On my never-ending quest to carry as much useful camera gear as efficiently possible, I came upon a post on a GoPro User forum by Stevep64, about an extension pole made with a collapsible walking cane. While slightly bulkier than the perfect device, this folds down to fit in my bag and is light, stiff, and has a great grip. Best of all it's CHEAP!
Follow along for the easiest build you've seen in a while.
Step 1: Shopping List
Parts used in this build:
1 - Harbor Freight Collapsible Walking Stick
1 - 1/4" x 20 Screw and Nut
1 - Mini Tripod Head
Tools used in this build:
Hammer or Vise
Screwdriver and Wrench
Harbor Freight has these walking sticks for $5.99 all day, every day. As you can see it folds up nice and tight with the internal bungee keeping all pieces together so no worries of dropping or losing any. The attached wrist strap wraps around the sections and keeps them bundled when not in use, and acts as a tether when using the pole so you don't drop it off a cliff with your precious camera attached.
The rubber end cap peels off easily, no adhesives used to keep it attached. After removing the end cap, I squashed the end flat in a vise, but a hammer would do just as easily.
With a drill and 1/4" bit, I just drilled a hole in the flattened end and inserted the screw and tightened the nut good. I also put a generous dollop of epoxy all over both sides of the screw to lock it in position permanently.
To use it, I just screw on a mini ball head camera mount, attach the GoPro to it, and I'm good to go.
Modifications to come include a Sugru mount for the WiFi remote control at the handle and some expanding foam in the handle and camera end sections to add buoyancy - I want to see how rusty this gets when used in the ocean on snorkeling trips.
As always, any and all comments and modification ideas are always welcome.