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Ultralight tripod for hikers

  
 
SGinNorcal
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


Hello all,
Just wanted to share a makeshift tripod I use for hiking. This setup is for when you wouldn't take a tripod due to the added weight. Its not the best tripod you will use but certainly better than nothing. I managed some decent Astro shots with it on a recent trip to the Idaho Sawtooth Mountains. I found the initial concept on the Thingiverse, a website for idea sharing, its fascinating on its own. In this case, the designer posted drawings and model file. I have a buddy (much younger than me, lol) who has a 3D printer. He was able to download the files and print me two copies of the yellow plastic triangle shown:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1649638

The I stole the light ball head from a SmallRig BUT2664 -
https://smallrig.com/smallrig-tabletop-mini-tripod-with-panoramic-ball-head-but2664.html

I inserted a through bolt the correct size for the ball head.
That it, borrow a third trek pole from a buddy, flip upside down and insert into the sockets. Using a short piece of rope, I hung my pack inside the tripod for stabilizing weight. I may upgrade the through bolt for an eye bolt to gave me a loop to slip a carabiner through. The whole thing weighs just over 7 ounces.








Aug 19, 2023 at 01:20 PM
sjms
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


do we have a fully finished product shot? open/folded.
structural rigidity?
what type of polymer material are you using?

how would you make use of it?



Aug 19, 2023 at 02:16 PM
SGinNorcal
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


sjms wrote:
do we have a fully finished product shot? open/folded.
structural rigidity?
what type of polymer material are you using?

how would you make use of it?


You use trekking poles for the legs, so there isn't really a folded up version. Structural rigidity isn't the best, again like I said, this is a makeshift tripod for when lugging a couple more pounds up a 10k feet mountain isn't going to happen. I'm not sure what polymer blend my buddy printed this with, something cheap and available, its very strong. Make use of it for low light or astro shots, anywhere you need it. Here's a shot with the test setup but its more stable with my pack hanging under it.







Aug 19, 2023 at 07:30 PM
sjms
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


interesting concept


Aug 20, 2023 at 04:05 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


I hope it works out but would be concerned about the spider sliding down.

EBH



Aug 20, 2023 at 11:48 AM
SGinNorcal
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


EB-1 wrote:
I hope it works out but would be concerned about the spider sliding down.
EBH


It relies on gravity holding it in place. It can only slide a short distance once the legs are in place. That's why it sturdier with a back pack hanging in the center. I used a 8 second shutter delay to allow for any movement when releasing the shutter. It does work, like I said, its for when adding more weight to your pack isn't possible. I was already at 40 lbs. on the trip with ultralight camping gear, camera, and fishing gear.



Aug 21, 2023 at 11:44 AM
SGinNorcal
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


I guess pics or it didn't happen. I know this is not a great Milky Way shot by any stretch. However, with a lens that isn't well suited to astro work, the Fuji 10-24F4, I think this turned out OK. I certainly couldn't have done anything without the trek pole tripod. Next time I'll take a faster lens.





Fuji 10-24 F4, 20 seconds




Aug 21, 2023 at 12:29 PM
 


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Chris S.
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


Cool idea--thanks for sharing!

Those without 3D printers could probably make this out of plywood or aluminum. (I do have a 3D printer, but have a yen to machine something like this out of aluminum.

EB-1's concern might be addressed by some sort of limiting cap or wire mesh above the holes.

Agree with you that an eyebolt might be a good idea.

(Puts on thinking cap and plots time in workshop)



Sep 05, 2023 at 09:39 PM
Bacalhau
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


most trekking poles have about the same tip diameter, allowing to use rubber tips and baskets from other brands- so it would be more of designing and sculpting the spider holes in a conic fashion vs just a slanted slot/tube which might be a bit more difficult to achieve. The caps are a good idea, but also easy to loose them
it's a nice concept indeed, but relying on a third pole might be a fatal flaw of sorts (solo hikes)



Sep 06, 2023 at 09:33 AM
zugzwang2
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


EB-1 wrote:
I hope it works out but would be concerned about the spider sliding down.EBH


Most trekking poles that I've seen (there are six pairs from Leki and Black Diamond in my garage) have some sort of basket near the lower end that would limit the spider's movement. I just returnedt from hiking trips with my wife and daughter to the Eastern Sierra Nevada and Switzerland; a make-shift tripod made with three trekking poles would have been useful.



Sep 07, 2023 at 04:13 PM
sjms
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


baskets are easily removed. i have 2 sets in my car all the time. both the Leki and black diamond its pull keeping the lowest section from turning and turn to unthread. takes minor effort. makes for easy basket changes.


Sep 07, 2023 at 04:42 PM
zugzwang2
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


sjms wrote:
baskets are easily removed.


Indeed, but if the baskets are not removed they would keep the spider from slipping down the poles, a possibility that seemed to concern EB-1.




Sep 08, 2023 at 10:45 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


I regret mentioning it. Carry on, up the mountainsides.

EBH



Sep 08, 2023 at 11:06 AM
sjms
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Ultralight tripod for hikers


zugzwang2 wrote:
Indeed, but if the baskets are not removed they would keep the spider from slipping down the poles, a possibility that seemed to concern EB-1.



i do believe then with baskets in place depending on the size they would either work or be a bit of a mess. it obviously does work to a degree now its a matter of cleaning up the build.




Sep 08, 2023 at 11:23 AM







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