One of the reasons I love going on a trip is that I allow myself one new toy to take. On my latest trip to the Sea of Cortez, my pick was the Joby GorillaPod 1K; I certainly had fun coming up with ways to use it. It’s basically a fancy camera tripod, but the flexible segmented legs give it great versatility.
I oversized the legs, pairing them with a point-and-shoot rather than a larger-sized camera, and that turned out to be a good move. The pod acts as a carrying handle, so you can swing the camera into action immediately. On a hike, this meant I could shoot regularly, almost without breaking stride. It extends your arm to reach for shots (or selfies if you must) and makes panning videos of ocean scenes much easier, especially on a rolling ship.
As a tripod, the GorillaPod allows you to carry your camera between your knees in a sea kayak, or to support your camera while charging. The flexible legs are great for perching the camera on irregular rocks or from railings, using the horizon in the camera to level the picture. If you are rough with the legs, the segments will separate, as I found out, but are easy to push back together. Propping the hand-held camera stably against a wall lets you use slow exposures in low light. One thing I realized too late was to that the GorillaPod could also be used as a handle underwater. Next time.