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Author Topic: Gear for day trekking in the Swiss Alps  (Read 4233 times)
Jack Flesher
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« on: June 18, 2005, 01:24:15 PM »
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My choice for a lightweight trekking bag is the small Lightware.  Plenty of room for a camera, thrree lenses, small tripod, jacket, lunch and personals:


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dandill
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2005, 01:03:20 PM »
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Francois, the occassion is a birthday celebration of Swiss freinds. It looks like each day would be 4--5 hours hikling, staying evenings in lodges and SAC cabins. So, not so strenuous or involved.  I had not thought to just pack lenses in pouches. Are particular packs you would suggest, particularly to accomodate my Gitzo 1348 with Arca Swiss ball head?

Jack I had not known of Ligtware and appreciated learning about their packs.

I also found the Kata GDC Rucksack 102 which might work.
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Dan Dill
francois
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2005, 04:42:04 AM »
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Dandill,
One thing you should know before choosing a backpack is wether or not you need to take a sleeping bag with you. This is important to decide upon the volume of your backpack. Swiss mountain huts range from very comfortable, fully equipped to excruciating primitive shelters.
My problem with the backpack you mention above is with the tripod attachment. It will never work for a CF 1348 tripod.

Bernard pointed out the excellent Osprey b'packs. Also worth considering are the Arc'teryx packs like the RT 35 or the RT 45.
In addition to GoLite, Dynastar, The North fac, Mammut, Karrimor also have worthwhile packs. Look for those equipped to carry skis, ice axes or snow boards. Prefer the light ones over the bombproof and heavier ones.

The most important thing is to get a comfortable pack. Even 5 hours of alpine hiking can put very unpleasant stress on your neck & shoulders, especially when you do it for a few days.
Usually I carry my tripod - a 1348 :: - like a riffle. I use a 2.5 meter climbing tubular sling.

IMHO, the Gitzo 1348 is certainly overkill for such a trip but last week I hiked to full days with mine along with a 1D body and 3 lenses. Soit can be done.Weather was so bad I only got 6 lousy photos :cool: . The 1348 can serve as a tent if you put your rain jacket on the BH...

Why don't you visit a local moutaineering store and take your gear with you (especially your tripod).

If you need more info, don't hesitate!

Francois
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Francois
francois
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2005, 05:33:38 AM »
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...The weather in the Swiss Alps can change very quickly and after more than two hours, even the most expensive "water resistant" materials will start to leak. So you might consider one of those 100% waterproof bags used in canooing to protect your gear against water. Generally, the less zippers your backpack has, the more resistant to water it will be, by the way.
Ortlieb is a good source of waterproof bags. They have the Dry Bag serie available in many sizes. My ideal choice would be a lightweight mountaineering backpack and a couple of dry bags to protect my photo gear.
Francois
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Francois
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2005, 10:32:00 AM »
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If you want a serious day or multi-day pack that serves well as a camera gear bag, then my advice is to get one that has a rear flap opening as well as the conventional top flap or tunnel opening.  I personally like the offerings from Dana Designs as they are relatively light-weight (~7-lbs) and fit my large frame well (the models are Swiftcurrent and Stillwater and I'm not even sure they're still avaialable as I've had them for years).  If you are of more normal stature, then Gregory makes a nice pack with a rear opening, but I cannot remember its name.
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francois
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2005, 05:04:52 AM »
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The Osprey packs seem impressive and according to the published specs they are light (less than 2.4kg), If the 32+5 is too small they also offer larger (and not really heavier) backpacks in the same serie. Have a look to the 36+5 and 42+5. Every model comes in 3 sizes to accomodate for your torso length.
Personally I would not choose a backpack heavier than 2.5kg for the kind of trek you plan to do.

Francois
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Francois
francois
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2005, 08:32:27 AM »
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I can confirm that the 42+5 is nice, but the opening from the rear is a bit cumbersome.
I missed that detail, sorry.

