Tag Archives: adventure

My 2 Favorite GoPro Accessories

My 2 Favorite GoPro Accessories

GoPro Accessories - Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

Video Below – Scroll down for old fashioned text and photos. 

I’ve been a GoPro user for years – starting with the second version (I have a buddy that has the original tradeshow version (the digital one) that runs on AAA batteries – that thing belongs in a museum). I upgraded along the way – again and again and again, all the while buying all the silly GoPro accessories as I went. All the GoPro mounts, the GoPro handles, the GoPro head mount, I even bought the GoPro Chesty on a whim.

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

While I was mostly content with the GoPro accessories, The GoPro camera upgrades always left me wanting more and more. I hated the first version. I hated the second version. I thought the Hero 3 Black was pretty good – for about 20 minutes. Let’s face it, the batteries sucked, the connection to the phone was laggy and wonky, the app was garbage and the audio when it was in the housing was… well, nonexistent. 

Most of that changed with the Hero 5. I know people complain about it too, and it’s far from perfect. There’s the Xiamoi Yi 4K and a host of other sub $100.00 action camera knockoffs available on Amazon. You know what though? I’ve owned a few of them and they’re not really 4K. It’s a crappy interpolation that gets them to 4K. The colors are awful, and the menus are stupid. The Hero5 is miles ahead of them, and, more recently, the GoPro Hero6 is even better. GoPro opted to design and manufacture their own chip for the the Hero6, and the difference is pretty significant. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

Connecting to a phone and to the GoPro app (and in turn the GoPro camera) is almost painless – I still have to reboot my phone every time I want to connect to the Session5, but after that it works pretty well. The app itself is a little better than it used to be, and overall I find the battery life improved enough that I really don’t worry about it anymore. I used to carry 7-9 GoPro batteries with me almost everywhere. Now I carry the cable and a small powerbank. I’ve never had a problem. 

Recently I checked in on the GoPro subreddit and found people asking about the GoPro accessories and different stuff to carry or mount the GoPro with. I’ve had some successes (RAM Mounts) and some failures (the chesty – I hate that thing) with mounting the cameras in different configurations, but in the last year or so I’ve managed to settle into a comfortable routine and I’ve found a couple GoPro accessories or mounts I really like. 

The Ultrapod. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

The Ultrapod mini tripod is my favorite. It’s small, it’s light, it’s made in the U.S.A and it costs $12.00. The Utrapod was invented in 1982 and it’s changed very little since then. That says just about everything you need to know right there. You can’t go wrong with affordable and versatile piece of equipment. I use this thing all the time. I leave my GoPro on the tiny tripod and slip a DIY fleece bag over it and throw it in my camera bag. It’s protected and it’s ready to go. I use this trail running, driving, shooting reviews in hotel rooms – everywhere I go I have this little guy with me. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

The ballhead component is pretty small, but it tightens enough to keep a GoPro upright and it offers enough flexibility and motion to balance out your camera on some pretty uneven terrain.

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I use the hook and loop strap (heaven forbid we call it Velcr*, right?) to attach the camera to signposts, trees, and often my hiking poles to in order to kind of fake that drone style shot. It’s awesome. did I mention it’s made in the USA? Did I mention that as of writing this it’s around 12 bucks?! Get one. Of all the GoPro accessories I own, this one gets the most love.

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review


The Ultrapod II. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I used the Ultrapod II for a long time. I mean that. I think I ordered this from the Campmor catalog in the early 90’s. Later I used it for my GoPro for a while, and then picked the older, but smaller version above and largely retired this Ultrapod II. I still use it for point and shoot cameras occasionally, but I generally find the smaller, original Ultrapod to be better suited to the GoPro. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review


The Three Way

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I have a love/hate relationship with this Three Way action camera handle. I find it finicky to use, difficult to angle just right, and a little too bulky to carry with me very often. I also feel like it’s large enough to pass for a full-on selfie stick, and I just can’t abide being that jackass with a selfie stick. Having made fun of it and complained about it, it’s great for getting low shots along the ground, and sometimes the reach is just what you need to get the shot. If you’re only buying one GoPro accessory handle thing, you could do worse than this. Just get ready to look like every other “Hero” out there. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review


The Shorty

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

The Go Pro Shorty is a rip-off. It’s way too expensive for what it is. As expensive as it is, I’ll admit it’s comfortable to hold. It’s compact and it will slip in and out of your pocket with nothing to catch on it. It’s well-designed. I like the extending feature, even if it’s not all that long.

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

Sometimes if you’re filming in “superview” moving the camera just an inch or two away from your face makes a huge difference. This is the GoPro branded one, and as soon as the East catches up, there will be knockoffs of this little guy for $8.00. One thing to note, this is hardmounted for the GoPro adapter. It only takes the GoPro style connectors and only pivots forward and back – not side to side. If you want to be able to use this for anything other than a GoPro style mount, look elsewhere. Unless you really need the extender bits, get the Ultrapod. It’s more versatile. 


