Nepal trip - Tiji festival

Started May 28, 2010 | Discussions thread
aikiburner
New MemberPosts: 13
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Re: More photos - Nepal
In reply to twan, Jun 6, 2010

twan wrote:

Great pictures! I was a great trip I think.

Thanks - the trip is well up there on my list of amazing life experiences!

Did you travelled alone or in a group and did you felt save all the time with this great gear?

I travelled in a small group. There were 7 of us, 4 of whom were over 60. We had 11 supporting us - sherpas, porters, chefs etc including our guide, who was wonderful, and there were ponies to help my older friends with some of the hills. I have to say that given where we were, it was as comfortable as it could be and looking back it is great that age didn't prevent people from experiencing such an amazing, remote environment. We met others who were trekking at the other end of the spectrum - eg a couple with simply a guide who were relying fully on the local tea/guest houses.

Before leaving I was a little concerned re the security of my gear. I made sure I had itemised all lenses and the body on my home contents insurance policy; I also tried to ensure I had adequate travel insurance coverage. The guide books advise you to keep your valuables with you - as it happens I got to the point where I was leaving some of my gear in the tent for hours on end. Maybe I was lucky... although none of my friends had any problems either. I certainly never felt any physical threat, either in Kathmandu or in the remote regions.

You wrote, you took the camera into a normal 32 litre daypack. This is what I also want to do but this you used stuff like a holster and lenscase? If yes, can you tell us what brand and type you've used for the camera and lenses?

I spent a lot of time exploring various options for carrying my gear. I wanted easy access to my camera gear and I wanted it to be secure and I was concerned that a back pack was really neither of these. As I thought more and more about this, however, I realised that my main requirements were (i) that the bag needed to comfortable enough to wear for 6-8 hours a day, (ii) it needed to be able to accommodate a 2 litre pack of water and sundry gear like a rain jacket, and (iii) it needed to be light. In spite of a lot of web research and walking around I struggled to find anything that addressed all my requirements. I have a great Kata backpack, but it will only hold camera gear. The other gear I looked at, made by Lowepro and others, appeared to be camera gear first and foremost, and I wasn't convinced those options offered me enough flexibility or room for my non-camera gear. I was also doubtful whether they would be comfortable enough to wear in a heavy trekking environment for up to 8 hours at a time.

In the end I bought a Deuter backpack and used that very happily. I wrapped my unused lenses in a polar fleece jacket and carried them in the bag, and mostly carried my camera on my shoulder for ease of access. Not ideal, particularly given the dust. When I go again, I will explore using a front system like a Lowepro toploader in a chest harness - I had looked for a harness a few days before I left but was unable to find one in my local shops. I also now understand that there is some merit to having weight on your front while walking, to counterbalance (in part) the weight on your back.

I ended up taking my backpack on and off quite often, and it was less hassle than I expected - particularly in the context of long periods of walking.

I should note that the guide I was travelling with, who is an accomplished photographer, carried his camera (50D) in a completely different way - he had it in a case, which he clipped (using a small carabiner) onto one of his hips via a small waist belt he wore. I think I would have found that annoying while walking but it didn't seem to bother him.

A normal (bigger) camerabag can take a lot of space insite the backpack I think.

Yes, it would - which is why I relied simply on wrapping each lens and ensuring they were packed tightly deep inside my bag so they wouldn't move around.

Mark

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