Carrying camera/photo gear while bushwalking/hiking

Bushwalking gear and paraphernalia. Electronic gadget topics (inc. GPS, PLB, chargers) belong in the 'Techno Babble' sub-forum.
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TIP: The online Bushwalk Inventory System can help bushwalkers with a variety of bushwalk planning tasks, including: Manage which items they take bushwalking so that they do not forget anything they might need, plan meals for their walks, and automatically compile food/fuel shopping lists (lists of consumables) required to make and cook the meals for each walk. It is particularly useful for planning for groups who share food or other items, but is also useful for individual walkers.

Carrying camera/photo gear while bushwalking/hiking

Postby headwerkn » Thu 04 Jun, 2020 2:05 pm

Hi all,

After several years of leaving the DSLR gear at home and just using a phone, I'm about to plunge into a new camera purchase with the express purpose of better documenting our mountain trips. I need some ideas to figure out a way to carry it all in such a way that it's at hand at a moment's notice, yet not in the way or a liability when pushing through thick scrub or scrambling/climbing.

By 'it all' I'm referring a Micro Four Thirds system, specifically a Panasonic GX8 with 2-3 compact lenses, an external mic and a tabletop tripod. So not a massive bulk of gear to carry but definitely a bit more than a phone or compact camera.

My photo/video style is pretty well 'run and gun', which is to say we don't stop much when we're walking. Stopping, taking off a backpack, digging out gear, assembling it, taking a photo or filming a sequence then reversing the process before moving on happen. Basically my significant other doesn't like stopping (she chills quickly) so I do pretty well everything on the move ;-)

I've experimented with chest packs/rigs in the past and found them awkward and liable to damage - gear and/or myself - in the event of a trip/fall so I'm erring towards a pair of bags that can be fixed to belt straps of whatever backpack I'm wearing at the time (neither my Arcteryx Bora AR nor Salomon X-Alp 23 have sizable belt pockets).

So far I'm coming up short with low profile yet still somewhat padded/protective options. About the best thing I've found so far are the ThinkTank Photo filter bags - minus the filter pockets, of course.

Anyone got any suggestions?

Cheers, Ben.
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Re: Carrying camera/photo gear while bushwalking/hiking

Postby Aardvark » Thu 04 Jun, 2020 4:56 pm

Hi Ben,
I've been experimenting for a long time with options for the exact same purpose. Everything i tried was a series of compromises until i discovered the Bino Defender from Hunters Element. There are now two sizes. I use the smaller one. My partner has the larger one.
They are not cheap. They are very good quality. You have to ask yourself what is it worth to you to get the best option the very first time. And, how much it is worth to you to protect your gear.
I hope you check it out. I've seen nothing else like it.
Good luck
Mike
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Re: Carrying camera/photo gear while bushwalking/hiking

Postby Huntsman247 » Sun 07 Jun, 2020 11:21 pm

I've just tested my new setup for the first time this last few days. It was a completely offtrack walk with a fair bit of more serious scrambling, so got to test it out quite well. It was recommended to me here on another thread and I am pretty happy with it.
Having bags that are super protective can be as annoying as having the camera in your pack sometimes imo.
I've got probably one of the heavier cameras around atm, particularly for a mirrorless, weighing in at around 1.5kgs with the lens.
So if your going to go with just a point and shoot mft camera it will be fine.

I've attached some pics.
I'm using a peak designs capture clip v3 with a peak designs camera soft shell.
The problem is that the camera moves around a lot particularly when jumping, scrambling, ect. Especially with a heavier camera. So I've slightly modified my walking pole stow away strap on my osprey pack. Adding a tab using a paperclip and moldable rubber. Using it to secure the len and be easy to remove.
It works really well with nearly no movement at all.
If you don't have an osprey pack I'm sure you could rig up a little contraption with a bit of elastic to do the exact same thing.
I even managed to scrape up against some rock on some sketchy scrambles but the soft shell did a fantastic job of protecting the camera. But in open country you can leave the soft shell off.
I find having the lens hood also provides good protection for the lens. Anyways I'm super stoked at how well the carry system worked as you can probably tell. ImageImageImageImageImage
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Re: Carrying camera/photo gear while bushwalking/hiking

Postby crollsurf » Mon 08 Jun, 2020 4:48 pm

I carry my phone close at hand and my Camera in the pack with a tripod strapped on the side. There are a lot of excellent photographers on this site and I've only just started carrying a camera again, so take my limited experience with a grain of Salt.

Phones these days take perfectly good photos in normal conditions for social media and even for viewing on a PC. If I think there is a really good shot to be had, I'll stop and get my Camera out, look for the best composition, lighting, camera settings etc. I've fallen in love with the photographic process, plus most times, you're in a beautiful place anyway, so what's the hurry.

Everyone has their own reasons but for me, the Camera is for practicing the art of photography, stopping and mucking around is all part of the fun.
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Sometimes I swap out the 10-18mm for a Rokinin 14mm 2.8.
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Re: Carrying camera/photo gear while bushwalking/hiking

Postby headwerkn » Fri 12 Jun, 2020 2:04 pm

Aardvark wrote:Hi Ben,
Everything i tried was a series of compromises until i discovered the Bino Defender from Hunters Element. .....
They are not cheap. They are very good quality. You have to ask yourself what is it worth to you to get the best option the very first time. And, how much it is worth to you to protect your gear.


Thanks Mike. As much as I didn't want to go the chestpack route, I have to admit that looks like an awfully good option. A couple of foam dividers to organise/protect the extra lenses. And $130-$140 isn't much for a camera bag.

Speaking of pricey camera accessories, those Peak Designs clips do look worthwhile too.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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