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Backpacking and camera gear or trying to solve a problem

As the days are getting shorter and shorter up here, I use the time to plan next years phototrips. I have some plans to maybe explore the south west coast of England and also planning a little hike in the border area between Finland, Norway and Sweden during the next summer.

While the when and where and how-to get there is one issue, the how-to carry the gear will be another issue.
Since the pupose of these is trips is to take pictures, I can’t leave any of my gear at home, besides the flash maybe. This sums up to this:

  • 5d
  • 17-40
  • 24-105
  • 70-200
  • Lee Filtersystem
  • Tripod
  • Remote Release and other small things

So this is what has to go, plus of course clothing and other necessary things for the trip to England and additionally food and sleeping bag for the trip to Lapland.
The trips will be most likely to be organized such that, at least in England, I’m going to travel/hike during the day time and find a spot (hotel or whatever) to stay for the night as a “base” and then go out shooting. Same idea I have in mind for the Lapland trip.
So using the backpack also as camera bag seems to be unreasonable, because that way I would need to carry around the whole bag when I go shooting. But carrying two bags doesn’t seem to be wisest of all ideas either.
Another side effect would be that I have to check in the whole bag, including the camera gear, at the airport. This thought alone makes me shiver.

How to solve this problem?

If any of you has a better idea you’re welcome to leave me a comment or drop me an email, but my plan is to get me a real good hiking backpack which is big enough to fit the MiniTrekker into it. This way I should be able to get some clothing and so on into the bottom of the back and the camera on top. When I then fly or go out shooting on location I simply can take out the MiniTrekker and go on lightweight.
I also considered packing the gear into lens-pouches etc., which would make it a lot easier, but then again I would need to carry the whole bag around when I go shooting, or take another one with me to carry the gear to location.
I know that there are some camera bags, which have a camera compartment and another one for other stuff, such as the Primus AW, which is one of the many bags that I own, but at least that one is too small for a longer trip like this.
For the time being I will stick to my plan using two bags, knowing that’s it’s not going to be the wisest one, but maybe someone of you has experience with that or some ideas, then you’re more than welcome to share it in the comments.
I will keep you posted about the progress and maybe post a little video, once I figured out how to do that.

By Sven Seebeck

I make music, take pictures, write and apparently collect text-editors and bags.

2 replies on “Backpacking and camera gear or trying to solve a problem”

hi sven,
I traveled to southeast Australia, especial Tasmania this year and still had the same problem. My experiences are, that the two-bag-strategy is the best one. I used a model like the Adventure 10 backpack from Tamrac. There I had an additional part for my daily and important things and a safely part for my photo equipment. Well, I hadn't such a lot stuff like you, I bought this journey lense before (tamron 18-250mm) which is terrible and not comparable with you're L's, yes, but saved me a lot of place and weight. And with an additional backpack you have all the times your precious stuff with you, also on the plane.

Thanks a lot Olli. It's good to hear. I can't think of any other possibility either. I will look for a backpack which will fit the Mini-Trekker. After all, it's not so much bigger than all my gear together. Maybe I will just leave an extra pair of pants at home ;-)
I also considered to take only one lens with me, but I really don't want to travel all the way, just to realize that I should have taken the other lens.