Day Hiking Advice or inspiration

Started 4 months ago | Questions
McWoodley Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration

Lots of good advice already.

One thing I am surprised no one mentioned, unless I missed it, is get a UV filter for your lenses.  Less of a filter than to protect the lens.  Also allows you to ditch the lens cap, so one less thing to fiddle with.   Just inspect periodically and wipe with a micro fiber cloth as needed.

Keep it simple at first. Have fun with the outdoors and taking pictures.   Build your skills.  Get familiar with your camera and settings.  I know you will likely be in a hurry a lot of times but be on the constant look out trying to visualize a good shot. Once you decide on a shot, slow down. Think about the compesition, settings etc as if you are only going to be able to take a single shot as opposed to just shooting a lot of frames.

 McWoodley's gear list:McWoodley's gear list
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jhorse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,582
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration

McWoodley wrote:

Lots of good advice already.

One thing I am surprised no one mentioned, unless I missed it, is get a UV filter for your lenses. Less of a filter than to protect the lens. Also allows you to ditch the lens cap, so one less thing to fiddle with. Just inspect periodically and wipe with a micro fiber cloth as needed.

I would agree with the protect filter, but opinions are divided about whether to protect the front element and accept a small degradation of image quality or not. Frankly, in all my years of travel and hiking I have always opted to protect the lens.  Currently, I use Fuji’s EBC Protector filters on the basis that their glass is likely to be of a similar quality to their lenses. In unscientific testing I can see no difference in image quality with or without one of their filters on.

If you opt for a protector filter I suggest not using a UV filter as they can degrade image quality and introduce colour casts and digital sensors, I believe, are not susceptible to UV light.

Great thread with lots of useful tips for those of us who combine hiking with photography.

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iancbradley Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration

Lots of good suggestions here, I will add one gear suggestion and one technique suggestion:

Gear: if you’re not taking a tripod (which is sensible) then consider taking a beanbag. I have used mine to grab some shots that I wouldn’t otherwise have got, including low light / blurred moving water / night sky and of course a shot of the hiking group with all of you in it! This could make you ‘the guy who took that great photo of us all’ instead of the ‘guy who kept stopping to fumble around with his camera’. (Practice remote release with the Fuji app, or use the timer).

Technque: the thing that made my landscape shots better was learning about composition. Nigel Danson’s videos contain some great advice on this. Also Ken Rockwell’s site. You will most likely want to work at the wide end of the 16-45, and at 16mm a small amount of attention to composition can make a massive difference to how pleased you are with the photo.

And finally, if there is any chance at all you’ll ever need to be a customer of the search & rescue services, learn about the what3words app and download it to your phone.

a_c_skinner Veteran Member • Posts: 8,949
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration

I'm not sure there is a practical distinction 'twixt protector and UV filters though always keen to be educated.  Either way you must buy a high quality one and I'd remove it when shooting into the light.

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Andrew Skinner

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kierenlon
OP kierenlon Contributing Member • Posts: 772
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration

Thanks everyone for the feedback!

I almost didn't create this thread as I was not sure what I was asking, so how then would anyone be able to help me solve a problem if I can't clearly define what the problem was? However the forum members have been excellent - so thank you.

]]]]]]]]]

I go to Hong Kong next week, and will have a couple of small hikes there. These look to be super easy with no risk of getting lost, short distance and good weather. Distance is between 4 - 8 miles it seems.

Planned Equipment:

  1. Fuji X-T30
  2. 14-45 kit lens
  3. 100mm Nikon series E adapted (for city-scape)
  4. Think Tank Retrospective 5 bag
  5. Battery bank + spare camera battery
  6. Maybe the gorilla pod & head (camera grip is arca swiss compatible)
  7. Blower & small cloth

The 35mm F1.4 comes with a UV or Skylight filter and now lens cap when I bought it used I'll bring that but keep for the evenings. I don't care much for the 15-45mm - that wont get ill treated but wont get any special care either.

Clothes in Hong Kong as going to be close to normal tourist clothes as I don't have specialist kit - so trainers (sneakers?), shorts, cotton(!!) T-shirt etc. No space in the case to bring the big boots and expect it will be sure underfoot.

There will be enough room in the Think Tank to carry water and a uniqlo light down jacket and packable wind breaker.

I ]]]]]]]]]]]

Putting the brakes on

Early on in the thread, I was in full on GAS mode - ready to buy a backpack, stuff sacks, merino base layers, peak design clips, 3 layer rain jacket etc. However some reflection and watching outdoor videos made me rethink the bag first, then everything else.

For my short walks, the Think Tank is fine - I have walked around cities all do with it. At my basic level of hiking, it will do for now until I discover what I need and like to carry. Once I work that out, I can start adding kit and eventually a suitable backpack / jacket.

Merino base layers are on the wish-list anyway but since clothes last so long, I want to take a bit longer to find something I like.

I realised watching the 1st video below, that I actually might just be in love with the idea of hiking based on a few good walks but might not actually be that into it. In the video, the lady struggles getting slightly disorientated. It reminded me that on some parts of hikes, everything is not always beautiful and can be a bit of a grind with zero reward if clouds roll in when you make it to your view point. I'm not sure how I will feel about something like that.
Skills
Map reading - on the to-do list. Mostly well marked paths for now / circular short walks
Photography. Being out of my comfort zone, I accept that I will just have to take lots of pictures until I get the habit established - so intending more a learning experience rather than hoping to come away with something worth printing.

