Hiking with a standard monopod (using it as a walking stick) is a bad idea. It's easy to bend and scratch the tubing to the point the lower section won't work anymore.
There are several hiking staffs that have a threaded camera posts. These generally are better for a small point and shoot than an SLR. I've tried and destroyed a couple of staffs.
The first I ruined was a Gitzo Montotrek. This is a hiking staff that you can get with a mini ballhead or flex head. It looks good, but the aluminum isn't tempered. I used it to brace as I slipped on a trail descent and the lower tube bent over double. Bogen doesn't carry the tube as a replacement part, so the $100 staff is junk.
I then installed a tilt head on a Tracks hiking staff. This staff is sold in many outdoors shops and it has larger diameter tubing than many of the trekking poles and the Gitzo Monotrek. Low and behold, as I'm hiking down a rough trail in the Santa Barbara chaparral, I slip and fall on the pole - bending it nicely.
Since I'm not likely to become more coordinated, I decided to hunt for a better solution. None of these hiking staffs or trekking poles even mention what kind of aluminum tubing they use. I've put tempered ski poles under much greater stress and haven't had one bend, so I know there are better materials to use. At Cabella's (a hook and bullet catalog company) I found a candidate. A little more searching and I found the manufacturer's website - Stoney Point.
These folks use 6000 series and 7000 series aluminum tubing. These staffs are priced less than competing products and they have more options. You can get the staff with two, three or four sections. They have a 1/4" threaded top with a wooden knob, or you can get a rubber coated V-yoke (used as a rifle stabilizer, but it might also serve as an action support for a tele lens). Anyway, I bought the Navigator model but I haven't fallen on it yet. For the price and the quality, I thought I'd pass the infomation along to anyone who's looking for a photo hiking staff...I'll let you know if it survives my next stumble.
#1. "RE: A hiking monopod option" | In response to Reply # 0jrp Charter MemberSat 16-Feb-02 04:23 AM
Sounds like a great option BJ.
I own a very strong (and heavy) TRE-D monopod that I purchased in Rome several years ago and I remember it was not that expensive (or maybe I was rich then, before the latest two crisis).
I have not been able to find it on the web.
It will bend my ribs for sure if I decide to fall on it.
I have not investigated if any of the Manfrotto/Gitzo monopod line has an equivalent since I figured this will outlast me.
Have a great time :-)
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Mainly at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story
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#2. "RE: A hiking monopod option" | In response to Reply # 0jjussi Basic MemberSat 16-Feb-02 05:56 PM
I have Leki Sierra Hiking Staff/Monopod (German Design and engineering), and I have been very satisfy.. Haven't manage break it yet, even I have stress it with big loads.
Three sections and under wooden knop you find 1/4" thread.
#3. "RE: A hiking monopod option" | In response to Reply # 2Mon 18-Feb-02 02:22 AM
I considered the Leki but after my other failures, I couldn't verify if it was built using tempered tubing. It must be if you've had it hold up to real world stress. The Leki has the advantage of being widely available at many outdoor products retailers.
#4. "RE: A hiking monopod option" | In response to Reply # 3jjussi Basic MemberTue 19-Feb-02 04:06 PM
>I considered the Leki but after my other failures, I
>couldn't verify if it was built using tempered tubing. It
>must be if you've had it hold up to real world stress. The
>Leki has the advantage of being widely available at many
>outdoor products retailers.
"In the production of our telescopic poles, we use only the highest quality 7075 aluminum alloy which, through LEKI's exclusive heat-treating process, reaches an outstanding level of tensile strength. The inside surfaces of LEKI telescopic poles are provided with a texture that ensures a superior hold, so that the poles lock reliably at the selected length"
#5. "RE: A hiking monopod option" | In response to Reply # 4
#6. "RE: A hiking monopod option" | In response to Reply # 0
Greetings....how have you been BJ? I trust things are fine with you! Looks like a promising hiking monopod at a very attractive price. The price looks even better at the rate it appears you have been going through these poles! You could become an independent tester for these hiking poles as long as your tumbles don't take you out of the business practice!
Hmmmm....this company also just happens to be located in my backyard! How'd you run across this company? Or duh...just a common search on hiking staff.
#7. "RE: A hiking monopod option" | In response to Reply # 6Mon 01-Apr-02 03:40 AM
I found one of the Stoney Point poles listed at the Cabella's site - a good place to find crossover goods for outdoors use. They were just getting their online ordering up and running when I called them.
There are a couple of new options as well. One is a graphite hiking staff with camera mount that Komperdell makes for REI. It's light and seems like it would be strong, but it's not very tall. You'd have to stoop over to use it with a camera. REI also carries a shock absorbing Leki staff that's taller, but not as rigid.
I'll try to keep myself and my hiking poles intact this season. I'd hate to be incapacitated for the Moab rendezvous.