Winter is coming! A DIY tripod substitute for walks in the snow

Tripod stickWhen you walk in the woods in winter, with your trusted pair of snowshoes, you usually try to travel light. It has been proved that walking with the snowshoes, while it’s a lot of fun, makes you spend 30% more energy; so we tend to travel as light as possible. And giving that we cannot avoid to carry lenses & cameras & safety stuff we have to skim down somewhere else.

More, we all tend to buy the smallest snowshoes possible, i.e. the ones that barely support our own weight + a normal backpack, because a pair of oversized snowshoes are cumbersome when you have to take them out and have them hanging & banging on the backpack. But add to the equation the weight of an hefty tripod and we literally start to sink in fresh snow…

Last, but not least, we normally are pretty busy messing with gloves and walking sticks, so often we do not have enough hands. But here come the solution!

Snow stick top

It’s pretty simple: just unscrew the bit that keeps the laces tightened to the stick, insert in the slot, under the laces, a piece of wood or plastic (to give the screw something solid on which to hold) and put (using a longer screw, not the one that comes with your sticks) a tripod head with a fast release plate on top on one of the sticks. Done!

Sure, it is not a support as solid as a tripod, and you can forget to use it for long exposures (even though if you sink it into the snow deep enough…). But, especially if you use a mirrorless or a light compact camera (say a Leica…) you’re set. To add stability you may also pull toward youself the lace of the stick while pushing the stick itself away.

Total cost ranges from 0 (if you have an old tripod head like I did, just laying around) to 20-25 € for a good quality, Arca compatible plate.

Total weigh is negligible, a few grams on top of an object that you will carry anyway.

And, by the way, the same thing (although this one involves drilling an hole into the metal head) can be done on a ax pick to use when there is no snow. But in this case, quite frankly, I prefer to carry my 9Kg tripod!