The GoPro camera is the go-to brand for most professional travel bloggers and travel photographers to record their outdoor experiences. However, to make the most of your GoPro abilities and keep your camera safe when hiking, you need to have the right accessories. GoPro manufacturers most of its accessories, but there are other great third-party alternatives compatible with GoPro cameras.
There are plenty of mounts, straps, belts, clamps grips, selfie poles, and harnesses that you can use to carry your GoPro when hiking. They all come in different styles, designs, and price ranges, and you can always use several accessories to come up with your most suitable carrying system. We have put a list of options to help you choose the best way to carry your GoPro when hiking.
Best Way to Carry a GoPro around
Let’s take a look at some of the gear that will help you carry your GoPro around when hiking.
GoPro 3-way grip
The 3-way grip by GoPro is one of the most versatile GoPro accessories to have when shooting the outdoors. It has a 3-in-1 design that switches from camera grip to extension arm to a tripod. You can use the camera grip to capture more professional handheld footage. When you unscrew the endcap, flip it, and reattach it to become a tripod for a stable shooting platform for group and time-lapse shots. The arm is extendable gives great a POV for selfies and overhead photos. It is easy to use, sturdy but also portable, making it the perfect hiking GoPro accessory.
The backpack mount is one of the easiest ways to carry your GoPro when hiking. You attach the camera mount onto the backpack strap for the hands-free operation of your GoPro. Backpack mounts have multiple mounting options and multiple mounting locks for more security. The mounting methods can range from clamps, clips to Velcro straps which are all easy to use. The mounts can also attach to a belt, strap, life vest, hydration packs, and harnesses.
There are various designs and brands with different features, but most are compatible with most GoPro models. But not every camera mount is universal; you have to find one that suits your hiking and photography needs.
Our choice for the best GoPro mount for hiking is the Peak Design Capture Camera Clip because it works great with GoPro cameras and even a full-size DSLR with a zoom lens. It has a secure lock system that will prevent your camera from falling off and has an aluminum alloy material that makes it strong and durable. Therefore, you do not have to buy another mount for your bulkier cameras. It is waterproof and shockproof, thus giving you steadier footage than other mounts in the market. It attaches to straps and belts of various sizes, and you can also mount it on tripods and monopods. The downside to the Peak Design Capture Camera Clip is that it is pricey and does not have much maneuverability.
The head strap is quite a popular hands-free video shooting GoPro accessory. The GoPro head strap is fully adjustable to fit correctly in all sizes. You can wear it over a helmet or directly on your head in a headlamp-like position. It is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and does not shift around if appropriately adjusted. In addition, it comes with a quick clip for compact, low-profile mounting. You can also attach your GoPro to a baseball cap. Unfortunately, we advise against using the head strap directly onto your head during impact activities such as skiing as it may increase the risk for a severe head injury.
Trekking pole mount
Trekking poles are not necessary hiking gear; however, they help alleviate the strain from your knees. If you do have to use a trekking pole, you can fully leverage its use by attaching a GoPro monopod to make a GoPro trekking pole mount. The York Nordic Collapsible Pole has an in-built camera mount compatible with standard GoPro models and other digital cameras. It has rubber feet that absorb shocks are reduce vibration for more clear footage. The poles are collapsible to different heights giving you different angles. Due to its aircraft-grade aluminum material, the poles are lightweight but also sturdy.
GoPro Karma grip
The GoPro Karma Grip, also known as a gimbal, is an excellent choice if you want only to take videos on your hike. It has a steady grip on your GoPro, which stabilizes your footage for a smooth result. It has a rubbery surface and conforms to your hand more ergonomically to help with a secure grip when shooting. It has remote control buttons to operate your mounted GoPro. The grip also attaches to your backpack strap for a hands-free operation. The grip handle is usually not in view when you mount it on your backpack because it is vertically orientated.
