Build this monopod hiking staff to keep your smartphone steady and at the ready to take videos and photos on the trail —- or anywhere else.


  • Smartphone
  • 1 1⁄4″ x 48″ dowel (a cylindrical wooden pole)
  • Closet pole end caps (The caps come two to a package.)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Coping saw
  • Chisel
  • File
  • Felt
  • >Screwdriver
  • Wood glue
  • Utility knife
  • Drill
  • 1⁄4″ round-head wood screw
  • Leather strap or paracord (optional)


Step 1: Trace the width of the smartphone across the top of the dowel.

Step 2: Measure and mark 5⁄8″ down the side of the dowel.

Step 3: Use the coping saw and chisel to cut out a notch for the smartphone to slide into. After the notch is cut, the smartphone should slide in without touching the sides. If the notch is too narrow, use the file to make it wider.

Step 4: Use the screwdriver to push a small piece of felt into the notch. Test to see if the phone fits in the notch. It should be just snug enough to hold the phone in place. The phone should not be too tight or too loose. If the felt-lined notch is too narrow, remove the felt and file the notch until it is the proper width. If the notch is too wide and the phone is too loose, add a second layer of felt.

Step 5: When the phone fits properly, glue the felt in place. When the glue is dry, use the utility knife to trim the felt.

Step 6: Twist on one closet pole end cap to protect the felt-lined notch when you’re not making a video or photo.

Step 7: Twist the second closet pole end cap onto the bottom of the pole to protect the pole while hiking. Secure the bottom cap with the wood screw. Your monopod hiking staff is complete.

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