StickPic Camera Mount
11" (1.80 m)
lb (89.40 kg)
in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have
backpacked in all seasons and conditions. I have usually only managed
time for 1-3 trips a year averaging 2-5 days, and as many day hikes as
I can. I am currently getting into condition to summit some of the
higher peaks in Washington, Oregon, and California. I prefer trips on
rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously
strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me.
My current pack is around 30 lbs (14 kg), not including consumables.
Java & David Lopez
|| 10.8 g (0.38 0z)
|| 11 g (0.4 oz)
StickPic is a small plastic device used to attach a camera to the end
of a standard trekking pole allowing the user to take a picture of
him/herself without the need for a tri-pod, or surface suitable for
setting the camera.
I received the "#1 REI Peak UL Kompredell" model.
|Image courtesy of TheStickPic.com
five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut” but even a
European swallow should have no trouble carrying the StickPic around.
This thing is TINY!
The StickPic arrived completely assembled in
a small re-sealable plastic bag labeled with the model and the
manufacturer’s web address. Inside the bag was the User Instructions
printed on a small strip of paper along with illustrations.
addition, there was a letter from Rodney Java (one of the inventors)
addressed to me, containing product literature similar to what is
available on the company’s web site, along with a note of thanks for
testing the product, some advice on using the StickPic, and an
invitation to contact the company for any reason. On the back of the
2nd page was a larger copy of the User Instructions that came with the
ordering the StickPic the web site asks the customer to choose your
make/model of trekking pole from a list, or if it is not listed shows
how to measure your pole for a custom version. Since my pole was not
listed I described the make and manufacturer (REI "Thermogrip" poles
manufactured by Komperdell) and that the diameter of the pole tip at
the point described by the web site measured 0.5” (1.27 cm). The web
site lists 40 models of trekking poles (including pictures of each)
matching five sizes of StickPics along with two models listed as
“coming soon” and two “n/a”. The site also offers a discount on
production seconds. Seconds are described as units having minor
printing flaws and they provide images showing examples of the flaws.
found the web site very easy to navigate and to contain informative
user reviews as well as user instructions, tips, and examples of
pictures taken using the StickPic.
The company offers a
30-day-no-questions-asked refund policy, an offer to replace it if it
breaks within 90 days, an offer to replace it if the wrong size was
ordered, and even an offer to discuss the price if the asking price
“does not motivate you to buy it”. They also offer a low cost
replacement for the jam nut should it become lost. The overall tone of
the web site is friendly - friendly enough to make me want to stop by
and say hello next time I am in the San Francisco area.
StickPic is the sort of product that makes me ask “why didn’t someone
think of this sooner?” It is simplicity at its best, nothing more than
a wedge of plastic with a camera mount, and a hole that fits the tip of
a trekking pole. The camera mount is attached with a slight back angle
so that when properly mounted (with “The StickPic” facing the user) the
camera tilts slightly back to help keep the pole out of the picture.
The web site states that it was designed to match the focal length of
most cameras so that little or none of the pole would be in the
picture. With my camera (Panasonic Lumix) my first test pictures
included almost the entire pole. But since I often crop the pictures I
take, and since one of the things that attracted me to the StickPic was
that it would be a conversation starter (e.g. “how did you take that
picture?” or “how did you mount your camera on the end of your pole?”),
this is not a problem for me. However, I will experiment with the
cameras zoom settings to see if I can easily eliminate the pole without
significantly affecting the pictures.
first thing I noticed was that my Panasonic camera does not have the
mounting hole in the middle of the camera as do most cameras. This made
me wonder if would be a problem. However I had no trouble setting it up
and taking a few pictures (before reading the well written but mostly
unnecessary instructions). Attaching the camera was quite easy, simply
screw it into the hole in the bottom of the camera and with the
lettered side of the StickPic facing towards the front of the camera
turn the “back jam nut" (hereafter referred to as the locking nut)
until it is tight against the bottom of the camera and thereby locking
it in place. I found it difficult to get the locking nut tight enough
to prevent the camera from twisting when I moved the pole or pressed
the buttons. I found that by turning the StickPic so that it faces just
a bit to the left (when facing the camera), then tightening the lock
nut and then twisting the StickPic to face the front it was much more
secure. Since the lock nut, screw and mounting hole in my camera are
all metal, it looks like it will be safe to tighten it up enough to
make it quite secure.
