With apologies to Charles Schulz’s “Happiness is a Warm Puppy”…
Landscape photographers, and old school portrait photographers like my friend Cliff Lawson, like to use a tripod but sometimes it get’s cold out there. It was 15 degrees and snowing lightly when I got up this mornin . It gets cold in Colorado in the winter and if, like me, you don’t currently have the budget for a less chilly carbon fiber tripod, there are a few things you can make the one that you do own a bit less frigid.
First of all wear gloves; I sometimes use the fingerless models that are available in mountaineering stores but when it gets really cold, I switch for gloves with real fingers in them from specialty stores such as Eastern Mountain Sports.
Second, Warm up your tripod’s legs: A cold metal tripod will quickly drain heat from your gloved hands. One solution is to cover metal parts with duct tape from a hardware store or even better real “gaffers” tape that costs more but is easier to remove. While you’re at it, cover part of the tripod’s legs with foam pipe insulation from Lowe’s or your favorite Ace Hardware store to add another payer of protection.
A better solution to protect and warm up your tripod legs is Op/Tech’s Tripod Leg Wraps. Each leg is individually wrapped to protect the legs against damage and also gives added comfort against shoulder fatigue. It keeps those cold metal legs under wraps and away from your skin. (Remember what happened to Ralphie’s friend in A Christmas Story:)
Op/Tech’s Leg Wraps are available in 1″, 1.25″ and 1.5″ diameter leg sizes. The 17″ length can be customized to fit the user’s tripod by merely cutting the foam pads with a serrated knife. Think of ‘em as leg warmers for your tripod. They’ll make a great Christmas gift for your favorite photographer or yourself.