Hiking Pole Camera Mount – The Trusty Monopod

I have been thinking for a while of getting a hiking pole camera mount. Honestly, I don’t think there is a better way to spend your day than combing favorite hobbies. For me, that involves hiking and photography. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a superman man of a hiker, nor an amazing photographer, but alas, I greatly enjoy both. There is something so special and rewarding about hiking to the top of a mountain, overlooking the world, and capturing the memory with a photograph.

But unfortunately in the past I have run into some issues when trying to combine these two hobbies. It’s shocking how little justice most cameras do to the beauty before them. I will over look the most magnificent view, take a picture and be shell shocked at how… pitiful the photo can be. Add in trying to take a selfie or a shot of you and your hiking partner, and it just gets more disheartening.

Hence, – a hiking pole camera mount, or in other words, a mono pod. I’ve only ever taken simple photography classes. SO I am not a camera pro by any means. I would have to do so much research to know what camera to advise someone to use. But what I do know is that a steady base for your photo makes a big difference.

Pros of a Monopod

Oh friend, let me tell you. Monopods are the bees knees of hiking and photography being combined. They are incredible for a few different reasons:

Lightweight: Now if you have read my previous posts you know that I am all about hiking smart. Which is basically the same as hiking with as little weight as possible. A tripod, selfie stick or some DIY rendition is, simply put, not going to be light enough to trek up a mountain with. A mono pod is however.

  • Now, you are more than welcome to use just a cell phone with your hiking poles – which I admit, I often do. But it just doesn’t cut it for me anymore when it comes to truly capturing the beauty before me. It lacks the stability, as well as the ability to take far out shots.

Multipurpose: What I love about a mono pod is that it is not only significantly lighter than a tripod, but it can double as a hiking pole. It is also so much better than a selfie stick – as you can’t use one of those to support weight, decrease fatigue or steady yourself.

  • A mono pod is just the best of both worlds. Light, sturdy, fatigue and pain reducing and, it assists in getting a gorgeous photo with a solid camera.

Allowance: There are a surprising amounts of places (zoos, restaurants, concerts etc) that either do not like or even, in some cases, prohibit the use of a tripod. And in some places mother nature seems to be the one prohibiting tripods. There are tough places to hike into where tripods don’t always cut it. But, you can do these spots with a mono pod.

  • Monopods are allowed pretty much everywhere as they take up little space and are easy to move or maneuver in a hurry. They are just all around more practical if there are lots of people around or if the terrain is intense.
  • So be it a crowd or a mountain summit – a mono pod is a good option for your photos.

Cons of a Monopod

One thing you should know about me, I’m into honesty. So I am not going to write something without having that factor in it. There are cons to a mono pod. If you sort of like to hike but are really into photography, monopods may not be the best choice.

Less Stability: Monopods are not as stable as tripods. It’s that plain and simple. Monopods’s have one leg for support whereas tripods have, drum roll please… three. If you are shooting and really need the stable factor, a tripod is most likely a better option. 

Shutter speed: Now this is where stuff gets technical and can go above my head. But my research has led me to understand that if the shutter speed is too fast the mono pod is not as useful. When the shutter speed (how long the shutter is open when you take a photo) is fast, you are less likely to need a mono pod as the camera will take a good and clear photo anyways. And the use of the mono pod for stability becomes less important.


Would I personally buy a Monopod

Simple answer, yes. If I could find hiking pole with a camera mount or a mono pod or something DIY and similar, I would. I have yet to dig into brands and do all the super intense work on which option I would buy. But I have done the pros and cons weighing as well as the matching of those to my life style. And, I have come to the conclusion that for someone like me, someone who loves loves loves to hike and really enjoys taking photo’s of their hikes, a mono pod would be a huge asset.

What about you? Have you ever considered a mono pod? Do you have one?

 

Back Pain Relief Remedies – Can Hiking Relieve Back Pain?

Back pain is a haunting issue so that so many people face. It is something that Tiffany has to deal with on a regular basis. Tiffany has scoliosis, a twisted spine, and had corrective surgery for it in 2008. She went from one extreme to another physically and we want to tell you about it in this article. We want to share the natural back pain relief remedy that she stumbled across: hiking with poles.

