Jeff Ryan, Author & Speaker

Pakpod tripod is my new favorite piece of gear

As many of you know, I spend a lot of time on the road and on the trails. Way back when I spent six months on the Pacific Crest Trail, I brought along a packable tripod. It was deficient in most ways. For one, it was too small. The legs weren’t long enough to support a camera with a long lens. It took a lot of maneuvering (including propping up the lens with rocks, sticks or what-have-you to take a decent shot).

Over the years, I started carrying my packable tripod less and less. When smartphones and iPads came along, I even stopped carrying my camera, too. For the most part, I thought I was getting decent photos out of both my phone and tablet.

That changed in 2017. Thinking I wanted to upgrade the quality of my videos, I bought a Sony HD Handicam. It worked great when conditions were friendly, that is to say when the wind wasn’t a factor. The issue really came to a head when I tried to zoom in tightly on a herd of elk from a windy ridge above. No matter what I tried (including adopting “the photographer’s stance”), I couldn’t hold the camera steady. The wind was in control, not me.

So, I bought a Pakpod. It was a great decision. At under 1 lb., it’s lightweight. It’s also completely waterproof (it even works underwater). It packs to just one foot long. Best of all, it includes a spring-loaded mount for securing your iPhone, a GoPro compatible mount and a standard mount for securing your DSLR or video cam.

Three stakes let you secure it to the ground as well.

My verdict? Two thumbs up.

You can order a Pakpod at (of course).

Jeffrey H Ryan is an author, adventurer, photographer and historian. He has written several books about his outdoor exploits, his fascination with hiking trails and the people and places found just off the beaten path. His debut book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America's trail was hailed by the former Executive Editor of National Geographic as "a classic of nature and travel writing" and set off a national tour (in a 1985 VW camper, no less). His books are known for weaving a deep appreciation for history into walks across contemporary landscapes that give readers the feeling they are hiking right alongside. When Jeff isn't trekking, chasing down a great story or spinning yarns from his keyboard, he enjoys sharing his adventures with audiences who love the outdoors. He spends much of his time in his beloved native state of Maine.

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