Category Archives: Tips & Tricks
As I was finishing up packing for my upcoming trip to Arkansas [I leave tomorrow morning!] I looked at my pack and thought it might be useful to snap a photo and write a quick post on it to address a common question I get… what to bring on a nature-hiking photo trip! Here is a shot of my photo backpack from my iPhone. Excuse the quality as my camera was packed and featured in the shot. :)
This is fully loaded for 5 days of shooting waterfalls and nature in the Arkansas Ozarks! So what is all that junk?
Top Row: Nikon 45mm PC-E and Nikon 85mm PC-E lenses
Middle Row: Microfiber cleaning cloth and lens cleaning items, RRS BH55 tripod head [in bag for transport, helps tripod balance better on bag], B+W 2 stop and 6 stop ND filters, B+W Circular Polarizer
Bottom Row: Compass, Remote Shutter Release, Nikon D3s w/ Nikon 24mm PC-E attached as well as RRS L-Bracket attached, spare battery
Left Side Pocket: Camelbak water pouch
Right Side Pocket: Spare memory cards, another cleaning cloth, and hex wrenches for tripod/head/plates/etc
Aside from all of that I usually throw some granola bars into the top pack. The Lowepro Pro Trekker 300 AW has an integrated rain cover that packs into the bottom and can easily be deployed if the weather gets nasty. It also features a tripod mount so I can strap the legs right to the back of the pack. The key reason I went with this pack vs a standard backpack is the harness. This pack has all the normal adjustments for shoulder/waistbelt/etc that a normal backpacking pack has which makes it very easy to adjust the load to ride better so the heavy weight doesn’t break you the first day! It is not as good as a an actual backpacking pack but there is still a bit of a product void on the market for one of those converted to have the needed compartments, etc for camera gear. I’ve seen a few try with mixed reviews.
Total weight of the pack as configured is 19.6 pounds and that is without water or snacks in it or the tripod legs attached. I’d estimate around 26 lbs with the above as the Gitzo legs are fairly light. So when deployed, ie when shooting, I drop a good 9-10 lbs + tripod out of the bag and into my hands and the bag gets significantly lighter. It’s not ideal but things add up pretty fast when you’re trying to cover a lot of areas! I will be photographing waterfalls throughout Northern Arkansas over the next week and with previous experience I decided that the 3 tilt-shift lenses would be most appropriate. Everything else listed is “supporting equipment” which I’m stuck with no matter what I take.
Hope everyone has a good weekend and I will be back next week with photos, stories, and hopefully not a sore back!