Trekking pole to tripod converter

by Tom_Dreyfus Jan 24, 2015
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Just seen this and it's an excellent idea! only trouble is I have no access to a 3d printer :/ would anyone be kind enough to print one for me and post it to me in the UK? I'll obviously pay all the production/postage costs!



I don't normally print and sell my stuff, but if you end up unable to get one another way, I might be able to tackle it for you. Before we go down that road, why don't you take a look at 3dhubs first. You can find a local service to print it for you. Here's a link to the UK listing: https://www.3dhubs.com/3dprint/united-kingdom

That might be faster AND cheaper than me making it and posting it from Canada.


Glad to see you've got the confidence to put your A7 and big lens setup on this... Let me know how the two-pole test goes. I haven't purchased a ballhead for this, so open to your recommendation on one that won't have the "play" issues you noted.

Well, 2 days of rain, so I gave it a go in my basement instead of outside. Take a look: http://i.imgur.com/wBtPShe.jpg

it sorta works in a pinch, but there are some things to keep in mind:
-- Since the poles are upside down with their pointy feet in the tripod adapter, the handles are the new feet, and they certainly didn't grip well on the floor in my unfinished basement. Probably not such a worry on grass, but could be an issue in rocky places.
-- Overall, it's a lot less stable since the angles between falling over towards the rope or the handle-feet sliding out from under it are very narrow.

It works with a rope in a pinch, and there's plenty of room to securely tie even the oversized rope I had on hand, but best to bring a third pole or scavenge a stick whenever possible.

Thanks for bringing the "bipod plus rope" trick to my attention. :)

I'm interested in making this, but I was wondering if it could be used with just poles and a string, if I'm hiking alone? See this video for an example:

I'm thinking it would be possible because of the supports, but interested to hear if you think they're strong enough. This tripod would only be supporting a Sony A6000 with, at most, the 10-18mm Sony lens (about 1.5 lbs total).

Also, any reason to suspect this wouldn't work with Black Diamond Carbon Corks?


That thing with the string is an interesting idea!

It would probably be awkward to use this design that way though. While there are holes through the supports that you could use to securely tie around, the way you'd have to have it leaning away from the string might make the base of the ball head sit really far from level. Depending on the amount of play in your ball head, that may or may not be a problem. I'm curious enough that I'm going to give this a try this evening and report back.

As for weight, I've mounted my Sony A7 with the A-mount adapter and a heavy old Minolta lens on it with no worries at all about the weight. As long as your printer consistently gets good layer adhesion, I'm confident that it can hold much more weight than I've thrown at it yet. If you're at all concerned, just give it a test by tying a shopping bag around it, and filling that with rocks.

The holes for the poles are slightly tapered, so they've worked with every pole I've tried, including a few from people I've bumped into on the trail. I've even used a random stick once. This is one of those times when the imperfect texture of FDM prints actually helps, since it has more grip. Looks like the carbon corks have pretty standard looking tips, so I'd be pretty surprised if they didn't work nicely.

Hope that helps! :)