What camera bag for month-long backpacking?


Status
Not open for further replies.

Larry

Senior Member
Apr 25, 2002
5,499
0
0
45
singapore
www.larryloh.com
#1
just a thought, as i was entertaining the idea of going to NZ or Silk Route for a month-long backpacking trip sometime in the distant future.

so being the kiasu me, i'm just thinking, what's a good bag to bring along for these trips? any1 has any experience? i probably won't be bringing that much gear - a 80-200 would be the biggest/heaviest lens i'd bring, with probably a wide-angle and a 50mm prime, mabbe one body and accessories (TCs, filters, film, flash, that kinda stuff).

i thought of the Lowepro Road Runner AW but it seems more catered for pure photogy gear and not clothes and stuff like that as well. the removable Daypack also doesn't look like it can hold photogy gear. considering it'll also be a month or even six weeks, i think i would need something with bigger capacity as well. it'll also be useful if the daypack is able to contain a decent amount of gear as well (e.g. i can leave the main pack @ the lodging and go gallavanting with my camera and lenses).

so, any and all comments and suggestions would be welcome. :D

thanks!!!
 

clive

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2002
2,537
0
0
Visit site
#2
try using any good-old backpac with your own home made modified padding/space sorters. helps save $ and give u a low profile. since u r going away for 1 month in remote places; try not to use flashy/ "steal me" bags.
 

szekiat

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
2,252
0
0
London
Visit site
#3
Larry, if u are having regular stops where u can put your clothes down, the Stealth u have is really good enough...trust me. I made a 3 day trip to britol with it and i could pack 2 change of clothes(note: winter wear) using the outside compartment alone. If u sling the laptop bag outside, u can even put clothes inside. Unless u doing a backpacking style holiday. In which case i'd suggest that u travel light. Just use a rangefinder and keep it in a pouch....its easier to take care of and less likely to attract unwanted attention.
 

Larry

Senior Member
Apr 25, 2002
5,499
0
0
45
singapore
www.larryloh.com
#4
thanks clive, szekiat.

actually i AM thinking of a backpack style trip. a rangefinder is kinda good idea though, but i'll have to invest in a better one, which is what i'm not prepared to do now. but the thought of lugging my SLR with lenses is quite scary. was toying with the idea of just one SLR with a few small primes.

currently i think my best bet is to carry a regular backpacker type bag with my Rover Light or Mini Trekker slung in front (although the Stealth is quite a good idea too).

but keep those comments and suggestions coming! i'd love to hear from those who's done a real backpacking things with at least SOME photographic gear (i'm still trying to figure out how Leonardo packed in a CF tripod and MF system with all his gear in The Beach). :D
 

Jun 2, 2002
975
0
0
hErE lAh
#5
I hope this doesn't sound OT but if you're backpacking & carrying heavy camera gear at the same time with your heavy backpacks - is the weight not a consideration for you?

I've only backpacked once for 4 days in Scotland & only brought a P&S then (that time no $ cos student).

On my recent trip to Aust where we spent time driving around as well as joining tours, I brought my bro's s45 & my f80 (husband carry :p) & we found that we were using the S45 more simply because it was smaller. During our last 4 days, the F80 was left in the hotel room.
 

Dec 2, 2002
374
0
0
67
Moon
#6
have backpack in europe fr 2 months. tamrac bags are real tough and they really can withstand all the torture i have been through. get yours today. thing is that try not bring more that 15 kg of gears (preferably not more than 10). dun forget you still have another 10 kg +++ of conventional bag weight. its fun but its really a torture experience for me. remember the climbing effel tower, almost pass out when reaching only the second level. can't imagine the mountains.
 

MoriMori

New Member
Mar 1, 2003
172
0
0
41
Visit site
#7
I would suggest a manual camera where batteries are not essential for operation, FM2/ F3 with no grip etc. Nightmare to be up a mountain with no batt power to advance your film...

1 x wide angle prime, 1 x 50mm, and (maybe) your 80-200 should fit nicely into a small lowepro shoulder bag/ or carry-on backpack.
 

rochkoh

New Member
Feb 8, 2002
533
0
0
Under your skin
Visit site
#8
Hi Larry,

Have two bags.

1) Main backpack. For a month-long trip (and for someone of your size) you'll need at least a 65 litre pack. Put your clothes, shoes, sleeping bag etc. here. Stuff your tripod in here as well.

2) Day trip bag. Put your camera barang-barang here, and take this bag everywhere you go. Make sure all your photography equipment is easily assessible. So you dont' need to stop, unpack, setup, compose, meter and snap/bracket, repack etc, for every shot.