Background info on My Wife

Scoliosis is a fancy word for a crooked spine. Tiffany’s spine is shaped in an S. She wore a brace from 12-16years old, which was a bit of a nightmare. Talk about character building – I mean teenage life is crazy enough before you through in 24/7 back pain and an awkward and large back brace. But alas, she made it through it.

At 18 she had surgery. Two rods and a ton of screws were placed in her back to help straighten her spine. She is basically my own personal wolverine.

Unfortunately she slipped into a bit of depression after surgery. For around 5-6 years Tiff just lost her active side. Whether from post surgical depression, not healing well, fear of pain, or lack of physiotherapy, Tiffany’s body slipped into a very painful and unhealthy state.

To give an example, we went swimming once hoping to get her back on the path to health. A light swim ended up with Tiffany in the emergency room, out of work for two weeks and feeling completely defeated. This only worsened the fear and anxiety she had around “activeness.”

Walking helped the back pain

Now it seems silly to say that the thing that helped was walking, but it was. After we got married I realized just how intensely my wife was living in fear of exercises, getting hurt or being active. Now me being a natural born out doors man offered to help.

She said yes.

We started out so slow. Twenty minute walks here and there. We over did it sometimes and she would be in bed for a few days. Walks often ended in tears and disheartened feelings. But with patience, perseverance and a deep desire to be physically healthy and mentally free, we got there. Tiffany began to go for longer walks. Instead of 20 minutes we would be out there for 40. It slowly increased, and then increased some more.

Hills came, now those were brutal on her lower back. The pain was trying to resurface. But we fought through the mental pain together and she began to overcome her fear and anxiety.

Back pain is as debilitating mentally as it is suffocating physically.

But that did not stop her.

Walking turned to hiking

One day the walk got longer, the hill got steeper, and I saw a huge smile on her face. Suddenly, she was going for an hour or more. She was asking to go out and excited to get to the top of a hill.

There is something so amazing about looking back on the process. Fighting through it all and seeing the results: pain free walking. This is where the walks turned to hikes. And suddenly, the poles came into play.

The hiking poles finished the job on taking away the anxiety and fear. Tiffany all of a sudden stepped with confidence; she was no longer afraid of falling and being unable to get up. It completely transformed my wife. She would take on hills, slippery slopes, and even a mountain.

The best back pain relief

For Tiffany’s back, the best relief was found in hiking (longer more intense walks often accompanied by hills and tougher terrain). When hiking with poles the body moves gracefully and steadily and is not strained. The hiking poles took pressure off her joints, provided her with steady steps, got her upper body moving and prevented her from tensing up. The simple movement of the arms was what she needed to help loosen up the back.

It is still shocking to us. But there is a reason we love hiking poles. They literally changed the game for us.

What life is like now

Last year we took on Mount July, here in British Columbia. It was surreal. My wife hiked an @ grade mountain. We reached the top. But the amazing part is that she did it all with no back pain. She was steady, confident and pain free. That is huge. It’s surreal.

Not only that, but she loved it. She found a joy she didn’t know she was capable of having. For any of you that live with chronic pain or know of someone that does, you understand that constant battle. It’s a battle of the mind, and the way the pain debilitates it. It is a battle of the body, and the way the pain affects every area of life.

Through walking, hiking and then adding hiking poles, my wife is walking on the side of freedom. My wife is living again.

Yesterday we did a 26km hike. While her legs currently feel like jelly, and she is incredibly sore, she is not having any back pain. Seriously, that is insane. Remember when we talked about her being in pain after 20 minutes? Well that season of life is long gone. We hiked 26km in 9 hours and she is doing great. And, if I may brag about her some more, she even had a light pack on her back.

Slowly but surely, she has come to a place of physical health. And, with it has been accompanied with the freedom it brings. When friends get together to toss a Frisbee, play some volleyball or go for a walk, SHE GETS TO COME. And, she joins in and has fun! When the sun is shining and it’s too beautiful to stay inside, Tiffany gets to go outside and enjoy it. My wife is alive again.

Can hiking relieve back pain?

I think we have made our stance on this pretty clear. It is with excitement that I get to say: absolutely. Hiking can help to relieve back pain. It takes patience, time, tears, starting slow and staying steady, but hiking can absolutely help reduce pain.

The difference it has made for us brings us so much passion for life. Standing beside her, on top of a mountain and looking over the world… well I never thought I would be able to do that with her. Thank God we are able to now.

