I can lash a mini tripod ($2 on eBay) to the top of a quad-sected tent pole with 4 equal sections with internal elastic to make a tripod. This gets me about 2' off the ground.

I can lash a mini tripod to the top of two bi-sected tent poles together, to form a tripod. This gets me about 4' off the ground.

Two Trek poles and a cord with a tent anchor, leaning away from the tent anchor makes a tripod; and the mini tripod lash to the top.

So the heaviest part of my backpack tripod is the mini tripod and the lashing.

This all sounds great, but it wants to twist and role around.

Any ideas for a better way of lashing/connecting the mini tripod to the poles and have it be stable? As it turns out, it takes a lot of lashing and time to get it stable. The poles want to slip through the lashing.

I'm wrapping each leg of the mini tripod to each of my tent poles.

There is probably a sailor out there that knows the perfect knot, a mechanic that is going to have a better solution, or a photographer that has figured this out a long time ago.

I'm hoping. Currently it takes me about 10 minutes and 15' of cord to get it stable. And about 10 minutes for me to tear it down.

A small amount of weight really makes a big difference, and I would rather take a reflector, flash, and a remote... than haul a "light weight" tripod.

My makeshift backpacking rig:

My makeshift backpacking rig


The Member contributed solution:

Hanger Clip Substitute for rope

  • 1
    Some photos would really help, but I think all you need is a lock loop... I don't remember if there's an actual name for this technique, but you basically tie your other knots to the top, so all the knots are linked together with rope that can't slip, and that is in turn linked to some non-slipping part of the poles. Go all the way around the top and down through the middle first, then lash each pole in turn, then go back up through... like I said, hard to explain, please post some photos.
    – Jasmine
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 0:27
  • Thanks Jasmine, I found this lock loop but it will take just as long to get it undone as what I'm doing now. link But I get your idea. I see the bind the lock loop puts on the pole.
    – jamesbdunn
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 0:44
  • Possibly useful comment: A "clovehitch" (used amongst other things to tie horses to hitching rails I am told) allows a rope or cord to bind reasonably tightly to a smoothish rod or pole.If the rod end is open (eg tripod leg) it can be made with two loops in the cord which are then overlapped. Google knows. BUT I have found that THREE overlapped loops makes a far better locking knot on a smooth rod. I have never seen this explained anywhere but it can hardly be new. I use this to tie fine linen cord to spectacle arms to make a light neck cord. These are far far better than a std clove hitch.
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 1:18
  • Thanks Russell. The clove hitch looks very easy to implement. I will try it. Michael, I checked out the outdoors.StackExchange link, thanks. There are probably more knot enthusiasts there :.) But so far, both Jasmine and Russell have been quite helpful. I'm also looking for standard photographic parts that will do the trick, or even mechanical connectors. I'll found out tomorrow if Jasmine and/or Russells ideas solve my tripod problems.
    – jamesbdunn
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 2:10
  • Building on @RussellMcMahon's answer, you probably want to use a round lashing to put things together. And, yes, I agree, this sounds like it'd be a better fit for Outdoors. Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


I have several suggestions of how you could do this.

If you are going to use rope I would use 3 pieces of thinner rope 2/3mm paracord should be more than strong enough. I would then tie a shear lashing (see picture) on each leg. You want to try and use a significant length of the pole or possible even tie to lashings per pole to reduce the amount of twisting you get.

However, using rope takes relatively long to setup and is relatively hard to do if you are not experienced, so I would probably use a different method.

enter image description here

Another alternative would be to use bungee You would need 2 pieces of thinnish bungee per leg, probably no more than 20-30cm for your thickness of pole. Tie each bungee into a loop using a large knot such as a figure of eight, although a simple overhand knot would probably do. Then wrap the loop several times around the two poles until it is extended and reasonably tight. To tie it off just loop the remaining end of bungee through the knot in the other end. To make this more secure you can wrap knot under all the wrapping of bungee. You can also get hooks you can hook onto rather than looping through the knot which can be a bot unsecure if you're not careful. This is a very fast and easy way to attach the poles but is not the most secure and can slip a bit if left for a long time. Its also better suited to slightly thicker poles you may have difficulty getting the elastic tight enough on these poles.

Sorry this is a terrible diagram

A third suggestion you be to use cable ties or jubilee clips. You would probably need two of these per leg. Cable ties are plastic, much lighter and easy to attach, but generally have to be cut off and so are one use only. Which may be an issue depending on how often you use the tripod. Also you need to dispose of the old clips sensibly, easily in an outdoors environment. Jubilee clips can be a bit of a pain to attach and generally require a screwdriver to tighten or remove. This could be an issue for outdoors use.

My final suggestion would be to make a connector to attach the poles to the end of the the legs. From your picture I cannot tell but this would work best if the tent poles are not attached together, but it might work anyway. There are many ways you could make such a thing but my suggestion would be for each leg use a short piece of PVC pipe, just slightly larger internal diameter than the poles so that they can slide inside. Drill a hole right through the middle of the pipe and put a bolt through it. If you want to make it more secure and have the right tools you could but a threaded hole on each side and put a bolt in to act as a tighter. This method requires the most work beforehand but would probably result in very easy assembly in the field.

enter image description here

  • Hmm, so this is interesting. A potential mechanical solution. So I could take a piece of PVC or aluminum tubing with an inside diameter large enough to go over the shock cord and tent poles. Make a crimp in the middle of the aluminum to keep the pipe from sliding down. Or put a nail through the PVC to keep the pipe from sliding down. And let gravity keep it all together. This will take me a bit to put together, but I like it. If this is stable it will take me less than a minute to set up and tear down. And it will weigh less than the lashing I was using; I will compare weights. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 11:30
  • The tent poles are hollow. I wonder if I can modify your idea and take the rubber feet off the tripod. Then bend up a hanger into a folded "Z" shape. Put one end of the hanger into a tripod tube, and the other end into a tent pole tube. These 3 pieces of hanger would be less material than the tubing; and I have extra hangers to try before going to Home Depot. The concept is similar, but I'm not sure about the related stability. If the camera settles into a stable position, that should work. Before the tubing would slip through the lashing slowly and unpredictably. Lens weight..hmm Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 11:47

Using a hanger worked great. The clips I made replaced the slider legs of the mini-tripod, and the other end engaged the tent pole sleeves. I bent up a pressure clip so they would not slide out. I can even move my ultra-light tripod around and it stays together.

See pictures below.

Set Up

Close Up

How Mounted

Bottom View

The Clip

Notice the pressure clip ends are for different diameter tubes. The hole in the leg of the tripod is smaller than the hole in the tent pole sleeve. When put together (about 20 seconds), the tripod can be moved around roughly and still stay together.

Thank you everyone for contributing. Especially Nivag; it was their insight regarding a mechanical connection that inspired my hanger solution.

James Dunn

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