Hauling around a tripod at DVinfo.net

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Old June 13th, 2003, 10:41 AM   #1
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Hauling around a tripod

As a wildlife photographer I have found many times where all I get is exercise and sore shoulders from hauling gear around. Birds aren't always that cooperative! I already had foam pads on my tripod legs but that was still only good for shorter distances. For long distances I needed something else.

If it was simply a matter of going point-to-point it wouldn't matter much. I could use any backpack and set-up once I got there. But what happens when that shot appears part way down the trail?

I wanted someway of attaching a backpack frame to my tripod so I could leave it set up (legs up) and haul it around that way. Now, all I have to do is drop the legas and I'm good to go. On flat terrain, I can even leave the legs partially extended.

I searched around until I found a daypack that was long enough and had a rigid back panel bulit into it. Still flexible but not floppy. This daypack also had loops on the waist belt so it was easy to attach the legs to it. All attachments are done with those plastic snap devices - the ones where the male end plugs into the female with two little prongs. The male ends are left attached to the pack and the female ends to the tripod (using cable ties right now).

The top attaches to the carrying handle at the top of the daypack. The legs, held open, are attached on the loops on the waist belt. That way the tripod is already mostly open and ready to use if need be. I can even drop two of the legs while it is still on my back. I leave the camera attached to the tripod and it is only head high as I'm walking around. I have to be careful when I duck under branches but that's about it. I'm also going to attach a saftey strap to the camera.

If I need to get into the daypack, I unhook the top snap put things inside and fasten it back. If it starts raining the camera can come off and be put in the pack (tripod needs to be attached differently then as well).

Don't need the pack? Just unhook the tripod from it and you're good to go.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 12:47 PM   #2
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That sounds good Jeff, but don't keep it a secret. Point us to the specific product! <g>
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Old June 13th, 2003, 01:01 PM   #3
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There is a commercial product called a tripack but I think it needs more substantial support and better support for the head - that's why I made my own.

There is a product called a scope-pack but it wouldn't work for this purpose.

I can upload photos if people want to make their own. I used a Mountainsmith pack as a starting point only because I could pick the pack up for $20 (they are a local company and a had a sale).
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Old June 13th, 2003, 02:46 PM   #4
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Jeff,
If you're willing to share your experience and write a brief article with some photo illustrations I'm sure that Chris would be glad to put it up on the main site here. That's really the best way to present this material. Otherwise it can be hard for readers to conjure accurate imagery.
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Old June 20th, 2003, 10:02 PM   #5
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I use a moose pack. It has a little fold out shelf at the bottom of the frame. I bungy my tripod to this. The only drawback this way is that your tripod is horizontal which doesn't work when your breaking brush.

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Old June 21st, 2003, 12:15 PM   #6
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I'll write it up with pictures and send it to Chris sometime in July.

I'm intrigued by the Mystery Ranch series of packs by Dana (also the Roswell by Kelty). The internal frame portion is independent of the bag so it would be easy to take the bag off and design a tripod hauler around the frame. Too expensive to experiment on though...
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 12:01 PM   #7
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When I was young and foolish, I used to make my own packboards. A light wooden frame with canvas laced across it. The Shoulder straps shouldn't be hard to come by.

Try an army surplus store. The military used aluminum packboards back in the old days (60's)
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 01:38 PM   #8
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For this application I think an internal frame would work better and be lighter. You can't go with just a rucksack/daypack though as it lacks the stiffness you really need to support the tripod and the camera.
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