Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Archive 2013 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's
  
 
RickC34
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


I wasn't sure which forum to post this, but since I will be shooting with the D600 I figured here is the best place.

One of the questions I've always been curious about is what serious photographers do while hiking and/or backpacking?

I am taking a 3 week trip to South Africa/Namibia later this year and want to be as prepared as possible. During my trip I will be spending 5 days backpacking on the Otter Trail. http://www.footprint.co.za/otter.htm This means that I will have to carry not only all my camera gear, but my food, clothing, bedding and everything else I will need to live for 5 days/4 nights. My current gear list includes:

- D600
- 14-24 f/2.8 (friend is letting me borrow for the entire trip)
- 24/70 f/2.8
- 70/200 f/2.8 (friend is letting me borrow for the entire trip)
- TC-20E III teleconverter
- 50 1.8G
- Lightweight Tripod (still needs to be purchased)

Anyone that has done a hike of this sort, what would you suggest bringing? What, if anything do you leave behind? And how would you try to carry everything?

We will also be doing a lot of multi-hour day hikes. What type of backpacks/bags would you suggest for hikes like this knowing you will need to hold not only camera but water, jacket, etc.

Any advice would be great. Any suggestions for places to shoot in either country is also welcome.



Jan 10, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Hardcore
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


I would leave the 24-70. Bring the 14-24, 50mm 1.8 and 70-200mm with 2x tc with tripod.

I would look at the F-stop backpacks.

http://fstopgear.com/product/mountain

If those are too pricey, then I would l buy a regular hiking backpack and get an ICU off amazon. Most mountain backpacks have attachment points for ice picks/skis/etc so you could attach the tripod externally.



Jan 10, 2013 at 02:52 PM
binary visions
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


I posted this in another sub-forum:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1171639/0#11182290

I don't like photo packs for serious hiking. In my experience, they are all designed with a camera first, gear second mentality - which doesn't work comfortably on the trail. What is really needed is a gear first approach, with some minor concessions for photo equipment.

Photo packs work great for normal day hikes where your only responsibility is to carry photo gear, water, and the minor gear for the day's weather.

I'd recommend visiting an REI or similar hiking store, trying on a bunch of dedicated hiking packs of an appropriate volume, and buying the one that's the most comfortable. Then work out how you want to carry the camera equipment. A comfortable pack is going to be the difference between being happy on the trail, or being very unhappy.

I just wrapped my stuff in clean clothing and packed it so that I could access it with a minimum amount of fuss.

I agree with leaving the 24-70 at home. I brought my 18-70 to Peru and had virtually no use for it. I was using the 10-20 for landscapes, my 70-300 for wildlife, or the 50mm for low light.



Jan 10, 2013 at 03:03 PM
RRRoger
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


You seem to have a good handle on your gear list. I have all those items.
I would be tempted to bring my D800 instead with 28-300 and 50 v/1.8 lens.
However, I've been on 5-14 day hikes and would take the V1, 10-30, 30-110, and 18.5 f/1.8 instead.
Every once of weight is critical on a hike. A good pack rack can help a lot.
Of course if you have a mule or Porter, things can be a lot easier.



Jan 10, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Genes Home
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


Hi

As someone who has been hiking and backpacking since 1967, carrying a camera the whole time (in the early days with just a 50mm lens!), I'll throw in here.

1. Leave the 24-70. See if you can find a decent used 180mm telephoto and leave the 70-200. I own one and love it, but it's just do darn heavy to carry for the use you will get. Carry the 14-24 and the 50 and a lightweight tripod.

2. In my circles of "old farts" who still hike and stay out overnight there is NO ONE who carries or uses a "camera pack." All of us seem to have the same opinion.....they are designed as "camera gear bags" with all the bells and whistles to store and carry your 50 lbs of cameras stuff for a couple hours, and simply not built as expedition level backpacks to carry 60 pounds of gear for a week or more. We all have a really good expedition level backpack with an internal camera unit (ICU). If you are within a one day drive of an REI CO-OP store I would definately make the trip and seriously shop for a GOOD backpack that FITS your back and torso. Then get an appropriate ICU for your camera gear. I won't be brand specific on what you should get, as there are quite a few good ones out there............including REI, North Face, Gregory, Granite Gear, Deuter, Mammut, Kelty.