Manufacturers have designed the GoPro backpacks to be convenient for GoPros when hiking. They work as a storage space for your mounts and accessories and have in-built mounts for your GoPro in various positions. Hiking backpacks come in a number of sizes; a small one might hold about 5-10 liters, while a several-day travel backpack can hold 70 liters or more. Therefore, the most suitable volume capacity of a GoPro backpack is approximately 30-40 liters. Since you might be packing your supplies and camera gear in the same bag, it is best to get one with partitions and pack them at the top for accessibility.
The most important thing about GoPro backpacks that regular backpacks do not have is GoPro mounts. It allows you to attach your GoPro without any modifications. They come with all the loops, straps, clips, and clamps for attachment. You also have different mounting positions; the shoulder mount goes on top of your shoulder, the chest mount goes at the center of your backpack harness that wraps around your chest, and the rear mount attaches to your bag’s backside to capture footage behind you.
Another advantage that GoPro bags have is they are comfortable due to the extra padding, have back support, and are ergonomic. A backpack that is curved or contoured to distribute weight evenly also helps with lumbar support. The GoPro Seeker Backpack is our personal favorite since it fits any Hero, Session, or Karma device. It also has two camera mounts; a chest mount and a shoulder mount.
The extension pole is excellent for 360 degrees shots as a handgrip and a selfie stick due to its long reach. You can also convert it to a tripod for hands-free operation. These poles come in a variety of styles with different features. When hiking with your GoPro, you should get a lightweight extension pole with a rubber grip, wrist strap for portability, waterproof, and suitable length. Although the purpose of an extension pole is for its lengthy shots, longer is not always better. A long extension pole can be wobbly, especially if the mount does not have stable supports.
The GoPro El Grande Extension Pole extends up to 38 inches, compresses to 15 inches, and rotates in multiple directions. It is excellent for taking expansive landscapes due to its long extension with a two-handed grip for more comfortable handling. Its best feature is the ball and socket joint that gives a full 360 degrees shot. However, some people have complained that the GoPro extension pole is quite heavy compared to other brands.
We also love the Sandmarc Pole; it is 17 inches when compressed and 40 inches when extended with a weight of 9 ounces. Its rugged aluminum alloy surface prevents it from rusting and damage from the sun. It works with GoPros and comes with a tripod mount.
Chest mount and harness
The chest mount on the GoPro harness gives the most stable camera angle on the body. There will be minimal vibration and bouncing compared to the shoulder mount and head mount. This mounting system is most common among mountain bikers, giving a great view of the ground and front from the rider’s perspective. You wear the harness as you would a t-shirt, secure your GoPro onto the chest strap mount, and adjust the shoulder straps and camera angle. The GoPro Performance Chest Mount fits all GoPro models. It is also adjustable and can fit over different body types and winter jackets.
Clamp mounts are also another excellent option for shooting hands-free. Attach your GoPro to the clamp mount and mount it securely onto your hat when hiking or an object like a tree for great time-lapse videos. The jaws can grip objects with irregular shapes and extremely slim objects securely. The GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp works with all GoPro cameras and can clamp onto objects from 0.25 inches to 2 inches (0.6cm to 5cm) in diameter. You can also remove the neck and attach the GoPro onto the clamp directly for low-profile mounting. What makes the clamp mount appealing to outdoor bloggers is the variety and precision you can achieve with the neck adjustments. It has a malleable neck that allows you to position the camera at the exact angle you want. In addition, its quick-release base enables you to change the camera’s locations and mounts quickly.
Although the current GoPros are waterproof up to depths of 10 meters(33 feet), you may still need a GoPro protective housing when hiking. Also, if you’re planning on some diving excursion during your hike, it can extend the underwater range of the camera to 60 meters.
The protective housing also protects the camera and lens from dirt and flying debris. Sometimes your camera may brush through the trees and branches, which may scratch or scrape the GoPro surface or lens. Before buying protective housing, you should know which GoPro model you have since the protective housings are model-specific in design. It has a skeleton backdoor for audio capture and easy access to the camera’s touchscreen.
Can you use a GoPro as a Trail Camera?
