Back Country Photography Backpack?

Discussion in 'Nature' started by babaji, May 8, 2008.

  1. Hello

    This inquiry is a real shot in the dark, but here it goes. I am looking for a serious photography back
    pack, one that would allow me to do several nights backcountry backpacking. It would need to
    accommodate all the camping a photography gear, body and 3-4 lenses + tripod.

    I was at PMA in Vegas this last march, and found it, well the company who was planning on
    making it. They had a prototype at the show, it was exactly what I was looking for. I got there
    contact info at the time and have since lost it!

    It was planned for release this summer. For anyone who attended PMA there booth was right next
    to Lowepro. I have looked at the PMA floor plans and exhibitors, but no luck.

    So anyone else who may have stumbled across this pack or knows of another manufacturer who
    makes something similar, I would love to hear about it.

    Thanks, Shane
  2. For even a single night in the wild, I'd stick with a backpack made by a company that specializes in packs, not photography. An expedition-size external frame pack should be able to carry everything you need and will be much more comfortable and better for your back than most dedicated photo packs I've seen.

    Stow your photo gear, perhaps in ziplocs and socks, in accessible pockets.
  3. Not sure what format gear you're carrying, but I use a modified Kelty pack for large format:
  4. Generally speaking, dedicated photo backpacks are inappropriate for overnight backpacking trips due to two critical reasons: 1) they are very heavy when dead-empty and 2) lack of space.

    Perhaps the pack you mention is an anomaly but absent that, I would suggest a backpack that is designed for backpacking. As noted above, use articles of clothing for padding which will minimize weight/bulk since they serve double-duty as opposed to dedicated lens cases.
  5. SCL


    I always packed my camera gear into my backpack for wilderness trips of 5-14 days. Every extra ounce begins to feel like a sack of potatoes after 7-10 miles hiking with 38 lbs on my back.
  6. Do your self a real favor and your back also go to a camping and hike-ing store If you have EMS near you [Eastern Mountain Store] go look at what type of real back packs there are and you might need for this adventure of your: enjoy and have fun: Or if you have a scout troop in you town talk to the scout master and see what he use's for long hikes:
  7. I can not help you with the PMA show but I have done over night trips up to five days and with the kind of weight you are describing I would use a hiking backpack.
  8. Hey Shane,

    I did not attend the PMA show but I do know one company who makes a pack as you describe, Kata.

    Hope this helps.
  9. Shane,
    I am most focused when photographing in the Sierra Nevada high country while
    backpacking. I still use an old 1985 Lowe Backpacking internal frame pack. Of
    course today technology has changed and backpacks from companies like Gegory,
    Osprey, Dana Designs are quite amazing. So what do I do with may camera? In
    the past I have carried a bronica medium format camera wrapped in scrap fleece
    and put the lenses in fleece bags or even wool socks. I then surround this with a
    down jacket that I never wear unless I'm in camp and sitting around. Most of the
    images from my high country gallery were taken using this method
    (http// Now I have a Nikon D300 that I carry in a lowe
    pro padded camera case. I put the individual lenses in lowe pro lens cases. Again I
    just shove all of this in my pack and surround it with soft clothes. If you are really
    going to backpack, make sure that the pack you pick is comfortable and fits you.
    YOu can have all sorts of bells and whistles, yet these are not as important as
    comfort and fit. I guess that is why I still use the same backpack - its an old friend.
  10. I'd me very interested in such a backpack as well. Especially if a company is aiming for such a limited market. My goal for next summer is to do true backcountry time. I'll be getting to REI for a non-government issue backpack.

    How many days are you wanting to go backcountry? Having done 12-15 miles per day (for days on end) carrying over 60 pounds, you really want to keep the load light.
  11. 12-15 miles per day i wouldn't want to carry more than 30lb... maybe 35lb max including food for 3 days and water for the day.

    You guys are crazy even considering 60lb.
  12. I would get a padded camera block and put that into a real back pack. I use a Dakine
    sequence for day trips and move the block to my Marmot internal frame for overnight.
  13. Back right after high school I managed 11-13 miles a day with a 45lb pack including water. One of the days was 32 miles with the same weight. Of course it wasn't exactly easy (and on that last day there was 1,800ft of vertical change as well). The lighter the better, but if you are in decent shape and, not to insult any members, young enough a 40lb pack isn't really that bad. If you plan on going for sometime (more then about 3 days) you are going to require a heavy pack. My minimum pack is about 22lbs not including camera equipment, food and water. For camera equipment I carry around 5lbs for backpacking and food is about 1lb a day for 'light I don't care if I shed a few pounds' backpacking and around 1.5lbs if I'd rather eat a bit better (though still shedding a little weight). Tack on an extra 4lbs of water minimum (2 1qt water bottles) up to about 10lbs of water if springs might be infrequent and you have a lot of weight for a week long backpacking trip.
  14. I use an Osprey Aether 75 backpack for multinight adventures and carry my LF gear in a Black Diamond Bbee inside the big pack. Way better than overpriced, overly heavy photo backpacks.
  15. Hi,
    I done this a bunch and tried several different options. The best I have found is an older style Jansport external frame pack that has a top horizontal bar that loops around the front and forms a "shelf". They can be found at REI, on eBay, and from Campmor. On top of the Jansport I strap on a smaller photo pack as well as a small tripod. The Jansport is designed to carry heavy loads and the photo pack to carry my gear. My photo gear is easily accessible and any time I stop I can simply remove the photo pack and shoot. Its a better system than lugging around the big pack. Yes it is a little heavier to carry 2 packs, but you need to protect your gear anyway. I can also place this photo pack inside a kayaking/canoeing dry bag if I know heavy rain is expected.
    I have also used this with a small photo fanny pack, turned to the front, to carry a body, 2 small lenses, and a flash for quick shots.
    Hope this helps.
  16. Well, this can easily slide into a discussion on how much is too much.
    25 years ago, when my brain was still mush, I would routinely carry 50 lbs for a week at a time in a massive expedition pack. What a moron.
    Now I rarely carry more than 25 lbs for the same time in the bush. Lighter tent, lighter bag, lighter food, etc, and all in the name of :
    a) my lousy back, and
    b) more room for photo gear.

    I use a 50 litre pack, my wife a 40, and we have plenty of room for everything we need for backpacking, and enough free space to jam one of my Lowe Nova bags into the main compartment of my pack.

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