3. Find a small, inexpensive daypack that you can roll up and attach to the big pack. Use that to carry your gear for your short hikes.

4. FYI, I have an ancient Jansport D-5 external frame expedition pack and a set of Kinesis ICUs. I am not in love with the newer (3rd/4th generation/redesign) of the D5 as I find the hip suspension system is less supportive than the original that I have, but you might not feel the same way.

5. Finally, If you are going to be on the trail for a week......I would NOT buy a pack through the mail or at a general sporting goods store like Gander Mountain or Cabela's . You will end up being miserable before the first day is out. Go to a true outdoor store that has a sales staff that can fit a pack to your torso and build.

Gene



Jan 10, 2013 at 03:32 PM
camboman
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


Of course, your gear choices depend on what you like to shoot. If it were me, and since every gram of weight will add up, I'd bring just the d600, 24-70 and tripod on the five day backpack. I have taken backpacking trips where I carried too much gear, and it was horrible-I couldn't enjoy the trip. I have learned that either one do-it-all zoom, or 2 compact primes is all I need on a backpack.

I'd bring your other camera gear to SA as well, but leave it in the hotel's safe while on the hike.



Jan 10, 2013 at 03:38 PM
pbraymond
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


I think you need to evaluate which focal lengths line up with your vision better. 24mm is typically plenty wide for me other than when shooting indoors, but that is my style. If you are a really wide angle shooter then I agree with the recommendations to leave the 24-70 behind.

The trail seems somewhat long, not sure how much time you'll have to shoot. If possible, I would suggest a couple of different makeups, though it would cost $$$ since it's not what you have ready access to, but definitely save on weight.

Firstly, a micro 4/3 setup. You could have a huge focal length covered for less than the weight of just the 14-24, and have all the lenses readily available as you are hiking. Just a theoretical recommendation as I have no first hand experience with m43.

On the Nikon front, with a D600, I can think of many scenarios, but weight is always a concern, so here's my one suggestion from among many - D600, 24-85AFS, 70-300VR, 50f1.8. If your style involves a lot of really wides then the 14-24 in place of the 24-85. If you want to have a wider than 24 option just in case, maybe a used 20mm lens could be that "just in case" lens.

As for packs, the suggestions for a real hiking backpack, and working a gear storage solution into that is sound advice, but needs to be balanced against how often you'll want to stop and access or change photo gear. As for dedicated photo packs, I can personally recommend F-stop, though I have only used the Loka for long day hikes.



Jan 10, 2013 at 03:53 PM
SweetMk
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


The OP says he is going for a hike. The operative word here is HIKE

In my opinion, I would bring a 50mm f1.8 lens, and enjoy the hike!

Need a different focal length, zoom with your feet! (Yea, I know Ken Rockwell probably has that concept copyrighted!! )

I took a Nikon F3 through Epcot in Florida, I took one lens, no regrets.

Extra lens' for me are only used when shooting out of the trunk of my car. KISS!!

JMHO



Jan 10, 2013 at 04:14 PM
binary visions
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


There's certainly some wisdom to the above... but it's a distinct personal choice. Last year's hike in Peru was partly a hike, but it was also partly a trip for photography.

Also, it's a little disingenuous to suggest that you can always zoom with your feet. It's one thing if you're taking a picture of a person and you need to back up 10 steps. It's something else entirely if you're trying to capture, say, a lake and "zooming with your feet" entails hiking mile(s) in another direction and likely not being able to choose your perspective at all.



Jan 10, 2013 at 04:20 PM
turnert
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


When I backpack or trek, which includes loads of 50 pounds or more in a 75 liter or larger pack and ascents up to 19,000 feet elevation, I keep it simple. I carry one of my smaller non-pro bodies (D700 or D200) and a mid-range zoom (18-70mm on the D200 and 24-70mm on the D700).

I will also bring one more small and fast lens, like a 50mm. Sometimes I like the effect of my fisheyes (e.g., 10.5mm) for landscape shots. I do not bring my 70-200mm, as much as I would like to have it. So I either forego the tele zoom or I bring my old and trusty 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E Nikkor. It's light and small and the images look great to me. It's a beater and perfect tele for fully loaded backpacking.

Regarding packs, I don't want to drop and remount a heavy pack to access a camera, so I keep my gear in a LowePro top loader that hangs in front of me.