It has been two years since we started our journey into hiking. I can not wait to see what we accomplish next.

How about you all? What holds you back, makes you excited or brings passion to your life? What barriers stand in between you and pursuing that health habit? My passion for overcoming those things is strong. I would love to chat, help or listen in any way needed.

 

 

Hiking Poles For Kids – Sweet Variety

Check out these great hiking poles for kids. You can have your choice of color, length, and hand grips. There are so many different styles for kids. In the next couple paragraphs we will go over what kids are looking for in a hiking pole. The different styles can be a little overwhelming at first so we will cover that as well. Personally I think hiking sticks are the coolest because of all the different varieties. I’m planning on getting a couple pairs for my own nieces and nephews.

Why For Kids?

Kids/youth/teens are growing and developing strength. Having bad posture when out hiking is a hard thing for the body to deal with, especially in these stages of development. Hiking poles for kids of all ages are a wonderful idea because theyHiking Poles For Kids will help them have a proper posture when hiking or walking. By doing this you can help to prevent potential health problems in the future related to back, knee or hip pain.

My wife and I both have some back problems and may I say that using hiking poles has taken a lot of back and knee pain away from both of us. When you or your kids use poles for walking or when on the trail the amount of impact that your body is exposed to is significantly lower due to a portion of your weight transferring onto the pole. Poles for kids set them up for successful exercise that builds their body and creates a safe foundation right beneath their feet.

Reducing Fatigue

Another practical way that hiking poles positively affect children is by reducing fatigue. Walking with poles reduces the strain on the muscles in the body and helps to provide a consistent and steady pace when walking. The tension that is relieved when walking with a hiking pole is noticeably and arguably one of it’s best assets. This therefore, reduces fatigue. Children often greatly vary in their energy throughout longer walks. Hiking poles are a great way to keep them steady, sure of themselves and confident in where they place their feet.

Length

The length of a trekking pole is a necessity to understand, like for adults the proper length is determined according to the height of the individual. The taller you are the longer pole you will need and also the shorter you are the shorter hiking pole you need. It is recommended that when standing on flat ground the pole should be adjusted so your elbow is at 90 degrees when your hand is located on the grip of the adjustable trekking pole. When looking at the length of a hiking pole before purchase an easy way to do it is to make sure the hiking pole is adjustable from, for example, being able to extend from 25 inches to 40 inches. By doing this the person that you are getting the pole/poles for will be able to use this pole for an extra extended about of time.

Hand grips

Remember the comfier the handle is for kids the more this age group will want to use them. Read the reviews off the certain hiking poles you are looking at to purchase to make sure they have a good enough handle so that your kid can use it. For example: if the handle is too big then they will not be able to handle the hiking pole properly as their hand may be able to slip off which would defeat the purpose of the pole all together. You can also look into getting handles of different materials: rubber, lots of flex, less flex and even a cloth material.

Complete style

The wrist strap attached to the handle can also be styled to your kids needs. So if your child is into hello kitty then you can get yourself a hello kitty wrist strap. Your child can totally customize their hiking pole and it’s accessories to suite their style. I know my nephews love their toys to be their favorite color and I can also relate to this because I also like objects of mine to be a certain color. I prefer my hiking poles to be black or blue. For this reason I suggest getting your kids a color they love not only to get them to like it but to get them to use it as well. When my wife and I go hiking our poles are our go to item to grab before heading out the door. Where mine are more heavy-duty looking, hers are brighter and more feminine looking. Which fits both of our personalities. This is the fantastic thing about getting hiking poles for your kids. Nothing better than each of your children being able to have poles especially designed their personalities.

Conclusion Of The Matter

Whether setting out on a walk around town or hitting up a steep slope, a solid pair of hiking poles will be a huge asset to your kids. They help them to be confident in their steps, create a firm and reliable foundation under their feet, help reduce fatigue when walking and can be perfectly designed to compliment their personalities. Hiking poles for kids are a huge benefit to their, and in turn your, out door experience.

Hiking Pole Hacks – How Many Uses?

One of the fantastic things about hiking poles is that there are so many different hacks for them. It isn’t something you buy that just has one simple use and that is it. When I bought my wife her first set it was a huge turn of events for us. She full on believed they would just be another gift that sat in the back of her closet. But they have become a staple item for us every time we head outside.
After a few hikes, and a few slips we both discovered they were way more useful than even I had imagined. It’s all of the little things they do and the hacks that make them worth it. That is what we are going to talk about next: fantastic DIY hiking pole hacks.

