Hi, new here to posting on CS
It's similar to what another poster asked for previously, about equipment when going to the Himalayas.
Just like to know what others use for a good walk-around + hiking combo
Been a P&S user, converted to DSLR last year; now using a D40 with the old D70 kit lens 18-70mm. I recently bought a 18-200mm VR but haven't had any travels yet to test that out. The weight is very important for me, and the new lens, while even more versatile, feels like it's going to send me to the chiropractors soon. Maybe because I haven't gotten used to it.
Anyway, my holidays usually involve some street-walking and lots of hiking daytrips (nature trails, mountains, etc) in between, that's why I like traveling light. My prev setup has served me well so far: all I do is hang it around my neck, zip up my hoodie and I'm ready to go. I have an extra battery in my pants pocket but that's rarely necessary (have had bad experience with cold weather messing up my battery life but the D40 seems to last long).
Keeping it close to my chest let's me have both hands free, especially for when the going gets tough, tree roots, steep incline, mumble grumble. And I suppose it's purely psychological but with my hood up and hands in my pocket, I feel more stealthy, no one gives me a second glance - good for A) whipping it out for a quick surreptitious shot of people, and B) keeping a low profile, somehow I'm not particularly comfortable being the lone Asian dude walking the streets of US. I also strongly believe in doing whatever it takes to get that shot that you've already pictured in your mind's eye - I've climbed rocks and trees, without thinking of how to get back, ahem (almost got caught out by the tide once, phew)
I do however, realise the limitations of my gear, hence buying the extra zoom for the times when I need it (re above: shots of people going about their business - personal fav for street-side hawker/food stalls). I foresee myself getting a wideangle: breaking past the treeline, standing on mountaintop, craves for one. For all my journeys though rather harsh conditions, I don't have any protective filters because they seem to hinder performance, there's already low lighting beneath the canopy of trees. Friends think I'm nuts.
How does one ever get used to lugging so much heavy gear around? People I meet on my travels are always so friendly and beam their widest grins as they unstrap their bag and open up the flap to show me their wide array of equipment. But I hafto say that there's a lot more people lugging DSLRs around, and it's always easy to strike up a conversation with a fellow photographer - just ask what settings are they using, etc. Voila, instant friend