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Author Topic: How do you carry your camera when hiking?  (Read 9182 times)
katsucurry
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« on: January 03, 2009, 06:55:11 PM »
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Hi folks,

I was wondering how most of you carry your camera when hiking.
I'm asking this as I was thinking about getting a backpack and some are sling type(FastPack, Slingbag, Velocity, PrimusAW, etc) but
the others are not the sling type and to get the camera out, I think one will need to take the backpack off and then open the zipper then get it out.

If people normally carry it with a neckstrap during hiking, then it makes sense to carry a backpack without the sling feature.
But, then without some kind of neoprene cover or something, the camera will collect dust from walking, I believe.
If you are those who carry your camera while hiking, can you give me any good tips?

If you are one of those who use a sling type of bag/backpack, let me know what you suggest!

Thanks a bunch.


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dalethorn
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 07:30:49 PM »
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When carrying an SLR-size camera, I always use a shoulder strap when the camera is not in the bag.  That means one shoulder strap for the camera and one for the bag.  I get straps that have a good gripper in the middle so they don't slip off of the shoulder.  I can't stand to have anything around my neck, except for my Sennheiser PX-100 headphones, which are very handy for playing back videos on-the-go.

The way I feel about dust is - I get panicked if I think dust is going to get into my camera.  So it either goes back into the bag when dust is constantly around, or under a shirt etc. when an occasional dust cloud blows by.  The biggest problem I've had with dust is shooting low to the ground when there's a breeze blowing.  If the breeze is to my back, I can block the dust pretty well, but the other direction is a problem.

Dust is enough of a problem for sensors, but if you wipe your lens sometime and don't notice a bit of transparent particle on it - a small grain of sand or whatever - you could scratch the lens, or at least compromise the coating.
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new_haven
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2009, 08:19:17 PM »
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I carry my camera in a lowepro toploader 65 aw that attaches to a deuter futura pro 42 backpack using a kinesis pouch to generic pack adapter. This systems keeps the camera stable and protected in front with other hiking and camera stuff in back.

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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2009, 09:13:59 PM »
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I don't really care for the slingbag much.  If I'm really hiking I have a kata backpack that I use.  If I have the camera out a lot I will clip it to the shoulder straps.  (Just use a carabiner through the neck strap.)  But generally I like the kata because it is easy to slip on and off.  So getting the camera in and out of it isn't too much of an issue.
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Adam Schallau
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2009, 11:39:32 PM »
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When hiking I tend to keep my camera in a photo backpack for protection. I'm often hiking in rugged terrain and I would prefer to have my hands free encase I trip and fall. I'm afraid that if the camera was around my neck and I began to fall I would worry about protecting the camera and end up hurting myself.

I would avoid a sling style bag for hiking and instead look for a backpack. I have both the Lowepro Slingshot 200 and the Lowepro Flipside 300. The Slingshot is a great bag for quick access when walking around town, but I feel that the Flipside wins when it comes to hiking since it will support a small tripod and water bottle. If you are looking for something with more space than the Flipside, I can also recommend the Lowepro Vertex 200 photo backpack.
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Adam Schallau
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2009, 12:53:49 AM »
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Quote from: katsucurry
Hi folks,

I was wondering how most of you carry your camera when hiking.
I'm asking this as I was thinking about getting a backpack and some are sling type(FastPack, Slingbag, Velocity, PrimusAW, etc) but
the others are not the sling type and to get the camera out, I think one will need to take the backpack off and then open the zipper then get it out.

If people normally carry it with a neckstrap during hiking, then it makes sense to carry a backpack without the sling feature.
But, then without some kind of neoprene cover or something, the camera will collect dust from walking, I believe.
If you are those who carry your camera while hiking, can you give me any good tips?

If you are one of those who use a sling type of bag/backpack, let me know what you suggest!

Thanks a bunch.

The key is minimising your equipment - I went hiking yesterday - D3, 20mm no bag at all

I use the neck strap but - NOT AROUND THE KNECK - I sure this is really bad for you - horrible if a mugger grabs the camera (not likely on rural hiking !)

Use the strap longest setting  and put it over the body so the strap is sitting on your right shoulder while the camera is uner your left arm (or the reverse of this)

If you can cut down to two lenses - and you should be able to - you could get a lowe pro style lens case for the larger lens and put that on a strap too and put that on your left should sitting under your right arm - dont be scared of putting the smaller lens in the larger case while the larger lens is on the camera

Dont worry about dust - your camera is your slave - you must not become its slave - if it is a DSLR your craving for more megapixels or something will render it obsolete long before dust does

Rain ? - put the camera/lens under your coat

Keep a dustbin sack in your coat pocket and put the whole lot in if there is a rain storm or loads of dust or you need to wade a river (!) - more waterproof than any rucksack

Still feeling the need for a bag ? get a billingham or domke (if they still make them)  not a rucksack

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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bill t.
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2009, 02:11:48 AM »
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Always carry a couple 10 or 13 gallon, sturdy trash bags crumpled up inside your gear somewhere.  They should be not be too hard to reach.  You can then laugh at rain and wind driven dirt, or at least your camera can.  Some small bungee straps or big rubber bands can secure the bag nicely at the tripod neck.

