|I've long liked hiking, and I'm really getting into photography these days. However, I really don't hike that often, maybe once or twice a year over the last few years. The reason: I'm quite out of shape. I also don't dive enough, partially for the same reason. It turns out though that photography is a great motivator to get out on those trails! I've done three hiking/photography trips over the last couple of weeks, and look forward to many more!
Last weekend, Vanessa and I went on a long, four hour hike up into the mountains, which made it clear to me that I need to be more prepared, and also be able to carry all my gear and supplies more comfortably. (Ever had a ten pound camera bag, and three pound camera strung over your neck for four hours?) So, a few days ago, I went back to Sammy's, Santa Ana for a photo-backpack. I'd read on Will's web site that they're making some tough, weather resistant backpacks these days, so I hoped I could find a good, rugged bag. I ended up getting the Tamrac Expedition 7. It's not water proof, but looks good for everything but actual submersion. It's got a big weather resistant pocket, two smaller weather resistant pockets, and the main compartment, which is protected by waterproof materials, and a protected zipper. The outer compartments use a solid looking sealed-zipper mechanism. I also went to my favorite camping store REI, and got a Camelback "unbottle". This, straps easily to the side of the backpack, and gives me nearly a full day's worth of water.
The pack has space for all of my camera gear, my first-aid kit, emergency chocolate bars, multi-tool, flashlight, satellite phone, two FRS radios, GPS, tripod, monopod, jacket, and changes of batteries for everything. Fully loaded, it's a comfortable 30 pounds.