My first suggestion would be a monopod - it doubles as a club for when you get out of line. A $1 alternative is one of these .... $1 Image Stabilizer For Any Camera - Lose The Tripod/Monopod[/url] - I find this works quite well. ...
+1 to the monopod and +1 and an "I'm going to make one of those" for the $1 alternative. (I'll do a lashing too since since I'm an Eagle Scout as well.)
I've used one of these before to get a better grip: