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Author Topic: Solution for trekking with Camera  (Read 11198 times)
peter.doerrie
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« on: May 15, 2007, 04:58:23 PM »
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Hi all,

I am going to be on a trekking tour in the High Atlas (Morocco) this Summer. My Question is this:

Does anyone know a good solution for transporting a camera while trekking? obviously I dont want to put my whole Rucksack (around 15kg) down, every time I see an image worth taking. But on the other hand, i dont want to have the camera dangle on my chest alle the time.

Thanks in advance,


Peter
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2007, 07:11:42 PM »
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Hi all,

I am going to be on a trekking tour in the High Atlas (Morocco) this Summer. My Question is this:

Does anyone know a good solution for transporting a camera while trekking? obviously I dont want to put my whole Rucksack (around 15kg) down, every time I see an image worth taking. But on the other hand, i dont want to have the camera dangle on my chest alle the time.

Thanks in advance,
Peter
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117766\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You might want to search the forum on this topic, it has been discussed a great many times.

My personnal solution is to have a compact digital camera in my pocket (currently a Ricoh GX100), and the heavy stuff (typically a Nikon D2x) in the backpack along with the tripod.

Since I personnally always use a tripod with the heavier cameras, I find that having to put the backpack down everytime (around 20 - 25 kgs typically) is actually a blessing. It allows me to slow down, get smarter at finding the really cool locations with potential, and to study a subject before commiting to a photograph.

I have identified a very strong inverse relationship between the amount of images I shoot and the amount of keepers. The more I shoot, the less keepers. Like 3 keepers in 500 images shot quick with the backpack on my back, but 10 keepers in 120 images shot slowly with the back on the ground.

But that is of course just me. Working like that requires both a good physical and mental condition. Taking the pack down for the 53rd time of the day after 10 hours walk in hard terrain can be a difficult decision to take... but I feel that trying to shoot with a 15 kg pack on your back is yet an order of magnitude harder a task. I just cannot get low with a pack on my back.

Logistics come into play though. If you don't plan your route in a smart way, it could be that you won't have the time to both cover the distance and put your pack down 40 times in a day. I typically plan my routes and schedule them taking into account at least 4 hours of picture only time (without pack on my back). That often requires to leave camp very early - just after sunrise for instance, which requires to eat before, which requires to pack etc... the night before...  That also typically forces me to walk independantly since typical tours just cannot cope with such situations.

This seemingly innocent placking question can in fact not be answered independantly from the whole philosophy underlying one's shooting style.

I am in the process of writing an article on this topic actually.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 07:18:01 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
Bobtrips
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2007, 10:55:13 PM »
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Hi all,

I am going to be on a trekking tour in the High Atlas (Morocco) this Summer. My Question is this:

Does anyone know a good solution for transporting a camera while trekking? obviously I dont want to put my whole Rucksack (around 15kg) down, every time I see an image worth taking. But on the other hand, i dont want to have the camera dangle on my chest alle the time.

Thanks in advance,
Peter
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117766\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What works for me is to use a lightweight, inexpensive "fanny pack".  I put on my backpack and then strap the fanny pack across my chest using the backpack straps.

That gets my camera up where it's easy to get to yet not bouncing around.  It also gives me a place to keep spare batteries, cards, polarizing filter....
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Ray
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2007, 05:09:48 AM »
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Does anyone know a good solution for transporting a camera while trekking?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117766\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes. This is how you do it. Yours truly is in the bottom left corner, adorned with Canon jewelry. Please ignore my lack of sartorial elegance and my very slightly overweight situation.

[attachment=2499:attachment]
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 05:14:58 AM by Ray » Logged
Bobtrips
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2007, 11:06:58 AM »
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..., i dont want to have the camera dangle on my chest alle the time.


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Two other solutions....

Someone makes a "chest harness" that keeps your camera from swinging around as you walk.

Several companies make camera "holsters" that are worn on a belt and hold a SLR w/lens.

(Spell checkers are your friend.)
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Jack Varney
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2007, 03:00:48 PM »
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Check ThinkTank's web site for items that allow easy access to equipment. They have a belt system with various sizes and types of pouches that can be rotated to the front for access as well as a backpack with a similar feature.

ThinkTank also has a chest harness for stabilizing the camera.

http://www.thinktankphoto.com/
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Jack Varney
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2007, 03:11:14 PM »
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For me, it depends on the purpose of the trek.  If I'm going hiking and want to have a camera along 'just in case', I'll carry a digicam or bring a camera with zoom in my backpack.  If I'm going out to make photographs, then my time is invested very differently.  I'll walk slower, cover less ground and focus more on what's around me.  For those times I usually carry my camera on tripod over my shoulder with accessories and other lenses, etc. in my pack.  It's slower and I have to take more care with my movements, but my purpose is not simply to cover distance.

Mike.
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
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peter.doerrie
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2007, 07:43:59 AM »
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The main reason for the trip is definitly the hiking. It is also the case, that I am not alone on the trip, but two friends are with me. They are no photographers and even though they will appreciate the photos, I dont want them keep waiting every 500 meters because I have to grap for my camera

thanks at everybody for the tips. I think I will find a good solution.
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hanhan
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2007, 12:39:21 PM »
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hello,

I trek with a ixus 40 and most of my team members use ixus (the newer versions) thus we can share chargers and batts, we sync our the time and when it come to sharing, just dump everything into iview media pro and wah la! view points from 6 or 7 person's perspective! (a sunset normally takes 15mins during our slideshow!)

