder. I usually keep the camera mounted (Arca Swiss clamps are secure enough that I don't worry about the camera falling), and with one or two legs sections extended the entire rig balances fairly well.

For more stenuous hikes, where I need my hands free for the occasional scramble or don't want the tripod/camera to affect my balance, I'll strap the tripod to the back of my camera backpack. Most of camera backpacks designed for outdoors/hiking have some method of securing a tripod, although some may not be adequate depending on the size of your tripod. I've been using a LowePro CompuRover for much of my hiking, and it can accommodate a Gitzo 2-Series with no problem but may not be up to the task of carrying a 3-series or larger (which is OK because for the longer, more stenuous hikes I take the 2-series since it's much lighter).
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 12:56:15 PM by JeffKohn » Logged

AndyF
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 06:23:01 PM »
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Some camera bags (Lowepro) have a pocket and straps to hold the tripod, or way to sling it on the side or underneath.  I found that awkward; another method is to use a shoulder strap across your chest, at the bottom end have a spring-loaded hook or clip.  There's usually a ring or loop near the tripod head that will hook onto this clip.  It's then easy to carry, hook/unhook when needed, and doesn't bounce against your leg too much.
Andy
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Jerry Clement
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2009, 07:34:08 AM »
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Quote from: LukeH
Are there any tips that people could give me in regards to carrying a tripod around while hiking? Is there a camera bag around that provides some way to attach it so I could keep both hands free or is it a case of toughen up and just carry it by hand?
Any help would be appreciated
At times I will carry my tripod with camera/long lens assembly as a unit if not going to far. However, when treking into the back country on longer hikes, like up on to the ridges along the Whaleback area of the Livingstone Range where you find Limber Pine, I will sling my tripod over my shoulder with this tripod shoulder strap: http://www.naturescapes.net/store/product.php?productid=440
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 07:38:41 AM by Jerry Clement » Logged

fike
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2009, 06:09:06 PM »
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After buying and trying several beautifully decorated photo packs with pouches and straps and tripod slings and everything you could possibly want, I gave up.  

Now I use a  backpacking day-and-a-half pack.  It is sort of a small expedition pack.  I use this one although mine is  few years old.  Osprey Atmos 35 pack.  I found that none of the dedicated photo packs were really good for much past a mile of hiking.  Sometimes I hike all day and cover 12 miles with my full kit of gear, including tripod.  None of the photo packs have any space for stowing a water bladder either and if there is room for a bottle, it is only for a small bike bottle.  Don't even try to put in a fleece, rain-shell, and snacks.  The Osprey pack is fantastic.  For difficult technical bouldering or stream-crossings, I stow my camera and tripod inside the pack, but for most hiking, I use an Upstrap on my camera and hang it on my left shoulder. In my right hand I carry my Gitzo Traveler tripod with a Really Right Stuff spherical head on it.  The tripod becomes well balanced for me to easily carry in one hand all day. I even find myself using it for stability on rocks and stuff.  

My advice:
  • Steer clear of Lowe Pro and Kata and all those other "hiking" photo packs.  Get a real pack and put your own protective bag inside.
  • Plan to carry the tripod for a majority of the time.  Otherwise you won't bother to unclip it or unpack it and use it.  If it is in your hands, you will use it. So, make sure it is comfortable to carry and well balanced.

Here are a few pics of my pack at work hiking in the Highlands of West Virginia.


« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 06:11:08 PM by fike » Logged

Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
pete_truman
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2009, 06:43:57 PM »
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Quote from: fike
After buying and trying several beautifully decorated photo packs with pouches and straps and tripod slings and everything you could possibly want, I gave up.

Absolutely agree! I no longer use the photo packs and use a hiking backpack instead. They are much more versatile and tend to be rather more comfortable on my back. A 35 litre sack will provide plenty of space for a big DSLR, couple of lenses, filters and other bits plus food, drink and clothing needed for all but the extreme weather conditions.

When I take a light (Gitzo CF model) tripod it is carried on the rucksack using the loops on the sack or carried if I'm taking a large one (large Manfrotto or Gitzo).
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Pete Truman
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2009, 11:35:41 AM »
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I have a LowePro Orion AW, which is a two piece articulated pack. The bottom section is the camera section. It has straps at the bottom for the tripod to be strapped under it but I found that to be completely useless: the tripod (Gitzo 1325) swung back and forth and with each step banged into me.