Tent Poles

This is the first hack that I came across while hiking. Trekking poles can so easily be used to hold up a tent or tarp. Going on an overnight hike often comes with the tough decision of what to bring. Weight is everything, and let me tell you, packing a tent on your back isn’t fun, it’s heavy.

Alternatively you can throw a small tarp on your back, and then use your walking poles as tent poles. It is so simple it is surprising. That is a huge amount of weight you are saving. Which not only is beautiful for you back, but just makes for a plain good story.

My wife was pretty shy to this idea at first. I suppose it sounded, “too intense,” for her liking. But there is something magical about taking a tarp and sleeping bag off your own back and then having a night under the stars. If you want to hike light and camp, this is the way to go.

Selfie stick/tripod hack

Alas, you definitely can not do something as cool as camp with just a tarp and not take a decent selfie of the experience. Well my friends, thankfully there is a hiking pole hack for that.

Grab some Velcro, a little duct tape, or what ever your preferred choice of material is and attach a camera to your hiking pole. I have heard of people that use all sorts of cameras and all sorts of different ways to jimmy them onto their poles.

We prefer to use Velcro for ours. A simple way to get a gorgeous picture.

If there are two or more people hiking you can use three different poles (especially easy with snow basket or mud basket tips for stabilization) to make a tripod.

Fly Rod

Another awesome idea is to pack some wire, find a few worms and take to fishing. Now clearly this isn’t meant for the big huge fishing trip that you’ve been planning for the past year. But it sure is a helpful little tidbit when you’re out hiking, camping or gallivanting and find yourself with a fish craving.

Simply attach the wire to your pole, throw a hook on and find a worm. It is perfect for a quick fly-fishing session and again is super helpful on saving weight for the light packing days.

The Do Not Die Hack

Now this one is not necessarily a “hack”. But it is just the best tip I have come across. Hiking poles are legit there to save your life. My wife has scoliosis, a twisted spine. It’s actually pretty epic. She has two titanium poles and a ton of screws in her back. Making her a very feminine wolverine.

After surgery her body did not heal properly, so hiking used to be extremely hard for her. If she fell or got hurt it would often lead to her being in bed for the next two weeks. But that was before hiking poles. Seriously. She got the poles and all of a sudden she was more confident, less tipsy, less fatigued and more efficient.

There is, believe it or not, an art to hiking. Especially for someone like her, someone that used to be bed ridden after a 30-min walk on concrete. Now, one year later, she has hiked mountains with me. The best hack for a hiking pole is simply to use them and rely on them. They do their jobs well.

With their assistance, I watched my wife transform from someone afraid to exercise and timid to activity into a woman excited to be adventurous and able to be in love with the out doors.

Splint

Now, as much as I like to hope that hiking never comes to this; sometimes you can get yourself in trouble. I won’t say a ton on this topic. Mainly as it would be an entire different post on safety and first aid. But I will say, I have been on a mountain and rolled an ankle and it is not a good experience.

Being hours from civilization, on a mountain with a rolled ankle will give you some serious worries. Being prepared is huge. Not only do hiking poles greatly reduce the risk of these things happening, but they can help if an accident does happen to occur. Using a pole as a splint and or crutch gets you out of some really scary situations.

Always be prepared and make room for things in your pack to assist with a splint.

Final hacking advice

One thing I have learned is to attach some rope and or wire to my poles. A small enough amount that it doesn’t get bulky and in the way, but enough to help with these random hacks: stabilizing the tent, wrapping the camera up, using the pole for fishing or even as splint. Throw some rope/wire on there and you can do almost anything with your poles.

There quite honestly seems to be a million different uses for both hiking poles and rope when you’re out in mother nature, combine both to your outdoor experience and you’ll definitely feel more safe and prepared. These are the hacks I have come across thus far in my hiking and camping experiences. Anyone else come across an awesome hiking hack or tip? I am excited to learn of more!

 

 

 

 

 

Trekking Pole Replacement Tips – For What Terrain

Trekking pole replacement tips are one of the most useful things involved in hiking. There are four main types of tips, and we will touch on all of them here. It can be difficult knowing what tip to buy and why. But here’s believing that after this article you will have some starting places.