Unfortunately, GoPro cameras are not trail cameras because they do not have motion sensors. So how does a trail camera or game camera work differently from a GoPro? Trail cameras have motion sensors that detect movement in view and instruct the camera to take a photo or video. The pictures and videos are also come out time-stamped, so you’ll know when the game was around. Some can even automatically send footage to your smartphone in real-time if there is an internet connection. The settings that control the trail camera are pre-programmed by the user. Therefore, you can control the focus, shutter, flash, trigger time, and other parameters.
Another difference is, the trail cameras turn off electronically apart from the sensors. The trail camera comes on when there is a motion to take footage or shot, then goes off immediately. A time-lapse on a GoPro means it will stay on throughout, wasting battery charge and making editing footage more tedious for you.
If you have a GoPro camera, you can use a few hacks to capture games without the motion detection feature.
Use a steady mount: You can use a clamp mount or karma grip to set your camera inconspicuously on a branch or fence. However, mounting the camera on a full-size tripod may be alarming for the game and might not come close enough for a good shot.
Looping video: set the camera to video> Looping if you have to leave the camera. A looping video allows continuous video recording. It also overwrites the beginning of the video to create space for new footage on your SD card. You will capture the action and automatically remove much of the video where nothing happens.
Remote control: You can use the GoPro App to control the camera remotely. You can stay out of sight, observing and turn on the camera when the game is in the camera’s view. You can also switch between video and photos.
Pre-program your resolution: Since you’re trying to shoot a moving object, we recommend setting your GoPro at 1080p resolution in HD and 60 frames per second. This setting will slow the action to half speed for an excellent quality slow-motion video.
Are All GoPros waterproof?
Yes, all the latest GoPro models (Hero8, Max, Hero7, Hero7, and Hero5) are waterproof without a protective case. However, the older GoPro models (Hero 2, Hero 3, Hero 4) need exterior housing. The new current models are waterproof up to depths up to 33 feet, except the GoPro Max, which is waterproof up to 16 feet. Beyond the water depth limit, all the GoPros (except the GoPro Max 360)require a protective case to increase its impermeability to 196 feet (60 meters) and 80 feet for the Hero5 Session. Unfortunately, the GoPro Max does not have a waterproof protective case in the market.
Best Way to Store GoPro Videos While on the Go
Shooting videos requires plenty of space; fortunately, GoPro gives you several options for storing your footage. Of course, the best way to save your data depends on what accessories you have on the trip and the amount of footage you want to capture. Below is a list of all the storage options you have for your hiking footage from the most convenient.
One large SD card
If you are day tripping, you can use an SD card with ample storage space. Brands like Sandisk, Corsair, and Kingston make fast and reliable SD cards with sizes up to 256GB. If you are day-tripping, you can utilize an SD card with 128GB of storage. The Sandisk SD cards are waterproof, shockproof, and can handle extreme temperatures. There are more reliable methods below for an overnight trip that will save you from running out of data storage space. It is also essential to ensure the SD card you get is compatible with your GoPro. You can check here the complete list of SD card brands that work well with GoPro cameras.
Multiple SD cards
SD cards are small and inexpensive; therefore, it doesn’t hurt to carry a few spare ones during your hike. Having several SD cards saves you the hassle of transferring footage to apps, laptops, and external hard drives. Sometimes the SD card in your GoPro can also fail and may need a replacement. Make sure your extra SD cards also have ample storage space – a 2TB SD card is bigger than a 2GB AD card.
External hard drive
An external hard drive allows you to offload data from your SD cards for storage. They are portable, come in large storage spaces, and have a faster transfer speed than regular USB drives. Most hard drives nowadays also have data recovery software that can recover your lost content if something happens to the hard drive. Although most hard drives are pretty fragile, the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt External Hard Drive is all-terrain friendly. It is shockproof and resistant to fall, dust and water. You can also transfer your content to your hard drive without a laptop; insert your SD card into an SD card adapter/reader the connect the reader to the external drive to offload the data.