Roch.
 

mpenza

Senior Member
Jan 18, 2002
12,938
0
0
Singapore
www.instagram.com
#9
did go Nepal trekking several years back and have friends who brought along their SLRs. we have porters though, ;p so they could carry a "normal" backpack. but even then, they didn't carry many lenses.
 

nivlekx

New Member
Oct 27, 2002
94
0
0
39
nivlekx.bounceme.net
#10
I don't carry much during my travels, usually one 28-200 hyperzoom will do the trick with 1 flash. It all fits into a LowePro Off Trail 2, which I will one way or the other strap it onto my back pack and a tanner tripod. Leave the Manfrotto behind or I swear you will be swearing real hard!!!!... ;) ;)
 

1bg1

New Member
Jul 18, 2002
67
0
0
Singapore
#11
LowePro Offtrail 2
- 80-200 and SLR with vert grip.
- side pouches each can contain two primes or one flash each
- some minor accessories together in the main pouch + films
 

lualua

New Member
Oct 24, 2002
530
0
0
43
Singapore
Visit site
#13
I did a backpack trip for 9 months from sg thru nepal overland. Here's what I did

I use a deuter 75+10 litre to fit everything. 60% of it i use to fit all my tolietries and clothes etc. I use a tamrac soft daypack type camera bag( a little bigger and much softer than the mni trekker ) for my gear which amounts to about 8kgs. The tamrac stays in the big deuter when I'm on the road and as you'd guessed, the tamrac is used as my daypack cum camera bag.

the key here is to have a camera bag that can fit your gear and things u need in a day out. I choose the tamrac as it is soft and flexible( easy to squeeze into another bag), its of a haversack design as a shoulder bag is not too ideal for long walks and esp cycling. Lastly, I'm a supporter of that brand since they make the toughest and lightest bags around.

call me if u need to. I'll share whatever I know.
 

tert

New Member
Apr 18, 2003
317
0
0
41
Melbourne
Visit site
#14
Originally posted by 1bg1
LowePro Offtrail 2
- 80-200 and SLR with vert grip.
- side pouches each can contain two primes or one flash each
- some minor accessories together in the main pouch + films
I would second the Off Trail 2.

Bought the bag for my trip to new zealand also. I had in total one main backpack (which has a detachable front that doubles up as a day pack) and the OT2 as my camera bag.

Main compartment of the OT2 can hold a SLR with winder, fix tele lens affixed and prob squeeze one more small prime. Then you have the two side tubes for other lens or flashes and stuff...

It slings from the shoulders and can be secured with around the waist. Ergonomics good... like a gun holster, making you ever ready to "shoot" :bsmilie:

But space could be rather limited and compact, so access to equipment may be somewhat constrainted...

Unless you wanna bring me along and i'll carry the stuffs for you... Plus i speak english! :bsmilie: :bsmilie: :bsmilie:
 

Larry

Senior Member
Apr 25, 2002
5,499
0
0
45
singapore
www.larryloh.com
#15
thanks lualua and tert. valuable feedback...

tert, thanks for the offer to carry my stuff, but erm i'm on a budget, and besides, i speak pretty good, Engrish, erm, England, oops, i mean English myself. ;)
 

ericp

New Member
Apr 27, 2003
577
0
0
Visit site
#16
Been reading all the good comments, but I have one question for Larry ... what kind of output do you expect at the end of your trip ?

By that I mean do you want to have slides, prints or just digital images which you can send to friends or put on a webpage ? How much control do you need over your shots ?

That will determine what gear you need to bring, and also what bag to use ...

Personally, I would go with the smallest, lightest camera I can get away with, and use an inconspicuous backpack, the more battered the better. That may mean a nice and cheap P&S (eg. Olympus Mju-II with fixed focal length f/2.8 lens, or small P&S digital).
 

Larry

Senior Member
Apr 25, 2002
5,499
0
0
45
singapore
www.larryloh.com
#17
Originally posted by ericp
Been reading all the good comments, but I have one question for Larry ... what kind of output do you expect at the end of your trip ?

By that I mean do you want to have slides, prints or just digital images which you can send to friends or put on a webpage ? How much control do you need over your shots ?
hmmm that's a good question, but a tuff one. i'm still struggling with it actually. i suspect it'll be mostly slides for me, and mabbe a decent digicam for my travelling companion. but that means i'll be lugging a truckload of slide film man...

i'll definitely be bringing my trusty little Yashica PnS, but still debating internally if i wanna lug along my SLR with lenses, for the kooky people and landscape shots i wanna take. it's still a raging war inside i can tell you... :D
 

gyjoe

New Member
Mar 24, 2003
90
0
0
#18
Originally posted by Larry
hmmm that's a good question, but a tuff one. i'm still struggling with it actually. i suspect it'll be mostly slides for me, and mabbe a decent digicam for my travelling companion. but that means i'll be lugging a truckload of slide film man...

