Survey pole, bipod, tripod etc good suggestions and advice?

Survey pole, bipod, tripod etc good suggestions and advice? Should I be looking for standard height survey poles etc? Or with options to extend much higher? i.e. will it be “necessary” to get taller items or will most standard height ones work for cm accuracy…mostly open fields and areas… maybe some with trees and buildings…but not so much urban city or forests. Hopefully mostly good clear views to satellites.

I have a Tribrach laser optic also, but need to get these additional items.

Any suggestions for brands, models? Maybe something lighter, not heavy and bulky, but nothing non-sturdy. Would be used on both typical grass, dirt etc but also on flat objects such as flat metal roofs, and possibly slight sloped roofs. So some places may not be able to stick legs in ground for stability.

Thank you for any help! ; )

I start with your question about rover pole length:

If walking with a rover pole, then anything that is just above your head height would be good. You don’t want your head in the way of the satellite signal. Too low to the ground and the rover antenna sees more ground reflections (multipath signals) which is bad. Longer lengths can get you above foliage or above a low roof line, so they can be handy, but longer is bound to be less accurate to center on a point. Assuming it is a multi-section extension pole, it will be heavier and less stable. With too long of a length, a set of bipod legs can be useless to hold it steady, and you will have to weigh down the bipod legs or hand hold it.

My compromise was a 2.5M extendable prism pole (2-sections), with bubble level and a set of bipod legs. Although if you are doing topographic work, then you might want a fixed length pole so that the height offset is guaranteed to be the same every time. Careful with a long fixed-length pole though. It might not fit in the car very well, and it might be a pain to carry a really long pole through the bush, when you could have lowered an extendable pole to its shortest length and had far less entanglements.

Sorry, that only covers one small part of what you were asking.


Thank you so much for that VERY HELPFUL information for that part of my need… i am a newbie, so very much appreciated bide! ; )

Points well taken! Sounds like your suggestion is what I will start looking at.



Well, we use fixed length poles in 2m (two 1m Sectons) which are nice, but when we travel by plane or train this can be a bit bulky.
If you are travelling with a car it is fine (mostly), but if you have a crowded car with every seat occupied. This can be a bit of a challenge.
For that matter I have buildt myself a 4 Segment 2m Pole which can easily fit in my luggage when we travel. Honestly it is not absolutely straight but it works. Anyway, we also don’t really need cm accuracy. Most of our partners are really happy with 20-50cm accuracy. Therefore it is ok in my case… If you need a really high accuracy go with Fixed Survey Poles. These are really stiff and straight.

I have seen some prism poles which have a locking mechanism in seveal heights. I would consider this as fixed as well, but there may be some play in the telescopic tubes. Bide can maybe give more information about that. Anyway, in most cases we are talking about mm’s maybe…

I would really suggest some Bipod legs as bide mentioned as well, as it can be tricky to hold a pole straight and stable and then operate a smartphone or tablet one-handed… There is the possibility of a holder for your tablet/phone, but it’s still a bit annoying. That’s also next on my List to build…

We also use 2m mostly. In some areas we have a 5m Pole, which is really Annoying btw. ;-)… So if you have smaller shrubs and so on it should be fine around 2-2.5m. With trees it will always be a challenge.


Thank you Sebastian. Very good points about traveling that definitely needs to be taken into consideration.

I will have to get some shipping cases for traveling.

I can see why small sections or telescopic pole are ideal when traveling confined. But then u have a bipod, and bulky tripod (if surveyor style of course) and tribrach, emlids, etc. I am sure you could get by with ultra light weight camera equipment though. But I need cm accuracy.

Exactly, if you need accuracy you’ll just have to carry that stuff. BTW: There are also very stable options from photographic equipment which are pretty lightweigth and easily carry a Reach RS, but they are expensive as well… and if you need other equipment anyway it’s fine to carry it anyway.

I used a hyperspectral scanner camera ( about15kg) sucessfully on my Tripod, but that’s as far as I would go regarding vibrations and so on. It’s rated for 18kg payload as well. Just a bit more compact than the survey Tripod…

When you get the shipping cases. Be careful, if becomes oversize very quickly because of the length. I had my oversize luggage cancelled by the carrier two times last year because of strikes going on and taking smaller planes. So I needed to disassemble that stuff. On our connection from Germany to Chile (via Paris) we won’t be able to use Air France anymore as the oversize luggage doesn’t fit through the luggage doors.
Just to mention. If you really travel a lot with it, try to keep it as compact as possible…


I have a 1.85m camera monopod ($20) which works very well for the rover. I 3D printed a level bracket which is on the top section as is the bracket to hold my android tablet which runs both Reachview and MapitGIS.
Reachview is great for simple data collection tasks, but for setting out you need to be able to upload, points, lines and polygons and then go to them and set up on them. For my base I use either permanent brackets installed at reference points or a standard survey tripod, both have been covered in detail elsewhere on the forum.

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Hi guys,

The conversation was a long time ago, but now I can finally add one more suggestion. You can try the survey pole we’ve just released :tada:

Feel free to explore and order it in our online store.