Videos that inspire me on this quest:
( watched lots of photo ones too but thought you all probably have seen those)
As you all know, once you start watching on youtube, it suggest more things and you can en dyp going down bit of warren hole.

Ben Nevis (England)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzKJe6j2_-c

Scottish Munros (way too advanced for me, I'll be starting a lot easier)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uFen9rHAvg

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McWoodley Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration
1

I travel a lot, used to be more for work more for pleasure these days. Photography has always been secondary. A lot of adventure mountain biking and downhill mountain biking with some hiking mixed in. So camera gear is usually limited. Which is why I choose the xe1 and now xt30.

I make it fit in a small hydration pack. I use an Osprey raptor 14. Bike specific but works well as a small day pack. For dedicated hiking I would probably go with a 20/25 liter. I’m a huge fan of osprey packs. Most have hydration bladders and their systems just seem to work and be comfortable. That is usually packed empty or light to fit in my luggage. Really depends on if I have a bike in tow, season and the other mountain bike gear I need which determines my other luggage. Ironically if I have my big bike bag I usually have my huge hard shell roller.

No bike I try to travel light. My SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack which I can get all my essentials, laptop, a few changes of clothes and camera gear. Then a smaller roller bag that I can carry on. Fits remaining clothes and that other backpack more suited for hiking and urban exploring.

Shoes, while not best suited for long flights or security I wear my Salamon GTX mids Great hiking boots. Not my choice for backpacking which is a whole different topic but best overall hiking and urban adventure boots. Super comfortable, waterproof gortex. A pair of allbird tree runners, and a pair of teva flip flops. Those will cover any need and weather including crossing hemispheres.

the Patagonia Houdini is a perfect wind breaker and fine for light rain.   That is usually all I take if it’s going to be warm where I am going.  If it’s goinng to be cold and wet then I usually take my Arcteryex  rain shell.  Would also be my choice for Scotland   Or where I am expecting a lot of rain.

Skip a lot of cotton.   Take quick drying poly or nylon based shirts and shorts.  In a pinch you can wash them in the hotel and they will dry quickly   Merino is awesome if you need a warm baselayer.  I typically have one with me.

Jacket. I love my down jackets. I have an Arcteryx and Mountian hardware ghost.  The Arcteyx is a better winter jacket.  The ghost is more packable.

just my two cents on things that I have found which work well for me.  Pretty much what I will be taking to NZ in a couple of weeks plus my XT30, spare batteries, Fuji  27mm, Rokinon 12mm, Fuji 15-45(on the fence to take my 18-55 instead) and Fuji 55-200. Can get all that into a pretty tight package inside a domke protective wrap.

 McWoodley's gear list:McWoodley's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T30 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 Fujifilm 50-230mm +2 more
vegetaleb
vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,703
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration

My set up :

-Use a practical backpack like the Lowepro Flipside II, you can very easily take out your camera and put it back once you reach a photo spot.

-Get a light but good tripod like the manfrotto compact light, it's pretty light and you can easily attach it to your backpack.

-Use bracketing because sometimes you just need to hdr your photos in editing, and the more exposure you have the better for landscape

-Set your photos to RAW, this is critical for DR and sharpness.

-Take a small bottle of water and a chocolate bar

-I wouldn't use a 15-45, it's a good lens but not sharp on the borders if it's important to you

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jjz2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,683
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration

My gear usually...

I go out with an REI Flash 22. It can hold 2 water bottles on the side plus has a bunch of pockets for easy access stuff. I don't like to go any bigger really.

Inside my lenses go in a neoprene lens case by JJC Deluxe, camera (XE 2) goes in a small double bag, one is microfiber, the next is kind of a cushy bag with a draw string.

I have a Patagonia Houdini which is pretty awesome if it's going to be light rain or possible rain.

For heavier stuff, I generally wouldn't hike in it, but have a Columbia water proof shell and can put a fleece under it.

I prefer wool socks usually and some columbia water proof hiking boots, but really need some good sandals if I'm crossing water in a hot area. Otherwise I'll just wear a used pair of my running shoes.

I have some cut off wool gloves for easy camera access.

I don't really hike if it's below 0C or raining, it just doesn't get that way around me often, but would want some diff gear if hiking through snow or more extreme conditions. Over thanksgiving it was about -8 C though, and was still fine in said gear, no issues with camera either.

At around -15C, I might stop taking photos because wouldn't want my hands to get numb.

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vegetaleb
vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,703
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration

Oh and I forgot my Dji Spark for some additional aerial photos

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Myki21 Junior Member • Posts: 36
Re: Day Hiking Advice or inspiration
1

kierenlon wrote:

Putting the brakes on

Early on in the thread, I was in full on GAS mode - ready to buy a backpack, stuff sacks, merino base layers, peak design clips, 3 layer rain jacket etc. However some reflection and watching outdoor videos made me rethink the bag first, then everything else.

Don't worry about getting everything at once, as you progress through your adventures you will add bits and pieces when you need them. If you do get around to buying a bag in the future, I would suggest looking at hiking specific bags like the Osprey Manta or similar with an insert. I never found camera specific backpacks very comfortable over long distances, and will happily trade off the speed of access to my gear for comfort. There are workarounds though, like getting a small toploader bag and attaching near your hip if you need quick access. Enjoy your hiking and getting outdoors, there's so much to explore!

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