How to film yourself in a packraft without a drone

When I published the videos from my last backpacking trip in Lapland, I got asked several times how it was possible to film myself in the boat showing the entire boat. People first suspected a drone, but no, this wasn’t it.

Corresponding video sections to the images above on YouTube: #1, #2, #3

I used a small a 360° camera. I mounted the camera onto a trekking pole (mine allows detaching the handle, revealing a tripod thread), extended it, and attached it to the boat’s bow on top of my backpack. You can see the construction in the following image:

My packraft with mounted 360° camera
My packraft with mounted 360° camera

You can also see, that the boat is very front-heavy due to my backpack which isn’t the lightest ;-). But why can’t we see the trekking pole in the finished video? Well, the pole is exactly between the two lenses of the 360° camera and thus in a “blind angle” and removed from the stitched image. When you come home, you can freely choose the framing of the recorded spherical video.

The approach is basically a hands-free option to record documentary footage or take photos when you are on a tiny boat (or elsewhere). My camera even accepts voice commands which makes starting and stopping recording easy. The disadvantage is, however, that due to reframing you lose a lot of resolution, the stitching seam might be visible in places and perspective seems a bit distorted due to the ultrawide angle of view.

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