What is a Monopod and Why You Need One?

What is a Monopod and Why You Need One?

(Words by Sarah Bauchner, Photos by Frank Colorado and Dillon Crippen)

What is a monopod? Well, the short answer is - it's the ultimate multi-purpose piece of hiking gear. The long answer is - it's the gear you wish you had when you've found yourself in the backcountry in one of the most stunning backdrops you've ever seen, but a selfie won't cut it, so the only way to get the perfect shot is by turning your trekking pole into a Monopod . . . still confused? Let's break it down.

A note - if you're here because you're on the hunt for a pair of excellent but basic pair of trekking poles, then check out our blog about choosing the best hiking poles for you - as it concentrates on hiking poles in terms of ultimate function. This particular blog will center on trekking poles with gun rests, camera mounts, and smartphone mount capabilities.

So now that we know you're here to learn more about monopod trekking poles, we'll start with what sets the monopod apart from traditional trekking poles. Trekking poles are a helpful tool for their primary purpose of providing balance, stability, and reducing stress on your knees while hiking - but with the right design and attachments, there are some secondary ways of using them. With our best-selling trekking pole technology, we've added a bonus of a camera mount and hunting scope mount, so regardless of what you're trying to shoot, you'll never miss it. With our mounts made for multi-purpose use - our carbon fiber monopods can be utilized for photography, hunting, and, of course, hiking. So a monopod is an extremely helpful tool for those looking to get more out of their traditional hiking poles.

Monopod tips and baskets

Now - let's start by looking at why the monopod is great for a trekking pole, gun rest, camera/smartphone mount, and then we can dive into why it's excellent for activities like photography, hunting, and hiking. So without further ado, let us introduce the Cascade Mountain Tech Monopod.

Cascade Mountain Tech's Carbon Fiber Monopods Features

As versatile as it gets, this carbon fiber monopod can be used as a trekking pole, gun rest, camera mount, and smartphone mount. What more could you need?

Comfort-wise, these trekking poles feature cork grips with EVA grip extension that stop sweat from developing where your hands meet the pole. This creates a safer and more firm grip, even when the weather is hot and humid. The grips are just as comfortable as the other poles you know and love from Cascade Mountain Tech, and, as always, they also come with adjustable wrist straps to ensure you get a custom fit. The monopod also comes with a large zipper carry bag that measures 32" L x 5.25" W so you can hike safely and carry all your needed tips, baskets, and accessories.

In terms of function, the poles are great because they feature a 3-section ultra-lightweight pole shaft with a quick-lock mechanism. Furthermore, this pole is only 28.5" fully collapsed and 60" fully extended, making them easy to take with you in your carry-on luggage for hiking trips anywhere in the world. So, you can quickly return them to size and head out on your next adventure thanks to their quick-lock mechanism and compact size when collapsed. And that brings us to another reason these poles are great for travel - the weight.

CMT Monopod packing

Weighing only 8.6 oz, these lightweight poles travel easily in luggage as well as up and down the trail. Thanks to their carbon fiber construction, they're strong and incredibly light, lessening arm fatigue, reducing pack weight, and making for an all-around more comfortable hike. In addition, the tip is made of Tungsten carbide to ensure the pole's longevity and provide you with a pole that stands up to the test of the trail when being used over rocky or rough terrain.

All of our trekking poles come with mud baskets, snow baskets, and rubber tips (tips also allow them to be stuck into the ground like a tripod). But, along with the standard accessories, the monopod comes with:

  • A smartphone mounting accessory that's adjustable to fit most smartphones with two mounting positions: Photography (vertical) and selfie (horizontal).
  • A v-shaped shooting mount accessory.
  • A built-in DSLR universal camera mount that fits most cameras.

Why Are Monopods Great For Photographers?

If you're a photographer, you're probably already well acquainted with traditional monopods, which are the one-pole version of the tripod. Used for their portability so you can keep moving in the field, they also add much-needed stability for camera shots when you want to get the perfect picture without the blur. The fact that it is lighter and more transportable than a tripod and comes with a carbon fiber shaft for ultimate durability might be why the monopod is known for being one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can carry in the backcountry.

When you're looking for a trekking pole monopod for photographers, you must pay attention to the threads for attaching your camera. The Carbon Fiber Monopods have a built-in DSLR universal camera mount which fits most cameras and camcorders. So, double-check before you purchase that the trekking pole monopod you are looking at has an attachment system compatible with your photography equipment.

Another important thing for photographers to keep in mind is weight. If you are lugging around hiking equipment, photography equipment, and heavy poles, you're not going to have a good time. So it's good to choose a lightweight yet sturdy option like carbon fiber poles. Like ours that only weigh 8.6 oz and are collapsable for the times when you don't need them.

Monopod photography

Why Would the Monopod Be Beneficial For Hunters?

If you're a hunter, you know the importance of stabilizing your scopes and guns for a good shot. But, regardless of what you're out there hunting or how good you are at taking the shot, the proper rest is always useful for stabilizing your gun accurately and safely. The monopod gun rest shows its value when it extracts human error from the equation. So if you've just hiked miles to your site or you've been out there all day, and you are tired, it will help take some of that extra weight and movement off of your arms.

The most valuable part of utilizing a monopod is when you need to stay mobile during the hunt. If you don't have time to collapse and reset your tripod, you can use your monopod trekking pole to keep moving and shooting. While it may not be as stable as a tripod, it will save you time and weight while being solid enough for a good shot when needed.

So What Are the Benefits of Monopods For Hiking Only?

Just like traditional trekking poles, monopods provide added stability when traversing rugged terrain. We all know that spending time on the trail can sometimes lead to sore joints and increased pain over time. A monopod can help make long and frequent hiking more enjoyable by reducing the impact of uphill and downhill on your joints and alleviating some of this pressure on your body so that you can spend more time hiking and less time in pain.

That being said, you don't have to be an avid thru-hiker or suffering from a knee injury to enjoy the benefits of using a monopod - they also help you cover more ground in a shorter time frame by propelling you forward with more ease. And even if you don't practice photography, what's the harm in getting the perfect group photo on the trail?

Dillon Crippen Hiking CMT Monopods

So, whether you're a photographer, a hunter, or just enjoying a casual hike in the backcountry, the CMT monopod will be your new favorite tool on the trail, allowing you to get to point A to B with ease while capturing those unforgettable memories (or game) along the way. We'd love it if you'd share your shots taken with the CMT monopod by tagging @casacdemtech on Instagram. Have other creative ways to use your monopod? Leave a comment or drop us a DM on social.


Shop the gear in this post:

Mossy Oak Monopod Brown Monopods

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