Tripod mount for smartphone

One of the most seasoned linguists in South America told me how he pared his “packing list” down to TWO ESSENTIALS:

  • A trusty Indian guide
  • A machete

I don’t know if the machete had anything to do with the guide’s trustworthiness….

As I grow old (feeble) my backpacking kit must get lighter. On a recent mountain climb, I replaced four items with the closest I could get to a trusty Indian guide: my smartphone. It would serve as:

  • emergency phone (line-of-sight to cell towers is often available from trailheads and mountain summits)
  • GPS unit/compass
  • topo maps (Gaia GPS and pre-loaded topo maps work even without cell phone towers)
  • CAMERA

I needed a way to pair my super-light REI tripod with the smartphone. If you Google “tripod mount for smartphone” you’ll get lots of clever ideas. As for my solution….

The Body Glove Snap-On Case for my smart phone (Samsung Vibrant™ Android Smartphone) has a an optional belt clip and “kick stand” connection in the middle of the back. I usually go without that connector, and substitute the smooth replacement insert. To accept the standard 1/4-20 tripod mounting screw, I used a grinder to reduce the outside diameter of a 1/4-20 nut and pressed/glued that into the Body Glove’s connector insert (I’m sure one could find a bushing that would fit, and not have to do the tedious grinding!). I think the photos below will clarify.

Challenge: Use this ultralight tripod with my smartphone.


The Body Glove case comes with an optional belt clip and “kickstand” adapter. I usually just have the smooth insert in place.


The belt clip adapter is now in place, after I pressed a homemade bushing in the convenient hole!


In operation.

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