Attaching the device to my pole was very easy.
I simply slid it over the tip of the pole and while gave it a bit of a
twist while pushing it on. It seems to hold in place quite nicely
despite the fact that the tips of my poles are still rather dirty from
the mud I encountered last week. One thing I am wondering is if the
plastic of the StickPic or my pole might become worn down with use.
While attaching the device to the end of my pole I wondered if my
dirt/sand basket might get in the way of the lens, but it does not seem
to. I do not have snow baskets for these poles, but have been
considering getting some. I am concerned that these may be big enough
to interfere with the camera. I might have to pick up a pair of snow
baskets to see if the SitckPic will work on my poles with them.
instructions suggest that for additional security, attach the camera's
lanyard to the pole. From my initial tests I doubt I will do this very
often as the camera, even with all the weight to one side, seems to
stay in place quite securely. I might utilize the lanyard if I end up
holding the camera over a cliff or water or maybe in high winds.
seeing the StickPic for the first time I imagined that the camera, out
on the end of my pole, would be a bit heavy and might be difficult to
stabilize, but I have not found this to be the case. Even with an
injured hand (don't ask, I was showing off and did something silly) I
had no trouble taking pictures with either hand.
Taking the first
few pictures were easy. My camera has two delay settings (2 or 10
seconds). I have tried taking pictures using both settings and found
the 2-second setting to be long enough to take a quick self portrait,
and the 10-second setting provides more than enough time to get the
camera at the angle I want while not so long as to make my arm tired
After using the StickPic a few times my biggest
concern is that I might loose the tiny thing. The thing is very small
and very light, and I have lost much bigger things while hiking. My
camera does not fit into its case with the StickPic attached, and the
StickPic cannot be left on the end of my pole, so I am going to have to
remove it and find some place to carry it while not in use. If I could
find a way to attach the StickPic to the camera's lanyard or if I could
clip it to my pole or pack somehow I might be less likely to loose it.
Or if it attached to my pole above the basket I could simply leave it
Long Term Report
Trail maintenance with the Cascadians –
Pleasant Valley trail – Central Cascades, Washington
We spent half a day clearing
brush and trees from the trail to ensure a ten-foot (three meter) wide path for
Work – various ridge tops in central Washington and Oregon
I used the Stickpic
while visiting various cellular towers.
Chinook Pass – Washington Cascades
Night hike with my
Mt Clemons – Naches, Washington
exploring the SW side of the mountain.
Canyon – Yakima, Washington
Day hike through the
canyon where I found a new trail leading to the Wilridge winery tasting
Pass – Wenatchee National Forest, Washintgon
Overnight trip over Ingalls pass
(6500 ft / 2000 m) cut short due to poor conditions.
product is a narcissist’s dream. I have never had so many pictures of
myself before, and after looking at them, I know why. I wonder if they
will ever do a hiking edition of the show ‘What not to wear’?
|Who wants to be a supermodel?
with the Cascadians
As noted in
my initial report, my camera has the mounting hole off to one side.
While this has been less of a problem for holding the camera out on the
end of the pole than I expected, I have had a slight bit of difficulty
with the camera twisting on the mount while I am extending the pole. I
find I have to be sure to get the camera very snug on the mount to
prevent it from twisting as I extend the pole. Since the threads on the
camera are plastic, I worry that if I am not careful I may end up
stripping them out. I will be sure to look for a metal mounting hole in
the center of the camera body the next time I am in the market for a camera.
