Need advice: trekking in Nepal/camera backpack


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wansie

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Jan 6, 2003
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#1
Hi,
I posting for a friend. Two questions...

1. My friend is planning to go on the ABC trek in Nepal this Oct. She intends to bring her Canon 300D but she is worried about the battery, i.e. whether she will be able to charge her battery. Will there be a charging problem (since the ABC trek is quite well-touristed already)? If so, are there any alternatives to the charging (besides buying lots of batteries!)?

2. She would like to get a camera backpack for the trip. She plans to use the backpack for future trips as well as local shoots. The key requirements are that it be comfortable to carry and that it can hold her gear. She has looked at the Lowepro Rover AW II and Mini Trekker AW. The Rover looks better as it has a good waiststrap (to take some of the weight off the shoulders) and there is space for non-camera stuff. However, the space for camera equipment is more limited than the Mini Trekker. And she's not sure if her lenses will fit nicely. Would anyone be able recommend a suitable backpack for her? This is what she intends to carry:

1. Canon 300D body
2. Canon 300 body (for in case she can't get juice for the 300D)
3. Sigma 28-300mm lens
4. Canon 18-55mm lens
5. Flash
6. Tele-converter
7. Tripod
8. Tamron 180mm macro (in future)
One of the bodies will most probably be attached to a lens.

TIA!
 

Jia Wang

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#2
Just one question... is she very fit?

Cos' it looks like quite some gears 2 carry up... Unless she's making her porters carry camera gears as well...

I was up at ABC in 2000... carried an APS SLR EOS IX with 24-85mm lens... plus my daypack (water bottle, jacket)... quite a strain, especially at higher altitudes... low oxygen level n fatique will kill ur enjoyment... better train up b4 going there...

As 4 power supply... touristy yes, but still no power supply up in the rooms of the inns on d mountain treks... charging will be an issue...

Hope this helps... :)
 

zguy

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Jan 10, 2003
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#4
hi

i did ABC in 2002. there are power supply until Himalaya (2900m) which is the 4th day of my trek. 5th day we went up to Machepurne(sic?) Base camp which of course again no supply. We never stayed overnite at ABC, just have breakfast there and went down to Himalaya on day 6. So 3 days of no power supply.

btw, there is no plug in the rooms. You have to bring yr devices to the dinning room to plug into the sockets there. May have to queue for your turn.

hope this helps!
 

zguy

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#5
mpenza said:
heavy stuff. add on a big water bottle and jacket and it'll be quite a load.
I found the Rover AW2 to lack space in the top compartment. Wont fit in a jacket (usually this will be inside the bag once yr body warms up), water bottle, gloves, etc.

I suppose she is going to have a porter? i suggest getting a normal backpack and carried the jacket, water bottle n the following gear :

1)Canon 300D body mounted with Sigma 28-300mm lens
2) Canon 18-55mm lens

the rest can have the porter carry although the porter usually will be way ahead of you. But usually okie lar...becos you usually will shoot at rest pts. The rest of the time u trekking up n down ...up and down...no breathe to shoot:p
 

wansie

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#6
Thanks all for your good suggestions and info!

Personally, I will just use a compact camera. Even for less strenuous trips, I find it a major hassle to carry an SLR. But that's me... ;) Maybe I should lend her my Oly 5050.

Anyway, she is now reconsidering what she should bring along. And also whether she'll need a camera backpack after all.

Thanks again.
 

mpenza

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#7
it doesn't save much but a teleconverter is not going to be useful with the 28-300 and 18-55, so could be dropped from the list.

what I might bring for lenses would be EF 24-85 and an Olypmus WCON07 (when wide-angle is needed. This mounts to the front of the lens).
 

Aldrin

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Aug 27, 2004
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Not a good time to go to Nepal because of Maoist activities and current unrest. Your friend may want to consider planning a back up trip - can consider Leh, India if he/she is interested in mountain treks.
 

uris1982

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#9
Aldrin said:
Not a good time to go to Nepal because of Maoist activities and current unrest. Your friend may want to consider planning a back up trip - can consider Leh, India if he/she is interested in mountain treks.
Oh 2nd that. India is also a very nice place. Went to Sikkim in 1998. Also a place with beautiful and breathtaking scenary, majestic sunrises and very friendly people. Beautiful place but yes its kind of tiring trekking up with all that equipment.
 

ichris

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#10
Oh yes, Sikkim, India, I was there last November and you gotta go there for a trek. For mountain lovers, the popular trek to the viewpoint of 4984-m Goecha La (the Lock Pass) offers a sensational view of the huge southeast face of Mount Kangchenjunga (8598-m), the third highest mountain in the world.

Unlike trekking in Nepal and other places in the Indian Himalaya, few other travellers are encountered on the trail, and the land is pristine and unspoiled. Really cool!
 

yulee

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#11
I don't think Nepal is a good place to go now - what with the Moaist uprising and riots following the killings of the Nepalese workers in Iraq by the terrorist... :nono:
 

ichris

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Yah, really bad time to go now....
 

jpcc

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#15
Yeah, do consider the political instability as raised by the well-meaning posters.

Other than that, do consider bringing a good fixed wide angle
point and shoot rather than a digi-SLR, e.g. Ricoh GR-1 .

For me, 1 day 1 roll is quite an easy target to achieve.
If weather is too cold and the battery's chemical reaction slows down,
it is easier to warm a P&S by body heat than an SLR.
(Anyway, I don't remember having such problem with Ricoh in my
ABC trip 3-4 years ago).

Methinks she will have little time to use a tripod along the trek unless
her friends are willing to wait for her.

Yeah, another concern will be:
can she carry the tripod for the whole trip?? :sweat:

Otherwise, tripod use is only limited to {breakfast, before moving out}, {lunch}, {reached campsite, dinner}.

If she carries the tripod for a few days, mmmmm, either she is very fit or
she really has lotsa passion in photography. :)

To cheat a little, maybe she can find/buy a walking stick with an attachment
for camera mount. It will be a makeshift monopod. But for a digi-SLR...
mmmmmmm, errrrrrr, welll...... :dunno:

Maybe she can try to load all her gears and try to climb Bukit Timah hill,
up-down, up-down, for 3-4 hours for a better gauge.
 

uris1982

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#16
Haha...yah ....my friends went to Nepal last year and one of them brought a cheap tripod which he used once in 40 days. They were even joking that if they each broke off one leg of the tripod each of them would've had a perfectly functional walking stick for the entire trip which would've been far more useful than carrying the deadweight along for 40 days...

And yah....cause lotsa other stuff has to be carried on the trip a really heavy tripod will really seem burdensome along the way sometimes..

just my 2-cents worth
 

ANEWUSER

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Aug 6, 2004
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#17
zguy said:
hi

i did ABC in 2002. there are power supply until Himalaya (2900m) which is the 4th day of my trek. 5th day we went up to Machepurne(sic?) Base camp which of course again no supply. We never stayed overnite at ABC, just have breakfast there and went down to Himalaya on day 6. So 3 days of no power supply.

btw, there is no plug in the rooms. You have to bring yr devices to the dinning room to plug into the sockets there. May have to queue for your turn.

hope this helps!
You may like to consider a high power solar charger. I use them when I go to remote area like western Tibet. ABC is nice, Sikkim (India) is great too.
 

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