Gear for the Trail....

Started Mar 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
Pikme Senior Member • Posts: 2,176
my experience

I've given up on packs altogether.

I've tried just about everything and every combination, but always run into the same three problems:  1.  if it is comfortable to carry, then it is not convenient to get to when needed (e.g. I have very nice Lowepro back pack that lets me carry tons of weight easily, but I have to take it off to get to anything.);  2.  If the gear is easily accessible, then it gets in the way of hiking or just isn't comfortable (e.g. shoulder bags, hip/waist packs, etc.);  3.  water is heavy, awkward, necessary, heavy and awkward to carry.

I've settled on this for awhile now:  camera and main lens slung over opposite shoulder with quick release  black rapid strap, second lens jammed into a very light, cheap, soft and small waist belt bag.  It isn't designed for this usage at all, there is no protection for the lens and I have to really jam it in to fit, but it is small and light, stays out of the way unlike 'real' camera waist packs, and the belt does double duty by serving as a method of holding my dogs' leashes tethered to me.

And that is why I love Olympus - I can take just two lenses (12-60 and 50-200 SWD)(one on the camera and one in the small bag) to have everything I need (and can supplement with just t/c and ext tube in my pockets, if I want).  And, none of the gear is protected but none has had any problems even though I do this at least weekly for years with my Oly gear. I've fallen numerous times on rocks, in mud and even in water, I might get hurt but my gear just cleans up and keeps working. Now I more frequently use m4/3 gear, but I treat it the same except with smaller and lighter leather cord shoulder strap.  If I bring a tripod, I just carry it in my hand.  I also have a Trektech Go Pro that doubles as walking stick and monopod, so now I often forego the tripod and use that instead (darn IS is making me a lazy photographer).

The only thing I still haven't figured out is what to do about the water!  I keep buying and trying various containers, belts, loops, etc., but still find water to be heavy, awkward and necessary.  If I had bigger dogs, I would make them carry the water.

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Roberto M.

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