The RAM Mount Suction Cup

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I love the suction cup. I love RAM Mounts. I have three of the RAM suction cups, one of the drink-holder auto mounts, I have the phone cradle… I can’t get enough. My dream is to tour the factory and leave with a cart of mounts.

GoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I use this one for filming anything inside an auto. Usually forward facing time-lapse video to illustrate a roadtrip or travel scenario. My little GoPro Hero Session 5 lives in this thing. It’s pretty bomber. They make a model with three suction cups, and maybe if you were mounting it outside on the hood of the car that may come in handy. I’ve had this thing fail and come crashing down in my lap a couple times, but it’s rare. It seems to work far better in a car or truck than it does in the lightweight, plexiglass, vibration-prone cockpit of a 40 year old Cessna. 

GoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

Check out the comparison pros/cons below. Thanks. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a review


Disclosures? Some of my Amazon links are affiliate links – if you buy an item from one of those links I get some pennies. I also (against the advice of everyone) own some stock in GoPro. It’s done me no good, having plummeted faster than Bill Cosby’s career. I thought I bought it when it was low. I guess they showed me, right? It went way lower. I still like the cameras.

While I’m no expert – GoPro tried to do too many things. They wanted their name on stuff more than they wanted to make cameras. If they’d have stuck to simply trying to make the best action camera possible for a competitive price, they’d still be on top. Whatever – Nick Woodman probably isn’t taking advice from idiots like me on the internet. 


Running Through Zion National Park

My brother and I ran a portion of the Trans-Zion Trek – from the West Rim Trailhead to the East entrance – a distance of about 29 miles. Video below:

We Shot a Bus – Video/Vlog

Video of Jason and I horsing around and photographing a couple buses for the Moab Adventure Center Website. Video shot on a 2005 Casio ExLim Z750  – a crappy, 12 year old digicam that maxes out at 640×480. Pretty low resolution. 

If you don’t already know – YouTube changed it’s rules regarding monetized content. In order to show ads, content creators (that’s me) must now have 4000 hours of videos viewed in the last 12 months and have 1000 subscribers. I have 4800 hours of video watched but only have 275 subscribers. I’m 725 subscribers short. I know it sucks to watch the ads, but it’s nice to get a little money from Google every now and then (I made 200 bucks last year, so it’s far from a fortune). Go to my Strayfoto Youtube page and simply click on “Subscribe”. Thanks.  I may make it yet. 

CamelBak Ultra 10

CamelBak Ultra 10 Hydration Pack – Comparison Old VS New

CamelBak Ultra 10 Hydration Pack – Comparison Old VS New

I’ve been thinking about getting a hydration pack for some time now. I have an REI Flash 22 that holds a hydration bladder, but it’s more of a daypack that can carry water and for running it’s not ideal. I looked at the Osprey models and some Ultimate Direction ones, but in the end I went with the CamelBak Ultra 10. I found a good deal on the 2016 CamelBak Ultra 10 at Amazon, but after trying the CamelBak Ultra 10 2017 version on locally, I opted for it.  Text below, and a video review below that. 


2016 on the left in blue and the 2017 CamelBak Ultra 10 Hydration Vest on the right. 

The 2017 (black) Ultra 10 Vest is much lighter, weighing in at just 18 oz and the 2016 model weighs over 25 oz. Keep in mind that’s (obviously, right?) with no water in the bladder. If you add 70 oz of water they’re both going to be much heavier. 


I like the fit of the 2017 (black/right) better. It’s lighter, sure, but the material is thinner and seems less bulky all around. There’s a lot less padding between the hydration baldder and the back panel, which is mesh, on the 2017 version. 


The CamelBak website claims there’s about 200 cubic inches difference between the sizes of the packs, with the new (2017) version being a little smaller. To me, it appears to be completely in the bottom three inches of the large, main compartment. In day to day use and with a reasonable load for a long run, I can’t imagine ever noticing a difference. 


The chest straps on the 2017 version (again, black, right) are thinner and the buckles are smaller. I find the buckles small enough to be difficult to manipulate and much harder to buckle than the 2016 version. Both models have the stretchy lower strap and static upper strap. Straps on both models can be moved up and down to accommodate different users. I found the ones on the older model to be easier to move, but I think once users have them set to personal preference they’ll probably not move them much – I don’t think I will anyway. 



The shoulder straps on the 2016 model have an adjustment strap and side-release buckle. Also, the straps on the 2016 version aren’t as breathable as the mesh straps on the 2017 version. The 2016 version requires the straps to be undone when accessing the water bladder in the back (at least it much easier if you undo them) but the water is easier to get to on the 2017 (black) version. 


The zippers on the 2017 version seem to be a bit smaller, although from the photo it’s not obvious. In reality they’re close enough that nobody will probably notice. The zipper pulls are different, but I’m not sure that matters. 


This is the crux of my decision process right here. My phone (Samsung Galaxy S5) fits in the chest pocket on the black 2017 version, where it simply won’t fit in last years’ model. That was the clincher for me. I want to haul my phone with me occasionally, and this is the perfect spot for it. I fact that it fit a little better in the newer model sealed the deal for my. 

Thanks for looking! Good luck. 

Video below: