I am not the hiking sort; it’s too hot most of the year for me to brave the outdoors here in Texas. If you do like to hike and taking a tripod with you is too bulky, you might need to check out the Twig Pod. The Twig Pod is a monopod that folds down into four short 8-inch sections and weighs about half a pound.
On one end of the Twig Pod is a ball head for mounting your small digital camera. That ball head allows the camera to swivel in any direction for photos. I would bet that the Twig Pod could hold a light camcorder too.
The other end of the Twig Pod has a spike that you stuck into the ground to allow the camera and monopod to stand upright. The total height of the Twig Pod is 25-inches. You can also use the Twig Pod in your hand to get more distance for taking self-photos. This is an interesting thing, but I would worry that it would fall over if stuck in the ground for picture taking.