Why purchase a tip?

To start, a tip is an awesome accessory to attach onto the bottom of your trekking pole. A lot of poles, in fact all the ones I know of, are made so that it is super simple to switch one tip with another. The replacement tips are made for all different types of terrains. And, therefore you can always find one that is good for you.

The reason I purchase different tips is that I like to hike in all different terrains. Whether concrete, ice, mud or thick grass lands, there is a tip for you.

Everyday terrain

Usually when you purchase a trekking pole it comes with a rubber tip. This is the standard tip for all hiking poles, and there is a reason. It is an all around good tip. The rubber tip is sturdy and can with stand the rough surface of concrete and the sharp little rocks it often comes with.

The rubber tips help to protect the metal spikes on the bottom of trekking poles. They also help to protect the poles while they are in storage

Rubber tips typically come in two different sizes. Sturdy, and more sturdy. You can get a larger and more durable rubber tip. I recommend this if you either hike a lot, hike on rougher terrain or hike around wetter climates that require more protection for your poles.

Snow basket tips

 

These are my personal favorites. Mainly because they do their job seriously well. If you do a lot of trekking in the snow you should look into these snow basket tips. It’s a pretty straight forward concept. They are like little snow shoes for your hiking poles.

Snow baskets prevent your poles from sinking too deep into the snow. Seems like it wouldn’t be that necessary, but believe it or not hiking with poles that are more or less gliding on the surface (Well okay – an inch or two down, but still that’s WAY better than a foot down) makes the hike a lot easier.

These tips reduce fatigue in your arms and provide a smoothness when walking through snow.

Ice safety tips

Now when the snow starts melting and turns to ice, you come across a whole new scenario with hiking. The slippery, wet and slushy factor. My wife basically refused to hike with me during Spring. She was tired of falling and slipping. She had to watch her step so much that she couldn’t look around and enjoy the beauty of the nature we were hiking in.

This is where you actually do not have to purchase anything extra. You simply remove the rubber tip that your pole most likely came with and reveal the spike inside it.

The spikes at like a stake, and help you get your balance on slippery surfaces. You just walk with them and let them do the work for you; steadying you in the less steady terrain of Spring. They work well enough that you do not have to put much work into it – however if it is really slippery or a super slipper slope (I just wanted to use that phrase – haha) then you can put more weight into them and really stake them into the ground.

The metal spikes are your go to anytime you desperately need to keep control, stay on your feet and conquer the hurdles of mother nature.

Mud baskets

Now these ones, I have to be honest, I have yet to try. But I have them on order from amazon (because of there great pricing) as I am suspecting the ice outside to pretty quickly turn into mud. They act very similarly to snow baskets by helping your poles not to get lost in the mud.

One of the main reasons I am excited to try these is that last year, hiking without them was hard. I felt like the poles were constantly getting dragged deeper into the mud. Mud is thick and gooey and, well, muddy.

I will definitely have to update this when they come in, so I can let you all know my tried and true review of them. But I must say, I am also excited because I have heard that you can insert your pole and it’s basket tip into the mud, lift it gently and then forceably flick it at your hiking partners face. Which I deem to be a very effective use of this tip.

A tip for every season!

Summer: Hiking in summer is amazing. It is warm, beautiful and there are many lakes to be found. A rubber tip is best for this.

Fall: Hiking in fall is also amazing, it is insanely memorizing hiking around falling leaves, cool breezes and watching for signs of the animals prepping for winter. This season you often want a mix of either rubber, or spike tips.

Winter: It isn’t everyone’s favorite time to hike, but it sure is becoming mine. Bundling up and walking through snowflake filled trees – it’s magnificent. There is something so special, and, if I may, Narnian like, about the beauty of winter. Snow basket tips are obviously the best choice for this time.

And Spring: Spring is full of the fresh new smells, flowers peeking through and the sound of animals moving again. This is the season to hike and see new life; you can smell, see and almost taste Spring. This is where the spike tips and mud tips come into play.

Basically, I think it is an incredible idea to get all different sorts of tips for your hiking experience. Because, whether sun or rain, or a snowy wonderland, hiking year round is what I live for. All these different trekking pole tips make it that much more doable. If you are looking for a pack of all the different kinds of hiking tips click here.