Here are three things to consider when selecting a tripod for outdoor shooting.

1) Spiked Feet. You will probably end up shooting in loose dirt, rocks, or uneven ground, and you’ll need the sharp spikes to secure the tripod.

2) Load. Chances are you’ll end up using big lenses for capturing wildlife, so your tripod needs to be able to support your heaviest camera and lens. It’s also a good idea to make sure that it can support at least 30% of capacity for future upgrades.

3) Leveling. Especially important if you are shooting panoramas. Look for a tripod with a large and easy to read bubble level (also called a spirit level).

—Kathleen Davis
Assistant Editor