Long ago I had a rather wide,  upside-down "U" shoulder support clamped to a tripod leg that made it not too agonizing to carry a camera mounted on a tripod for quite a few miles.  Adjust the legs in or out for balance, rotate the camera pan for neutral rotational balance.  Sounds crazy but it was actually a step up from the slow torture of a strap around the neck.  The tripod was sometimes useful as a walking stick and bears and lions always gave me plenty of room.
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2009, 02:25:54 AM »
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I use a modified Kelty backpack from Photobackpacker: http://www.photobackpacker.com/images/P1/p1d.html
Inside the backpack is a backer board where I attach my home made lens and camera cases with velcro band. It'a a fine solution for hiking.
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larryg
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2009, 01:55:57 PM »
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For short hikes (at least shooting along the way)  I sometimes  leave on tripod and carry on my shoulder.

For rough terrain or longer hikes I always pack everything in the backpack  (safer and a lot more comfortable to carry)

For any hikes of any length I would not consider using a neckstrap (this would be very uncomfortable for weight and as you walk the camera would tend to swing back and forth forcing you to hold it still with one hand)

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JDClements
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2009, 02:57:11 PM »
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I mostly use the Lowepro Slingshot 200, and swear by it, but only for carrying the camera with one lens (plus the usual bits and pieces). This bag is not only excellent for quick access, it also acts like a table when it is in the front access position, which is great for applying filters, keeping the lens cap safe, etc. In the winter, I can place my mitts between the bag and my chest, keeping them out of the snow while I work.

I also have the Lowepro Flipside for when I want to carry more lenses and a tripod. This one works like a table, too, but you can't keep it out front for too long, because it hangs off your waist by a very narrow strap. It is also not quite as quick to access as the Slingshot, but still pretty good.

I would never dream of having a camera loose on my body (around the neck, or shoulder) when scrambling around on hills, rocks, etc.

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Justan
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2009, 03:32:24 PM »
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I tie the camera’s neck strap in big loose knots, leaving about a 4” loop at the end. I connect this loop to my backpack, high on the shoulder strap with a D ring. This puts the camera body more or less over my heart. In addition, I use a small bungee cord looped through the camera strap and secured below the camera, lower on the shoulder strap. Due to the bungee cord, the camera doesn’t bounce much and the camera can be freed from it’s hangers in a few seconds. When it’s raining I keep a big baggie over the camera or put it in the pack.

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pete_truman
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 04:03:56 PM »
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If the camera is in the bag you cannot take pictures with it! Irrespective of type of bag it takes time to get it out and you may either miss the picture or just move on without bothering. I carry my camera in my hand with the neckstrap wrapped around my wrist or sling it over my shoulder when walking. It does go into the bag (hiking rucksack, not specifically a camera bag) when I'm scrambling up or down rocks and need to have both hands available at all times to ensure I can move safely.

As far as dust is concerned, if there's much dust blowing about then it may get into the camera so being sensible is advisable. It's changing lenses that creates the biggest problem and so easy for dust to get inside the camera while open, so don't do it on a windy day on a sandy beach... Most modern DSLRs do have dust prevention features built in, but this doesn't mean they are immune to dust and are not an excuse for sensible precautions. But do not wrap the camera up in bubble wrap - use it.

I also tend to keep the camera out of the bag in rain or snow. With my 5D I kept wiping it down to get the puddles off it but with the 1Ds I just let it get wet and so far hasn't caused any problems at all. This approach is probably not recommended as without adequate sealing in both the camera and lens there is a chance that moisture will get inside (the Canon 1Ds has weather seals, many Canon L lenses have, the old 5D doesn't, the new 5D Mk II has some sealing probably enough for a shower but not a dunking, don't really know about other makes).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2009, 04:04:27 PM by pete_truman » Logged

Pete Truman
katsucurry
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2009, 03:14:24 AM »
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Hi folks! Thanks so much for the very informative postings!

I need to go to bed so this will be short but I greatly appreciate all the postings!

Good night/morning!
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Plekto
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2009, 01:14:12 PM »
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IIRC, there is a walking stick with a tripod head on top.

(searches for a bit)
Check out the Manfrotto 680B.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 01:17:56 PM by Plekto » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2009, 05:08:11 PM »
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There are indeed several walking sticks with tripod screw at the top. Adding a small, lightweight ball head adds a lot of flexibility.