Transfer data to a laptop
If your hiking trip allows, you can always transfer your content to your laptop at the end of the day and have a blank SD card to capture more footage for the following day. Luckily, you do not need an internet connection for the transfer. Instead, remove the SD card from your GoPro, insert it into your SD reader or adapter, and open and save your footage in your laptop’s memory.
Use the GoPro app
Connect the app to your camera and then save your content using the following steps.
- Download the GoPro app from Apple Store or Google Play store.
- Set up your account and log in.
- Click the white camera icon on the top-left corner of the screen.
- Tap “Add Camera”
- Turn on your GoPro camera.
- Scroll down on your camera’s screen and select “Connections.”
- Click on “Connect new device.”
- Choose “GoPro app.”
- Follow the prompts on the screen to connect your camera to your phone’s Wi-Fi network or mobile data.
- When you allow an internet connection, your footage will automatically appear on your phone and save to the cloud.
Use Auto Upload
You can subscribe to the Auto Upload feature and other GoPro’s suite of tools for $49.99 a year. This feature allows you to wireless upload content to the cloud and backup the footage directly from your camera or phone. Set up the camera to upload to the cloud by enabling it through the app. Once you enable it, the camera will automatically offload content to the cloud when you plug in your camera to a power outlet. Your files remain in the SD card until you reformat it.
How to charge your GoPro when out hiking
GoPro batteries are pretty small and can only hold a charge between 1.5-2 hours with continual video shooting in 1080p at 60fps, and no other features are on. So, there is not enough power in one battery to last as much as most users want, hence why you need to figure out your charging options when planning a hike. If you’re hiking for a couple of days, you may run all your backup batteries and have to recharge them.
Just like saving your GoPro content, your GoPro charging options depending on the technology you have on your hike. With a lack of wall outlets in the wild, you still have quite a few options. Standard GoPro models take 5V/1A while HERO7 and HERO6 take up to 5V/2A when connected to an external power source, such as a power bank, Multi-port AC USB hub, wall outlet, car charger, solar charger, etc. Below is a detailed list of options for charging your GoPro on a hike, depending on the available power source.
Use your computer’s USB port
You can plug your camera into a USB port on your computer using a standard USB cable. However, keep in mind that this method is unreliable since the laptop will run out of charge quickly unless AC powers the laptop.
Use power banks
Using power banks to charge your GoPro is most popular among outdoor enthusiasts. A power bank is a portable device that stores power for charging electronic devices when you do not have access to a standard power outlet. Connect your GoPro’s USB cable to the port on the power bank and connect it to your camera. The most significant advantage with power banks is they can charge your GoPro several times before they run out of power.
The GoPro Portable Power Pack is the most popular brand due to its pocket-sized design. However, it does not store power as it charges a GoPro up to four times. On the other hand, our personal favorite Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger packs a high 26,800mAh of power that is enough to power your GoPro about 10 to 12 times before running out.
Use a solar charger
While they take quite a long to charge any electrical device fully, solar chargers are great for off-the-grid charging. Solar chargers convert solar energy to electrical power, which you can use to charge any electronic device.
If you have a car in your hike, you can charge your GoPro using the car charger, also known as a cigarette lighter adapter. If plugging into a vehicle, it is best to use a smart charger since it can protect your camera against excessive current, overheating, and overcharging. Connect the GoPro Auto Charger into the car’s lighter port and plug your camera’s USB cable to charge two cameras simultaneously. With this auto adapter, you can also record a video or take a picture while the camera is charging.
Check this too: How Do You Carry a Camera When Backpacking?
There are several camera accessories that you can use for carrying your GoPro around during a hike. However, not all of them are necessary. Your options include head straps to give the hiker’s point of view, a shoulder mount that offers an excellent peripheral vision. In addition, you have waterproof backpacks with several camera mounts and storage space, and extension poles for selfies and broad views, and you mount your camera on trees and branches using grips and clamps. We hope our article will help you decide the best way to carry your GoPro during your next hike.