Trail to Wilridge winery
of Mt Clemons
In the initial report I mentioned that the camera does not fit into its
case with the StickPic attached. I tried clipping a small carabineer to
my pack and through the hole of the StickPic. This worked well when I
wanted quick access to the camera and did not mind it hanging like that
(not something I would do if it were raining). After doing this on my
last 3 trips (see field use above), I inspected the StickPic but could
see no signs of damage from using it this way.
purchased snow baskets for my poles to see if
they would interfere with the usage of the StickPic. Since the size of
cameras that would be suitable for the StickPic varies quite a bit, and
since different brands of poles use different size baskets, I cannot
say that this would work for every combination. Nevertheless, the REI
brand snow baskets for my REI (Kompredell) poles did not interfere at
all. I guess now I need to pick up some snowshoes!
from helping me document product testing, one of the reasons I wanted
to test this product was for the ‘WOW,
what is that, and where can I
get one?’ factor, and on that account the StickPic has not
me. So far, everyone who has seen it has been quite intrigued and I
have received many questions about how it works and where he or she can
device is quite easy to attach to the camera as well as to my pole,
however I have found it to be a bit difficult to remove sometimes. It
appears that the relatively soft plastic on my pole tips can become
compressed by the StickPic and bulge around it. When removing it I find
I sometimes need to twist and work it back and forth some before
getting it loose enough to remove. In looking closely at where it
mounts, I see that there are grooves developing in my pole tip (see
image to the left). I do not know how long it will take these to become
deep enough to interfere with the use of the SticPic. I was surprised
to see that the grit and dirt on my pole tips do not seem to affect
attaching or removing the StickPic.
of the things that continues to amaze me is how simple it is to point
the camera while using the StickPic. At first, I was not sure how long
it would take to get the hang of pointing the camera from the ‘wrong
side’. However, I found it to be quite intuitive and have not had to
retake any pictures due to the camera not pointing in the right
manufacturer’s web page talks about adjusting the
camera’s zoom setting in order to eliminate the pole from the picture.
I have played with this a bit and while it is rather easy to
do, for me it seems more trouble than it is worth.
My camera dose not retain the zoom setting after it is turned off, so I
would need to
readjust this each time I used the camera. In addition, I find I like
the image with the pole it in. If for some reason I decide later that I
do not want the pole in the image, there are plenty of programs to crop
the image. (Most digital cameras come with software to do this and there
are many free programs available on the internet).
"I'm having spam, spam,
chips and spam."
nothing to break
& light – I am constantly afraid I might loose it
groves into the tip of my pole – not sure what this will do over time
really like this product! It is small, light and simple! It works
exactly as expected and seems to have very little that can go wrong
with it. I anticipate using it quite a bit while gear testing, and I
cannot wait to be able to use it on the summit of a few of the peaks in
Washington and Oregon this summer!
If I were to change anything about it, it would be that would be maybe
some sort of lanyard so it could be attached to my pack or the camera
lanyard when not in use. I would also love to see it in bright colors
to make it easer to find when in a pack or when dropped.
concludes my Long Term Report. I would like to thank the friendly
folks at TheStickPic.com, and of course BackpackGearTest.org, for the
opportunity to test this product.
|Addendum June 2009|
publishing my final report, the SticPic has become item 11 of my ’10
essentials’ (in reality my ‘10’ is more like 20, but I tend to over
pack). Due to its size and weight I bring it even when I don’t plan to
use it. During the testing period I was concerned that I would lose the
SticPic at some point, but it was the locking nut that I ended up
On a few occasions I found the locking nut had backed almost
entirely off, and finally one day I found it missing. I contacted the
folks at SticPic about obtaining a replacement since on the warranty
page of their web site it states that replacement nuts are available at
a “low cost”. I received a reply to my inquiry the next day asking me
to send them my address and they would send me a replacement at no
charge. A subsequent message from them told me that due to this being
their first year in business they are replacing the nuts at no charge
and that mine would be in the mail the next day. I received this
message on Sunday and I received the nut in the mail on Wednesday.
have examined the product looking for a way to ensure I do not lose the
nut again, but aside from trying to remember to tighten it each time I
remove it from my camera, I have come up with no solution.
however found that the small size (#2) plastic ‘S-biner’ from Nite Ize
inc. (at only 0.11 oz/3 g) works well for clipping the SticPic to my
pack when not in use. So I might not lose the SticPic itself, I will
need to keep a closer eye on the locking nut in the future.