Francois
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Francois
dandill
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2005, 12:19:09 PM »
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In September I will spend a week day trekking with friends in the mountains of southern Switzerland (beginning from Blatten), and I would be grateful for recommendations on gear for comfortably carrying a Canon 10D, 70-200mm 2.8 IS USM, 24-70mm USM, and tripod, with some room left over for personal items.
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Dan Dill
francois
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2005, 11:24:18 AM »
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In September I will spend a week day trekking with friends in the mountains of southern Switzerland (beginning from Blatten), and I would be grateful for recommendations on gear for comfortably carrying a Canon 10D, 70-200mm 2.8 IS USM, 24-70mm USM, and tripod, with some room left over for personal items.
Hi,
What king of trekking do you plan to do? Your bag choice would ideally be based on how much gear (and/or food) you need to take along in addition to your camera & lenses. I generally choose a lightweight mountaineering backpack and carry my lenses protected in neoprene pouches. The tripod is always an issue but some bags have attachements for ice axes or skis. I tend to stay away from photo bags (for that kind of activities) because they're heavy. Your very reasonable gear selection can be carried in any small or medium moutain backpack.
I'm not familiar with Jack's suggestion so you may check if it fits the bill.

Happy trekking,
Francois
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Francois
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2005, 03:52:51 AM »
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I have been using various Osprey packs for backcountry skiing and trekking with camera gear.

They have one of the best suspension system on the market, have lateral foam walls for additional protection and offer many fixation options for tripods (side or central position).

Their only drawback is weight (although some models are really light too actually) and price. These are packs that you will be able to use for many years though, I would not buy one for only a one shot event to be completely honnest with you.

For lighter options will less protection check out Golite or Karimor packs.

Regards,
Bernard

p.s.: IMHO the 1348 is way overkill for trekking. A 1227 or even 11 or 10 carbon series are much better options.
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Andi
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2005, 05:00:25 AM »
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I agree with a previous poster that you will be better off staying away from photo bags. They are not only heavy, but also expensive, too small to pack other stuff and generally not sealed well enough against water and sand. Further, compared to "real" backpacks, ergonomics of photo backpacks is just aweful.

I suggest you get any good backpack and wrap your gear in cloths or buy additional padding materials (any type of foam will do, doesn't have to be the exepensive stuff from photo shops). Even if you are only hiking about 5 hours a day, water might be an issue.  The weather in the Swiss Alps can change very quickly and after more than two hours, even the most expensive "water resistant" materials will start to leak. So you might consider one of those 100% waterproof bags used in canooing to protect your gear against water. Generally, the less zippers your backpack has, the more  resistant to water it will be, by the way.

And don't forget to bring home a backpack fulll of good memories and fun, not just pictures... ;-)

Greetings from Switzerland,
Andi
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dandill
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2005, 07:35:24 AM »
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Andi, Bernard & Francois, thanks *very* much for such thoughtlful suggestions. These point me as I had hoped. Our hosts tell us we will *not* need to carry sleeping gear, which will be a help. On the Gitzo 1348, I know it is heavy for trekkiing. Maybe a lighter model, or maybe leave it behind..., but a solid tripod makes such a difference in landscape images.

Thanks very much.
Dan
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Dan Dill
francois
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2005, 10:31:47 AM »
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Dan,
If your tripod proves too heavy you can probably arrange to leave it somewhere (hotel for example) and pick it up later. I fully agree with you about the difference in landscape photography with a tripod. It also allows you to take panoramics. As a tip, when I find my tripod too heavy to carry (and don't need it immediately) I unscrew the BH and put it in my backpack, sometimes it's enough to make things easier on steep trails.

Francois
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Francois
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2005, 04:56:58 PM »
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Maybe these guys:

http://www.gregorypacks.com/searchactivity1.php?actID=12

Not sure where the Dana packs you mention are, but the site is:

http://www.danadesign.com/packs/

The Osprey I have been using for day trekking being the old version of:

http://www.ospreypacks.com/eclipse_32+5.htm

This pack also offers front opening, but is a bit too small whan you need to take all the weather gear + a large DSLR + extra zoom lens.

Regards,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2005, 04:46:42 AM »
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I can confirm that the 42+5 is nice, but the opening from the rear is a bit cumbersome.

I have used mine a few times to carry 4*5 gear on easy hikes, or the full 35 mm DSLR kit on day treks.

Regards.
Bernard
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A few images online here!
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