I sometimes use a strap like a rifle sling over my shoulder. My next pack will accept it vertically on the back.

I developed a repetitive stress injury in my right hand, partly from hiking for years with my tripod in hand, so I'm careful not to do that for long now.

I think the advice to buy a regular backpack and adapt it is good advice if you are doing multi-day hikes. In that case you would usually carry less and lighter photo gear. But if day hikes are your thing, where food/water, rain gear/fleece are all you need, LowePro, Tamrac, etc. make some completely serviceable packs and can make carrying 20 pounds of photo gear much more pleasant.

I spend a good bit of time in the WV mountains too.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 11:09:18 AM »
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I'm lucky enough to have a very kind spouse who carries my tripod for me while we hike, and after trying a number of options (including trying to tie it to his day-size backpack) he swears that a tripod shoulder strap (like someone has linked to above) is the most convenient.

Lisa
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 11:10:02 AM by nniko » Logged

erick.boileau
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2009, 06:36:10 AM »
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for moutain I am usinig a Benro travel Angel tripod
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DanVH
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2009, 07:58:13 AM »
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Quote from: LukeH
Are there any tips that people could give me in regards to carrying a tripod around while hiking? Is there a camera bag around that provides some way to attach it so I could keep both hands free or is it a case of toughen up and just carry it by hand?
Any help would be appreciated
I recently purchased the Kiboko pack from Gura Gear , http://www.guragear.com/ , I have not taken any long treks with it as yet, but so far I like it alot. The bag has straps for tripod carry on one side. This is a very large photo pack! You can find a review here http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/#k under Kiboko.
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Nacnud
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2009, 08:22:28 AM »
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I use a strap from an old laptop carry-bag and carry it over my shoulder.
It's got a good wide non-slip shoulder pad which spreads the load.

This has the advantage I can quickly lift the tripod off my shoulder and set it up without having to unclip the rucksack waist-belt, lowing the heavy bag to the ground and then unclipping the tripod.
It also means that if I realise I'm not in the right spot I can move location without leaving my rucksack sat on its own.

I recently did several 10+ mile walks with the tripod on my shoulder strap, and it was fine.....
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Hank
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2009, 08:41:08 AM »
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If I'm truly hiking to make miles and won't need the tripod, rather than wandering to take shots, I just strap it across the bottom of whichever pack I'm wearing.  I just like the weight down low.  Length isn't a problem for such crossways carry with four leg sections, and I vastly prefer it down low to upright and shifting weight.

If I'm shooting now and then and will need the tripod, I extend one leg and use it as a walking staff.  Works great, and if the head is heavy, spin it off for the time being.  Without a head most contemporary CF tripods are very light and function well as a staff.  The head goes into a belt pouch, whether it's on my pants belt or on the waist belt of the pack.  Handy, but out of the way.  

I HATE taking off a camera pack each time I stop to shoot, and have migrated more and more to a belt pouch system for my gear.  Spares and extras go into the pack, but the stuff I'm using most of the time is in belt pouches for easy access and low weight distribution.  Less tiring all around, and I find I do a whole lot more shooting if the gear is easy to get at without dismounting a pack.  Also frees up a lot of pack space, so you can get away with a much smaller pack- a further notch against fatigue.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 08:43:20 AM by Hank » Logged
sesshin
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2009, 12:45:43 PM »
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Quote from: nniko
I'm lucky enough to have a very kind spouse who carries my tripod for me while we hike, and after trying a number of options (including trying to tie it to his day-size backpack) he swears that a tripod shoulder strap (like someone has linked to above) is the most convenient.

Lisa

I was considering a shoulder strap for my tripod but now I'm convinced I need to get one of these spouse things you speak of. sounds much more convenient
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2009, 03:33:41 PM »
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I was considering a shoulder strap for my tripod but now I'm convinced I need to get one of these spouse things you speak of. sounds much more convenient

Oh, yeah.  Also very good for holding an umbrella over me and the camera when it's raining, and for carrying the camera bag as his "personal item" on airline flights while I carry a purse for mine, and for occasionally saying "hey, I think it's worth pointing the camera over there" and usually being right.  

Of course, you could always substitute a domestic partner, patient friend, or paid assistant.  Well worth it!

Lisa
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Slough
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2009, 04:47:39 PM »
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I have an old tripod bag from Uniloc. It is a padded soft bag with a long zipper, and a long shoulder strap made from 2" webbing. Alternatively strap it to the rucksack. My tripod is a bit tall for that.
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