Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Backcountry Tripod

Having a sturdy platform to rest your rifle can make all the difference between a good shot and a miss.

When you work hard to get deep in the wilds, you don’t want to blow the shot. A backcountry tripod provides multiple points of contact with the ground, which keeps a rifle on target. It also relieves the shooter of the fatigue of holding the rifle for long periods. Tripods come in varying weights, so a non-metal build with telescoping legs balances heft and portability when you need to pack one into the woods or across the prairie. Look for heads that pan and tilt easily, and sturdy cradles that will help lock a rifle in position and on target. Then look for these three design features to keep you on target.

This head of this product clamps around a stock for maximum stability. BOG

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Shooting tripods aren’t necessarily one-size-fits-all when it comes to making a shot. Some have longer legs for shooting in a standing position, while others work for shooting while sitting or even while lying prone. Many tripods offer telescoping legs that will work for a variety of positions, but be aware that the longer the legs, the heavier and more cumbersome the tripod. If you never shoot standing, there’s no reason to carry a tripod that extends five feet.

This product has a strengthened rotating joint for smooth panning. Primos Hunting

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The yoke is the apparatus that holds the rifle, and they come in various sizes and configurations. Some lock tight with little to no play for maximum accuracy, but that makes swiveling to follow a moving target a bit more complicated. Others have rubberized ribbing in the lining of the yoke for a firm grip on rifles, and they vary widely in how much they can tilt and pan. Consider your hunting style before making a choice.

This product adjusts from 18- to 38-inches high. Primos Hunting

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A key feature of a great tripod is its ability to also accommodate optics like spotting scopes. Look for a tripod with a universal 1/4-inch threaded bolt accessory to double its utility as an optics platform.