I use two other solutions:

I have a big Kelty, external-frame back pack that is almost forty years old. The shoulder straps attach by screws to the top-most frame cross member, and there are extra holes so you can set the straps to the width you prefer. I stuck a pair of 2"-long stainless machine screws up through two of the extra holes and fastened them in place with two nuts. Now I can hang the camera's neckstrap on one or both of the screws, and the frame takes the entire weight of the camera. Nothing is hanging from my neck, but I still have the camera ready in front of me whenever I want to take a picture. Back in film days I often carried two Pentaxes that way on long hikes, one for color and one for black-and-white. The pack frame also adds some stability when the neck strap is held taught, so it's almost like having image stabilization.

These days I am more likely to carry just a day pack. BUt the one I use now (a North Face pack) has D-rings high on the shoulder straps, and I have added D-rings to the strap of my 5D. I attach the neck strap to the day pack with a pair of carabiners. This again keeps the camera in front of me, ready to use, but the weight is carried by my shoulders insead of my neck.

With a camera hanging directly from my neck I'm generally wiped out after a mile. With either of the above setups I can go for many miles in perfect comfort. I prefer either of these to the monopod (or tripod) setup for longish hikes.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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bretedge
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2009, 11:30:13 PM »
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I like having immediate access to my camera while hiking.  I shoot a lot of adventure photography and those spontaneous photos are almost always the best.  To that end, I carry my camera w/ the 24-105mm lens attached in a Lowepro Topload Zoom chest back.  This pack also holds the filters I use, my remote shutter release and a couple other small gadgets.  It may take a couple weeks to get used to but once you do, you'll never carry your camera any other way.
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katsucurry
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2009, 02:13:25 AM »
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Thank you to every one of you for the excellent tips!  I 'll start looking for bags and monopod/tripod but until I know what I really need, I don't think I'll invest in a tripod but get a trekking monopod. Topload Zoom sounds like a good idea as well as long as the gears I carry is small.

Thank you guys!
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2009, 07:35:51 AM »
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Quote from: bretedge
I like having immediate access to my camera while hiking.  I shoot a lot of adventure photography and those spontaneous photos are almost always the best.  To that end, I carry my camera w/ the 24-105mm lens attached in a Lowepro Topload Zoom chest back.
I too really need to have the camera at hand...

My 2 solutions :
1 for normal hiking with a not-too-huge backpack (15l or 35l usually), a LowePro OffTrail beltpack holds the camera plus 2 lenses. I've got the OffTrail1, but the OffTrail2 is to be preferred : more space and moreover small accessory pockets which really lack in the OffTrail1 (OffTrail2 is heavier though). It's just right in front of you, and quite protected if you fall (more than with a chest pocket I'd think). I got free hands if I need to do a bit of climbing.
2 for backcountry skiing, the OffTrail interferes with my ski backpack (Deuter 30l with ABS) and I don't want to take as much photo gear, so I simply take the camera with its 10-22 lens in a topload-style pouch on the backpack belt. I still can can take a second lens in one of the lens pouches of the offtrail, on the other side of the belt (but seldom do so as swapping lenses with gloves on is not as practical).

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Nicolas from Grenoble
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tomnash
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2009, 11:39:06 AM »
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One little idea to add -- I also use a Lowe Flipside for day hikes. It is cheap and amazingly convenient for small amounts of equipment. For longer hikes I have a bigger daypack or overnight backpack.

The key point is all have waist straps. And I am one of those who wants the camera out as much as possible to catch fleeting images. With the camera hung around your neck, it is possible to cinch the waist strap just above the camera to keep it from flopping around. This works even with long lenses. The camera can be instantly pulled up into shooting position by releasing the waist strap.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 11:40:21 AM by tomnash » Logged
spidermike
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2009, 04:07:51 AM »
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If you are talking about day walks with no supplies (spare clothes, water, food) then I use a LowePro Slinghshot 200. But then I tend to go lighweight on the camera front when on day walks.


But more gear will probably need a more traditional backpack. When trekking in Asia with a full backpack, and if the weather was fine I used to put the neck strap round my neck with the camera hanging in front of me then pass both arms through the neckstrap. This sounds weird but the neckstrap was then resting on the straps of the backpack that hold it to the shoulder harness and took the weight of the camera off my neck. The camera hung down in front of me but it did not swing around as I walked because of the wide path the strap took from behind me and round my chest to the front.
I found that if I slung the camera over one shoulder (or simply round my neck) it tended to swing around and bump into rocks as I bent, twisted and turned round obstacles. And the camera was ready to bring up in an instant to take a picture.

When it was raining, I also tried this with the camera in a pouch but it was less comfortable because of the width of the shoulderstraps on those things, so I often used it over one shoulder as intended.  


Some packs have 'D' rings on the shoulder harness and you can use 2 short straps with snaphooks to fasten you camera into these.

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