Good luck and have fun.

~Ted



Jan 10, 2013 at 05:36 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



jhinkey
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


Yes, many good suggestions, one not so much.

Here's what I would do -
- Use a real backpacking backpack as none of the "photo" packs are worth anything for real multi-day backpacking
- Really evaluate if you need f/2.8 glass.
- Try to take some G primes if you can to save some weight
- As suggested by others try to use some kind of chest/front camera bag. It will do two things: (1) allow access to your gear w/o taking off your pack and (2) counter-balance your heavy backpack. I have used a Mountainsmith lumbar pack (with photo insert) either wrapped around my torso or attached to my backpack straps.
- Take a CF tripod + head of the most minimal size you think you can get away with
- Put all my misc. stuff in a nylon ditty bag: Filters, step-up rings, remote release, lens and sensor cleaning supplies, etc.

Here's what I've taken on a multi-day mountaineering trip in the past:
- D700
- 16/3.5 Fisheye
- 20/2.8D
- 50/1.8G
- 105/2.5 AIS
- 200/4 AIS

See here: http://hinkey.zenfolio.com/p693615588

If I were to do what you are doing today:
- 16mm fisheye
- 17-35/2.8 or 16-35/4
- 50/1.8G
- 80/1.8G
- 70-200/4 AFS + TC14E (OR a 200mm-ish light weight prime)

And, as always, practice packing this stuff at least a week ahead of time to make sure it all fits and works the way you want.

Good luck, be safe, and have fun (gosh I sound like and old geezer!)

John



Jan 10, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Jorge Torralba
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


Ok,

I laugh when people say take this long lens and that long lens and a tripod etc ...

I do multi day backpacks in the mountains of Washington state and Oregon and can tell you first hand that the thing you hate the most after the first few miles of climbing up rough terrain is going to be your camera gear. However, if you have a Sherpa that is a different story. Having said that, if you have an easy hike and you will be camping in one place for your duration, then try and take the dslr and all of its lenses. If you plan on a lot of walking, DO NOT FOOL YOURSELF into some romantic notion of having your SLR gear unless you have a Sherpa. Get yourself an Nex 7 and some good glass or an Ex1 or even the new RX1 and be done with it. Again, if this is truly a backpack trip listen to someone that does this often. You do NOT want to carry the DSLRand friends. Don't let anyone talk you into it. You will be cursing it for 5 days.

Needless to say, the best thing to have is a good backpack that is properly fitted. That will be more important than your cameras. Look at Gregory packs. they are very good. Of course don't forget the 10 essentials. But n your neck of the woods, those 10 essential will include a way to outrun the wildlife



Jan 10, 2013 at 09:04 PM
anthonysemone
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


Let me hop on the bandwagon: if you are backpacking your way through the boondocks requiring you to carry all your basic sustenance, i.e., food, water, fuel, medical, clothing changes for rain or shine or in between, AND you want to take a crap pot full of camera gear, as Jorge has suggested, you're gonna need a Sherpa. Spend your bucks on a high quality backpack - others have already named several quality makers and get an ICU.

What kind of pictures are you hoping to take? NatGeo? Getty? Well, if so, pay the money for a Sherpa, or go on a guided tour where you've got two or three sag wagons, or equipment humpers. If your picture taking goals are more modest, there's a helluva lot of light gear out there that takes damn high quality photos, as I'm sure you know. Just my .02$



Jan 10, 2013 at 09:34 PM
PeaktoPeek
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


Wow, that's a lot of heavy gear. The trail itself doesn't cross any mountain ranges, but still, lugging all that would still be a drag. I use a similar set up that has been mentioned, with a chest pack and a real backpack with a smaller daypack lashed to the big one. The last time I packed for a trip of ~5 days of self subsistence I brought only a FF body and a wide zoom -- there just wasn't enough room for much else. Given the scenery you'll be hiking through, something like the D600 with a 16-35 in a chest pouch and then your 50 1.8 and maybe a small tele. I have the 85 1.8G and its pretty light. With the seascapes I would think a tripod would be a must to make sure your horizons are level. If you are into sea birds I could see bringing a longer lens, but you'd have to really think about it. As far as other gear, freezed dried food is your friend Also I would get a Steripen as well as another means to filter water. If I were going on this trip I'd want to bring the best gear I could carry even if it meant leaving a long zoom at home.
Paul



Jan 10, 2013 at 11:15 PM
RickC34
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


All,

I really appreciate all of the suggestions, hints and tips. I will certainly be taking all of the gear with me to S.A. Much of the time there I will have a car, and will be doing the multi-hour day trips so I will be able to chose some or all of the lenses I may want prior to heading out for the hike....or should I say 5 day photography adventure.

