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A hiking monopod option

BJNicholls

Salt Lake City, US
10095 posts

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BJNicholls Gold Member Awarded for his contributions to the community and the Resources Charter Member
Sat 16-Feb-02 04:04 AM

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.

http://www.stoneypoint.com/monopod_index.html

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.

BJ


BJ

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