Spartan Precision Ascent Tripod

By Jeff Johnston

I’m a cheapskate at heart—except when it comes to hunting. Hunting is such a passion that I’ll pay for top end gear … with one caveat: If it will help make me more successful while not over-complicating the hunt.  

Fact is, I already have more shit than I can carry. So if I buy a new piece of gear, it either has to be an upgrade to a valuable old piece that will then be discarded, or, better yet, it consolidates two or more pieces of gear into one. For example, last year I upgraded my Leica Trinovid binocular to the more expensive Geovid R that eliminates the need for a separate rangefinder and ballistic calculator. I save weight, money, and the complication of switching back and forth between them.

Another example is the Ascent Tripod from Spartan Precision

In essence it’s a camera-style tripod that adjusts and swivels to solidly support your rifle in literally any position you find yourself in. But who cares? There are plenty of tripods out there; why would I pay over a grand for such a piece of kit that I have to lug around the mountains? Here’s why: 

If I’m taking a spotting scope, that means I have to take a tripod anyway, and I’ll guarantee you the carbon-fiber-and-aluminum Ascent is lighter and stronger than any plastic POS on the market. Various magnetic attachment heads ensure that my rifle, spotting scope, camera, and binocular can be swapped out in less than a second depending on my immediate needs. What’s more, each tripod leg becomes a collapsible hiking staff with a handle, wrist strap and even a ski-pole style basket for hiking through snow. Sure, I used to make fun of buddies who used trekking poles—until I found God on a mountain goat hunt in British Columbia one night. The poles allowed me to test rocks before stepping on them and they alleviated some of the weight from my shot knees. I probably wouldn’t carry separate trekking poles because weight is a big deal to me, but when they are part of the Spartan system, they’re a damn nice bonus. 

But it’s the precision engineering and the little things that make it worth the money. For example, the tripod’s feet have rubber covers for resting on rocks, but the covers flip back to reveal metal tips for use on earth. Are the tips just any old metal? No, they’re tungsten carbide. And after a year of hunting with mine, I discovered a tool kit in its carbon-fiber neck. The entire rig weighs just over three pounds, which is nothing for such a tool.

It’s become an essential component of my western hunting gear, but I’ll tell you something else: it’s become an essential component anytime I’m hunting from a ground blind with a kid or my wife, because with the rifle locked into place, I’m much less likely to get blamed for them missing.  $1,150

Pros: multi-use, quality made, wonderful rifle rest

Cons: pricey