Joby Gorilla Pod
Weight and bulk are huge considerations on a human-powered adventure, making full-size tripods unwelcome travel companions. Sure, sometimes you need the sticks, so you just suck it up and deal. But I’ve found that, on many adventures, a small tripod will work just fine with some creativity.
The Gorilla Pod by Joby ($50) usually fits the bill. The knobby articulated legs can wrap around or grab hold of nearly any pole, branch, rock or post, and it can be adjusted to sit sturdily on nearly any uneven surface.
The pod comes with a standard 1/4-inch 20-thread mount. Screw it right into your camera, or add your preferred head on it. Joby also makes a $40 ball-head mount with a removable plate for easy setup/breakdown. Be careful how you handle it though — the little leg knobs popped out on me at times, but they pop right back into place.
get-gadget Small and light. Adapts to nearly any surface. Lets you get more creative with camera placement.
TIRED It’s tedious and slow to mount it without a head. When mounted, it’s sometimes difficult to get your face behind the camera to frame a shot.
Photo by Graham Thatcher/get-gadget