monopod as walking stick?

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
BackroadsTraveler
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to pistachioShell, Apr 15, 2013

pistachioShell wrote:

I'm new to DSLR shooting and learning the importance of a tripod.  I normally walk with a cane or walking stick and wonder about using a monopod as a walking stick.  My current walking stick can take a camera on top, but it is too short and wobbly.  So I wonder if a real monopod is too tall.  Doesn't using a walking stick with the hand strap so high make your shoulder sore?  Is it reasonable to plan on shortening it to walk and lengthening it to take a picture or does that defeat the convenience of a monopod?  Also, are the rubber tips on the bottom standard cane/walkingstick tips that I can buy by the dozen as they inevitably wear out -- or are they expensive proprietary tips that are hard to find?  The pictures I have seen don't look standard.

My main use would be for birding and similar nature photography.

Does anyone else lean heavily on their monopod?  Many thanks for sharing your experience.

I rely heavily on my monopod, and consequently use it regularly as a walking stick. It is plenty strong for the purpose, and I carry it for that purpose even when I don't expect to need a monopod. My model is a Manfrotto CX694. Although the 'rated load capacity' is only 11 pounds, I lean heavily on it (240 pound) and get no indication that it is stressed.

The height is easily adjusted. I find I need to quickly adjust the height between most shots anyway, so adjusting it for comfortable walking isn't a hindrance.

My monopod came with a soft rubber tip, as you describe, and that is an issue. I've tried unsuccessfully to find replacement tips. Rubber replacement tips are available for tripods, and I suppose I could find a set that were the same size with trial and error. They are not expensive (three for $6). My monopod tip is 5/8 inch diameter. I'm confident I can find a suitable replacement tip at a hardware store if all else fails.

I would be hesitant to continue to use the carbon fiber without a protective tip, however. An aluminum monopod may be more rugged and wear resistant.

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BRT

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