As for a packs, I currently have a 65L Osprey and a 35L Osprey. I love both of them and have used them both for multi-day hikes. The problem with both bags is that they are top loading, with minimal access to the inside of the pack from the front, so I'm not quite sure how I would incorporate an ICU with either bag.

I agree with the people above about the Sherpa suggestion. I had Sherpa's and porters during a trek to Everest Base Camp last year and it was great. Only had to carry a small daypack with extra clothes, water and camera gear. Unfortunately that is not an option for this trail.

Another question I have is about weather. This trail is notorious for it's rain. I've read that the D600 is weather sealed, but am not exactly sure what that means when it comes to rain. Can I still shoot while it's raining/drizzling? Is there some sort of cover that could be used? Or should I just put everything away and wait for the sun to come out?



Jan 11, 2013 at 12:00 AM
RRRoger
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


As for rain, I think the D600 can handle it,
but the pictures usually come out lousy anyway,
so I would tend to wait for the breaks
or at least shoot from shelter, even a tree.



Jan 11, 2013 at 12:11 AM
hijazist
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


A lot of great advice with regards to packing solutions. I recommend evaluating the location in terms of which type of photos you'll be taking the most. I've never been to the Otter trail but it seems from the pictures that it will mostly be landscape (rivers, sunsets, mountains, etc...). This means you definitely need the 14-24 and a tripod. The 50 1.8G will be useful for low light and it's very light weight. Finally, I recommend a 28-105 as a walk around and for everything else including macro which you might need, it's also very cheap, very sharp and light weight.

Finally, since your main subjects will be water and skies, I recommend bringing a couple of filters matching one of your lenses or all of them (Stopper, Polarizer and GND...)

Now if it was me, I would just bring my RX100 and enjoy the trail

Good luck and have fun!



Jan 11, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Jorge Torralba
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


RickC34 wrote:
All,

I will certainly be taking all of the gear with me to S.A. Much of the time there I will have a car, and will be doing the multi-hour day trips so I will be able to chose some or all of the lenses I may want prior to heading out for the hike....or should I say 5 day photography adventure.


Keep in mind if there is a car involved then others can get to where your trail head is as well. A car at a trail head for a thief is like hitting the jackpot especially if you leave some of your gear in there. Yet anther reason to consider scaling down on your gear for the trip.

Wish I could go. Sounds exciting!



Jan 11, 2013 at 12:26 AM
jhinkey
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


Jorge Torralba wrote:
Keep in mind if there is a car involved then others can get to where your trail head is as well. A car at a trail head for a thief is like hitting the jackpot especially if you leave some of your gear in there. Yet anther reason to consider scaling down on your gear for the trip.

Wish I could go. Sounds exciting!


+1 I never leave anything of value at the trail head.



Jan 11, 2013 at 04:42 PM
binary visions
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Hiking/Backpacking with DSLR's


I used my top-loading Osprey pack. I think accessibility when hiking is generally a little overrated. You're hiking - do you really need to be able to whip out a plethora of lenses on a moment's notice? I think it's more likely that you'll have maybe two lenses that you regularly swap between.

I would probably leave the 70-200 at the hotel during the multi-day trip. Something like a 70-300 would serve you a lot better in terms of weight.

For accessibility, I found that I'd spend most of my time with one lens on my camera anyway, and the other frequently accessed lens (in my case, the 70-300) I put into one of my water bottle pouches on the side of the pack. I don't know if your pack has it as well, but mine has a secondary access near the bottom. This is all without an ICU.

My D300 is weather sealed and I have shot numerous times in the rain. Usually the limiting factor for me is, in heavy rain, you can't keep the front element of the lens dry. It's been rained on, snowed on, and iced on... so far no problems. Knock on wood. I keep it as dry as I can when not shooting.



Jan 11, 2013 at 04:54 PM
1
       2       end




FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password