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Weight of MF equipment in the field


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I too have had to deal with the problems of carrying MF equipment in

the field. My attempts to use an RB67 and heavy duty Bogen tripod in the mountains of Colorado, USA had me with perpetual sore

shoulder-itus until I found a solution which worked

for me (and my limited budget).




I agree that a backpack is superior to the shoulder pack and, after

rejecting the photo-specific models as mostly too expensive,

I went to a local outdoor outfitter where I found a wide variety of

packs designed to be comfortable for carrying heavy loads all day.




I found one which was large enough to carry the equipment I normally

want to have with me (including camera, extra lens, etc.) and which

fit my budget. The one I eventually picked not only had a large

main compartment but also several side pockets which were perfect

for film, filters and the like. In addition, these packs have

several straps (designed to carry sleeping bags and pads) which are

well suited to strapping on my tripod.




I then went to a place which sold foam and found a piece which was

large enough to fill the main compartment of my new pack. I carved it

down to a custom fit size and also created custom cut-outs for my





I have been quite happy with the results in that the solution is

capable, comfortable and fit my budget. Also, it didn't require a

lot of skill to make.




One last thing. The first time, I bought foam which was

designated as "open-cell". This, I found out was a euphemism for

"spounge" - not particlarly great where rain and snow can cause real

moisture problems. I subsequently went back and found that there

is a "closed-cell" type which does not absorb. It costs a little

more but is perfect for the job.




Hope this helps.




Jim Sidinger - Denver, Colorado USA

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As a user of the P67 this problem is fully appreciated by myself. I have used Tamrac packs in the past (still do on short hikes) but much prefer a good heavy duty backpack (mine is a Dana) for the extra support offered. However, I don't particularly like to have to unsling the pack and dig down to get my camera gear for each time I stop to photograph so I rigged up a system where a smaller pack (an old LowePro) rests against my chest. It hangs from the shoulder straps of the Dana and attaches to the waist belt so it would flop around. It sounds (and looks) a bit odd I suppose but works well. It has the added benefit of being a counterweight to the backpack so under heavy loads you can stand upright very comfortably. However, it is not for those who need to be able to see their feet and it does tend to make you a bit sweaty. I tried it out on a X-country ski trip early this year and it worked well enough - except when I felt over it was a bugger to get undone. So it isn't a perfect system.




After more thought the best system I can think of is to find a panel opening (as opposed to a top opening) backpack so it is easy to get to and so you can place most of the equipmant towards to base of the pack (heavy stuff at the bottom!) and carry the bare essentials out front. I have looked but I have yet to find a good heavy duty panel opening backpack, though I have seen some external frame packs that come close. Anyway, I'm still looking for the perfect solution.




The most important thing is to get a pack that transfers the weight to your hips. Well, I hope this gives you something to think about.






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To Paul :

A very good (maybe best) heavy duty backpack is the North Face "Snow Leopard". It is like a big backpack, 70 l, with top opening but it also has two lateral big zip on the two sides so that you can easily reach anything in the bag. It also has two side pocket that can be opened when you are carrying the backpack and it has a very large comfortable hip belt.

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P. Aing took the words out of my mouth (keyboard?). The North Face

people have several models which could fit depending on the size that

you want to have. That's where I found mine. Also, REI had several

as well. These are USA firms which do mailorder. I am sure that

other countries have their counterparts. I think, though, that the

type of pack which opens as described is not as common in the

"discount store" locations. If anybody has found some, they might

let others know.




Jim Sidinger - Denver, Colorado, USA

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