i'll definitely be bringing my trusty little Yashica PnS, but still debating internally if i wanna lug along my SLR with lenses, for the kooky people and landscape shots i wanna take. it's still a raging war inside i can tell you... :D
hmm, i have been to a couple of places (including NZ). i guess u have to ask urself whether u r going to for a photography trip, or going for a leisure trip.

i have never goes overseas just purely to shoot photos (coz i can't afford it :D ). it's always a leisure trip to me and this makes the decision for me. i'll bring my slr with a consumer 28-80mm lens and tat's it! it's sufficient to capture like 90% of all shoots and is light enough (to me) to carry arond in my haversack all day. even then it gets tiring some times. so if u gonna bring like a big slr + big zoom lens + WA + access, make doubly sure tat it is within your ability to carry it around ALL day for ALL of the WHOLE month... with a huge comfort margin too :)

otherwise it'll simply bog u down. of course if it is a pure photography trip, then it's a different story.

another point is if u have a travelling companion, make sure u dun leave him/her out with your constant photo shooting :bsmilie:

and finally, NZ and the silk route are 2 TOTALLY different proposition. comfort level in NZ will be much much higher than along the silk route. travelling in NZ is much easier due to superb tourist-infrastructure. equipment for the silk route have to be more resistant to dust/sand/dirt. again, it'll be a different story if u r going to NZ for a pure tramping trip.

oh yah, try not to use pure photography haversack. they r too troublesome to access cam. like wat others have already suggested, get some paddings and stuff your equipment into your regular daysack. for me i stuff my slr into a toploader which i then stuff into a deuter haversack (those with a top and bottom compartment). the toploader'll go into the top compartment so i can access the cam easily. if i want i can also sling the top loader across my shoulder if there is constantly something to shoot.

hope this helps.
 

hazardman

New Member
Aug 10, 2002
288
0
0
35
Eunos
Visit site
#19
Originally posted by MoriMori
I would suggest a manual camera where batteries are not essential for operation, FM2/ F3 with no grip etc. Nightmare to be up a mountain with no batt power to advance your film...

1 x wide angle prime, 1 x 50mm, and (maybe) your 80-200 should fit nicely into a small lowepro shoulder bag/ or carry-on backpack.
Hi larry, i second the FM2 or F3 idea..
since u're shooting mainly on slides, a FM2 is good enough. And it's smaller and more compact than ur F5? i dunno wat u using now.
As for e bag.. how bout a Offroad with 2 side tubes. E tubes 'll be useful if u bring ur 80-200. E offroad is big enough to stuff ur body + some other stuf.. i think can store a poncho in as well.
If u're going Silk road, u'll be going thru lots of walking and moving about under e hot sun, so u'll need to be as mobile as possible.. travelling light is essential.
E stealth might be an overkill IMHO.
 

Parchiao

Deregistered
Jan 2, 2003
1,829
0
0
Visit site
#20
Just my opinion. Did some travelling before and these were my observations.

PnS - Best option. Poor picture quality if you use consumer stuff. Great pictures for the high end ones e.g. T3. Downside is that those good PnS that comes with zooms tend to haves slow lenses. There is one newer model that look good e,g, Fuji with a 24 - ? zoom with an f2-8 - ? aperture speed, but I have yet to see it appear in the shops. Weight is negligible. Like you mentioned, bring along a PnS as a backup.

Rangefinder - Better than the above. One body, three or four primes. Probably weighs around 1kg or slightly more. Add a CF tripod if you have the dough, maybe borrow one if possible. You wont regret this. I used my Contax G2 with a Photo Runner slung across my shoulder every where I went during a recent trip to HK. Had enough space for my T3, as the back up camera, and a small TLA 200 flash. Proven method. Downside is that you don't have telephoto lens to go with such bodies.

Manual Focus SLR - Somewhat heavier, but SLR offers a lot better versatility. This is probably the best trade off in terms of versatility, weight and bulk like some of the others have already mentioned. In fact, I am exploring this very idea at the moment. My choice of equiptment is heavily influenced by weight and bulk as I shoot A LOT during travels. Stuff may fit into Photo Runner. I am looking at the Contax Aria and the Nikon FM3A at the moment. May be a very good option if you are already using a Nikon body.

AF SLR - I tend to think of those people with their EOS 30 or whatever nikon bodies, and not a EOS300v. The body weighs about 600g, and standard zoom lens tend to weigh about the same. Add another prime of two plus a flash and the weight easily reaches close to 2kg. It may not sound that bad, but the bulk is another matter to consider. Tried this, hated it, sold it. Almost broke my back. No more AF SLRs for me for travels. On the other hand, I like AF SLRs. Like you, I had problems coming up with a decent sized bag, but bags for bulky items are never decent sized.

BUT

whatever stuff you bring, bring the option that you have that is proven to take good pictures, even if it breaks your back. I brought a borrowed Canon PnS to a two week working trip to New York last year. Now still have my regrets.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom