I personally don't carry a lot of camera equipment because I like to travel light and tire from the weight. I want to share with you this gem Targus Monopod I purchased one day when I forgot my tripod and was on vacation. I needed something inexpensive because I already had a fairly nice tripod at home.
We stopped at Walmart and I found this monopod pictured on the left. I use it all the time now. I keep it stowed in the floorboard of my car to the left of the driver's seat parallel to the door. This way I habitually check to make sure it's in the car when I sit down. It is 21 inches tall closed up. The monopod extends to 58 inches. Of course, I do have to hold my camera with this tool, but it helps me keep the camera still, which is the point because my new Nikon lens is too heavy to hand hold. As I am beginning to shoot birds up high, I am shopping for a sturdy tripod, but thought I would pass this photography tip. My lightweight monopod helps me get the shot!