The Universal TrailPix, two trekking poles, and one additional pole make a tripod capable of holding a compact or small DSLR camera. The TrailPix consists of a triangular and mostly flat piece of aluminum with three holes in it for trekking poles. Thumbscrews secure the poles in place. A lighter weight model is available without the thumbscrews.

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The Universal TrailPix is a simple tool used to make a tripod from trekking poles. The three thumbscrews in the device that secure the poles are easily fixed within the tool, preventing them from accidentally coming out. Another thumbscrew mounts a camera or a ballhead on the tripod. Photo by Jeff Burns.

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Universal TrailPix:

  • Connects to trekking poles and cameras with minimal hardware
  • Works with most trekking poles
  • Can be attached to small cameras directly
  • Is typically used with a ballhead


Universal TrailPix:

  • Weight: 2.4 oz (68g)
  • Camera Mounting Screw: ¼”-20
  • MSRP: $40

Performance of the Universal TrailPix Tripod

Recently I completed an eleven day backpacking trip at the Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico.  I enjoyed the once in a lifetime experience with my son and some scout friends. I wanted the image quality from a DSLR camera.  Since all the members of the crew used trekking poles, I was able to create a tripod using the TrailPix.

Before the trip, I ordered the TrailPix and searched for a ball head. The manufacturer of the Universal TrailPix sells two different ball heads, but both appeared undersized for a DSLR camera. I found the Really Right Stuff BH-25 to be an excellent fit, but also expensive. I opted for the Joby Ballhead X typically sold with the Joby Gorillapod but also available separately for just $43. It is very serviceable but is slightly too large to mount directly to the TrailPix. A spacer made from a section of curtain rod readily solved this problem. The Joby Ballhead X  and a quick release plate for the camera weigh 9.26 oz (262 g).  Assembled, the Universal TrailPix, Joby Ballhead X, spacer, and lanyard weigh 11.6 oz (330 g).

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The Joby ballhead is a bit too large for the TrailPix, but a spacer allows the poles to attach. I replaced the thumbscrew that came with the TrailPix with a ¼”-20 bolt long enough to pass all the way through the spacer. Photo by Jeff Burns.

The TrailPix makes it possible to get shots that are almost impossible without a tripod. Group pictures are an obvious use.  The Universal TrailPix also works well for sunrise and sunset shots. I even used it for astrophotography.

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Performance Summary

  • Setup and use are quicker than field improvised solutions.
  • Hanging a weight from the center of the tripod improves stability. I used an MSR dromedary bag.
  • Three poles are necessary. I made an accessory pole from an old tent pole, but the manufacturer sells a ready-made pole.



  • Combined with an appropriate ballhead and trekking poles, the TrailPix makes a workable substitute for a traditional tripod.
  • The Universal TrailPix is lightweight.  The user can select a ballhead and thus, effect the total weight of the device.


  • A traditional tripod is potentially more stable and faster to set up.
  • There is limited ability to adjust the height of the tripod.
  • Trekking poles aren’t always available.  They may be holding up the tent when you need the tripod.
  • The thumbscrews make small marks on the trekking poles.


I am very pleased with the Universal TrailPix, and will continue to use it for hiking when bringing a regular tripod is not possible.  I would opt for the BH-25 ballhead from Really Right Stuff instead of the Joby Ballhead X if I had no budgetary constraints.  The Joby ballhead works well but is not the lightest option available. For use with a compact camera, I would choose one of the very small ballheads available directly from TrailPix.

Taking a tripod into the backcountry expands photographic options. The Universal TrailPix keeps the weight and bulk of carrying a tripod at a manageable level.

Many options are available for attaching a small camera to your trekking pole. Most are only suitable for small compact cameras and are more of a monopod arrangement. The TrailPix is unique in its ability to provide three legs and enough support to hold small to mid-size DSLR cameras.

Purchase here.