I use a mamiya 7 with 65mm lens on tripod (monopod is not good for sunset and sunrise + sometime its very cold in the mountains, you will curse for the weight of tripod but when you see the trans, you will remember to bring for the next expedition, for me at least)

I print them into postcards/poster for my team members, please visit my flog at http://fotologue.jp/hanhan

thanks!

han
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Han Tan

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seangirard
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2007, 05:40:00 PM »
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The LowePro toploaders come with a chest harness. I like to use one when I hike. You look like complete dork but it is comfortable and accessible. Just keep any additional lenses, etc. in the backpack.

The one time I was in Morocco, in the cities, I just carried around an Oly OM-2 in a paper sack:)
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2007, 05:47:18 PM »
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Another recommendation for the Lowpro toploader.
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jmrsacramento
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2007, 06:05:14 PM »
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Another query for trekking options - I'll be out for 24 days.  Last year I did the fanny pack (Lowepro Orion) option with a separate day pack for water, warm clothes, etc. for two weeks in the Tibetan Himalayas. That combo was convenient, but resulted in a bad sciatic nerve issue.  I'm looking for plan b for this year.

My other question is batteries - I recently upgraded to a Nikon D200.  The battery life certainly doesn't match that of my D70.  Any suggestions for how many to take?  And then there's CF cards - NEF or compressed NEF - and back up.  

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

If the Orion doesn't do bad things for your back, it certainly worked in terms of convenience.
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CBBN
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2007, 08:45:17 PM »
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I have a similar concern for an upcoming hike across the Presidential Range in New Hampshire in August.  There won't be any climbing, and we'll be hiking hut to hut, but with a group of 14 (7 dads, 7 daughters) I can't stop the group every few minutes but want the camera ready, but protected.  Since I'll have a normal internal frame pack on my back I was thinking of a Lowe toploader (or ThinkTank) on my chest at the same time, but I'm wondering if it will obscure my view of my feet over the extremely rocky terrain.  I don't care about the geeky look... just want to protect the investment (1Ds MkII).  Can a backpack and a chest pack co-exist?

Chris
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dilip
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2007, 08:51:02 PM »
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Hi all,

I am going to be on a trekking tour in the High Atlas (Morocco) this Summer. My Question is this:

Does anyone know a good solution for transporting a camera while trekking? obviously I dont want to put my whole Rucksack (around 15kg) down, every time I see an image worth taking. But on the other hand, i dont want to have the camera dangle on my chest alle the time.

Thanks in advance,
Peter
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117766\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Please don't take this as sarcasm, but depending on the costs of the labour market, and if your trek is guided, it may be possible to hire someone to lighten everyone's load.  You will likely find that you're not the first person to look into this solution.

Often, in some places, the extra hire will serve as a cook and other assorted roles.

--dilip
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daveman
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2007, 12:51:47 AM »
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Trekking in Nepal, I used a combination of a Lowepro toploading bag with chest harness, together with a Lowepro dryzone bag on my back. Total weight for my three heavy canon lenses was about 22#. Of course in Nepal we had sherpas who carry all other things, so I just carried camera equipment. To change lenses I had to take the backpack off, which was a minor inconvenience. But changing lenses doesn't happen that often so it wasn't a big deal. In Morocco you need something good to try and keep sand out, and trekking anywhwere you also want to be prepared for rain. I liked the look of the new Lowepro single arm'd slings that allow quick access, though I have no personal experience with those. Whatever you decide on, I would try it out before you go so that you don't take something that is too much effort to carry.

Dave
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mjmccormick
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007, 01:53:25 AM »
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I would recommend you check out the MRock gear.  I have two of their camera holsters which I wear on my chest.  The camera sits quietly, ready for quick access.  The bag comes with a water protection bag inside into which you can place your camera.  They come in different sizes.  The new line just hit the market.  Definitely worth checking out.
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CBBN
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2007, 08:34:09 AM »
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After looking at the various holster type products, I've just purchased the ThinkTank Holster 40, which should be fine for the single old Nikon D1x that I'll take onto the Presidentials in New Hampshire next week (I'm not risking my Canon 1DsMkII to that weather and those rocks).  My particular challenge is that I'll have a normal internal frame backpack to wear, so the holster, along with the chest harness, should be able to ride in front so that I don't have to stop continuously to get my camera out of the pack on my back.  My worry was whether or not I'd be able to see where my feet were being placed, as the terrain is all rocky trails, but I think it can be shifted slightly left or right, or worn on a belt...  I'll report back afterwards.  I must say that the to & fro with the ThinkTank folks before the purchase was great.. they answered my questions quickly, made some suggestions, offered a liberal return policy, etc.  Their website also shows probably a dozen views of the holster so you can really see what you are buying ahead of time.  Wish me luck!
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2007, 10:26:10 AM »
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After looking at the various holster type products, I've just purchased the ThinkTank Holster 40, which should be fine for the single old Nikon D1x that I'll take onto the Presidentials in New Hampshire next week (I'm not risking my Canon 1DsMkII to that weather and those rocks).  My particular challenge is that I'll have a normal internal frame backpack to wear, so the holster, along with the chest harness, should be able to ride in front so that I don't have to stop continuously to get my camera out of the pack on my back.  My worry was whether or not I'd be able to see where my feet were being placed, as the terrain is all rocky trails, but I think it can be shifted slightly left or right, or worn on a belt...  I'll report back afterwards.  I must say that the to & fro with the ThinkTank folks before the purchase was great.. they answered my questions quickly, made some suggestions, offered a liberal return policy, etc.  Their website also shows probably a dozen views of the holster so you can really see what you are buying ahead of time.  Wish me luck!
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Sorry if this sounds obvious, but if you're traveling with a group, then can't you have a "mutual assistance pact" with some of the other people, to get each others' cameras out of backpacks?  If your camera bag is strapped on the back of your pack on the outside, *you* can't get at it easily, but someone else can...

Lisa
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