Mounting a Camera to a Tree

MFX-TREE-GOPRO Action IIIThis topic isn’t as strange as it sounds.  There are a lot of camera owners that would like to mount a camera to a tree.  Think hunters, wildlife enthusiasts or just for plain surveillance.  Mounting a camera to a tree is a good idea for these people.

Making an assumption your camera is waterproof, there are two popular methods for mounting a camera to a tree.  The first method is to use one or more straps wrapped around the circumference of the tree.  The second is to use a mount with a sharp screw on the end.  The second type of mount typically uses a common 1/4″ – 20 threaded screw which is common to a tripod.  Most larger hunting cameras will use the strap methodology which is can be specific to a particular brand and model of camera (although there are a few good universal mounts).

The best accessories for mounting a camera to a tree are going to include at least an inch of threaded pointed screw to insert into the tree.  It typically takes about ten minutes to get the screw all the way into the tree and you will want to ensure to use all the thread that you possibly can.  The deeper the bore, the better the hold on the camera.  Also be sure to select a mount that is going to leave enough width to fit your camera.  You want to measure the depth of the camera and compare it to the mount distance from the end of the screw pattern to be sure there’s enough distance to hold your camera.

You will want to place your camera as high as possible.  There is an unwritten rule that states that a hunter leaves the other hunter’s stuff alone and that’s typically honored but place it as high as possible to avoid potential theft.  A second reason to place it high is so that an animal doesn’t mess with it.  I remember watching a video from a hunting camera that featured a bear pawing at the camera.  Fortunately the camera was a pretty rugged one and only suffered some scratch marks on the protective case.

A popular screw type of camera mount is the Bushnell Trophy Camera Tree Mount.  Although made by Bushnell for their line of hunting cameras, it will fit virtually any camera that has the industry standard 1/4″ – 20 threaded screw hole on the bottom.  This is a longer mount than most so almost any camera will fit except for a camera that is unusually deep.  The mount features an adjustable tip that will permit the user to angle their camera for the best view.

The Pine Ridge Archery Pro-Bow-Cam Mount is a mount that uses a strap to attach to a tree trunk.  This mount includes a five-foot strap that fits most trees and features three arms with what resembles a tripod on the end capable of adjustment for the best angle.  Like the prior mount, this features the common tripod 1/4″ – 20 threaded screw that attaches to the bottom of most cameras.

An inexpensive tree mount is the Moultrie EZ Tree Mount which includes three mounts for an excellent price.  Although this is a lower end mount that is best for a smaller camera, it’s a good deal as it comes with three mounts in a package.  These are pretty easy to install.  Screw it into a tree and then use the 1/4″ – 20 threaded thumbscrew to fit through the hole on the mount and into the bottom of your camera.

The photo that accompanies this article features a GoPro mounted to a tree.  Always use the weatherproof case that comes with your GoPro because the absence of one will subject your GoPro camera to the elements and will likely damage your camera.  The problem with the weatherproof case from GoPro is that it doesn’t fit the 1/4″ – 20 threaded pattern of the mounts we discussed.  Fortunately the GoPro Tripod Adapter will take care of this issue as it converts a common tripod screw into an adapter compatible with the GoPro weatherproof case.