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Friday, March 28, 2014

DIY Trekking Pole + StickPic Monopod

So I've been playing around with the Garmin Virb quite a bit over the past couple of weeks.  Various mounting options and techniques have been explored, shot down and tweaked.  The latest iteration is a Franken-mount of sorts, in an effort to save on weight, cost, and most importantly, meet my specific needs as a runner and hiker.


- Reuse as many materials on hand as possible
- As lightweight as possible (within reason) without sacrificing function
- Usable in all-weather conditions
- Versatile, and usable in various action shooting scenarios


- One Trekking Pole ($40 for pair, already own 2 pairs of this model)
- One #2 The Stick Pic ($14 + S/H)
- Garmin Virb Cradle (comes with Garmin Virb Elite)
- Tennis Racket Grip Wrap ($4 @ Target)
- About a foot of duct tape

Step 1: Remove any baskets and dirt

Step 2: Twist (or flip, depending on model) to unlock lowest section of pole and remove

Step 3: (For twist-lock poles only) Screw down expanding mechanism to lock in place and apply duct tape to secure all moving parts.

Step 4: Wrap "handle" section (opposite of pole tip) with tennis racket wrap.  Secure according to wrap instructions.

Now if you have the StickPic with any other camera, you're pretty much done and can essentially wiggle the StickPic onto the tip of your new creation, mount your camera and go to town!  For the final steps regarding my engineering on!

Step 5:  Secure the Virb Cradle --> Tripod Mount  --> StickPic

Step 6: Twist StickPic onto tip end of pole!

Step 7:  Go record some videos of you and your friends doing some cool shit!

Of course, this whole process wouldn't be any fun if I didn't record a video using this new here you go:

Some final notes:

- I didn't "kill" the trekking pole; it was simply taken apart and some tape applied.  If I need to reassemble to create a complete pair of poles, it'll only take about 5 minutes.
- The monopod is not telescoping.  I can use the other trekking pole for this, plus I wanted to shave weight for use while running (8.5 oz less)
- One could argue that the cost makes absolutely no sense because you can find a similar product online for a reasonable price, but I'm certain my product is of higher quality, plus recycles/repurposes items that I already own.
- With the Virb weighing in at 6.4oz, the entire rig is only 10.9oz...not too shabby!

Happy Customer

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