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Hiking Packs

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DrBrown54 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DrBrown54 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hiking Packs
    Posted: 03 January 2013 at 17:48
I go on a lot of long hikes, anywhere from 5 to 15 miles in the mountains. I have always done this with a small military camelback hydration pack, which had a molle pouch big enough for my bridge camera. My A57 is much larger obviously so the old pouch won't work. I'm leaning towards this right now:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Swat-Molle-Tactical-Utility-Waist-Hand-Shoulder-Bag-Pouch-Camping-800D-/110989465899?pt=US_CSA_MWA_Backpacks&var=&hash=item5f7eec05fc

As for just buying a completely new pack, the only thing I found so far was Tenba. My only complaint with their backpacks is the entire pack has pockets sewn into the middle for lenses and camera bodies. When I hike 15 miles I need to take a lot of food and water so I'm not sure I want to go to a camera only design.

For those of you who hike like this, what bags/packs have you used that you can recommend??
 



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berlin steve View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote berlin steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2013 at 18:56
I bought a smallish rucksack from Samsonite like this one.

It is not as 'mini' as its name suggests- but is a fairly small affair. It will fit an a77 with zoom attached (e.g beercan) with room left in the length of the pack to put another lens in the central 'aisle' of the internal layout. The left and right portions inside are variable, and you can get 3-4 normal size lenses, or coke can if preferred on each side of the camera- depending on how you adjust the velcro dividers.

The outside pocket can squeeze a netbook, and the outside pockets pocket has room for charger, remote, spare batteries etc.

I bought one on Ebay new for approx $35- and find it is really well made and nicely designed, and sits comfortably on my back or slung on single shoulder.
I'm an Englishman in Berlin...pics and more pics...
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momech View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2013 at 18:56
With most hiker's packs you've got to take the pack off to get anything out - like a lens, etc., which I find annoying. For day hikes I finally went with a bird hunter's vest/hydration system; has a couple of big pockets in front you can use for extra lens, etc., and a waterproof section in the back where you can carry your food; enough room for a camera body as well if you don't want to carry it on a strap. It has both a chest strap and waist belt so it's pretty secure. I added some foam to the pockets where I carry my lenses and did a few other modifications.
There's a number of brands; check Campmor or REI online.    
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2013 at 18:56
I've done a lot of hiking and backpacking with camera gear.

As far as day-hikes go. I have used a couple different Lowepro models. (Nature trekker for lots of gear and Rover for less). I was never really satisfied with either, especially the Trekker. Problem is it is a big bag, that I could load with quite a lot of gear, but the bag has no frame or suspension at all to handle the weight. Honestly I found I could carry 60 lbs in my big Osprey pack, much more comfortably then 30 lbs in my Nature Trekker.

Solution (I hope)... after a 2 month backorder I just got one of these:   F-Stop Loka    with 2 ICUs. Being that it is built more like a "real" pack with a frame, and still allows easy access to camera gear, I'm hoping it handles the weight much better. I haven't really had a chance to try it out yet, my one worry is that the torso length is not adjustable.. so I hope it fits properly. If I like the Loka, I might also order the big Satori EXP for 2-3 night trips.




As for long trips (4-8 days) I carry my A900 w/ attached 70-200 2.8 in a Lowepro Topload 75 on my chest. Then carry other lenses, flash, filters etc. In a lens case on one side of my pack, and tripod on the other. My big pack is an Osprey 85L.


EDIT: I should add, it all depends on how much you carry. For light loads I would think that one of the Lowepro dual compartment bags like the Rover would work fine. I'm just saying if you fill up one of the big Lowepro bags, (like the Nature Trekker) they just can't transfer the weight properly.

Edited by Sags - 03 January 2013 at 19:04
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x3idave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote x3idave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2013 at 19:45
As above, it is annoying having to take the pack off when you want to change a lens.

I find this pack comfortable. It has a waterproof cover that pulls out underneath and over the bag. It has a Laptop compartment that you probably will not use but I keep my monopod in there.

I can fit the kit in my sig in the bottom compartment without dividers and jacket/lunch etc in the top compartment then batteries/filtersetc in the small external pockets.


Amazon UK


Amazon US

Edited by x3idave - 03 January 2013 at 22:55
A7, A37, MD 24mm 2.8, VC 35mm 1.2 II, MC 35mm 1.8 Rokkor HH, Summicron-R 50mm, SAL35f18, mino 35-105 original, mino 100-300 apo
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snegren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2013 at 20:15
I use a Lowepro Dryzone (as it is waterproof). It holds a SAL70-400SSM, SAL16-50SSM, Tokina 11-16 and A700, filters, spare batteries etc. No instant access to the camera though, especially with the waterproof zipper closed. But I quick connect a Vanguard Outlaw 17Z to the front with carabiners which can then hold the camera with telezoom attached or the two short zooms (either one attached) ready for use. Very comfy and convenient.
 



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DrBrown54 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DrBrown54 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2013 at 20:36
Wow lots of quick replies. Thanks kids!

My list of day hike materials would be:

- A57
- 18-55mm lens attached to camera
- 75-300mm lens in bag
- A few filters
- Sandwich/granola bars
- Small gatorade bottle
- H2O in the hydration bladder
- Sunglasses

I agree the big pain is having to take the pack off to get at the camera on your back. BUT if it's around my neck and I trip when climbing... not good!(happened w/ my bridge cam lol) And I've done long hikes with my smaller bridge cam and it about destroyed my neck, mostly due to an old racing injury.

One other option I came across is a holster pouch for my hip, so i's on my side. This one seemed reasonable: Case Logic SLRC-200

I'm not sure if I'd get sick of the hip strap after 10-15 miles or not. But that would leave my existing pouch for a lens and filters. BUT still no place to store a sweatshirt or jacket. I usually end up hiding a hoodie or jacket in the bushes and TRY to remember to get it on the way back heh. I don't always remember!

Lots of good suggestions. I'll do some more research and see what else I can turn up.
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momech View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2013 at 20:56
Originally posted by DrBrown54 DrBrown54 wrote:

BUT still no place to store a sweatshirt or jacket. I usually end up hiding a hoodie or jacket in the bushes and TRY to remember to get it on the way back heh.

Stick a couple of loops of Velcro to the back of your pack, roll up jacket and strap it on.    
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Post Options Post Options   Quote exileded Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2013 at 23:40
I use the F-Stop Tilopa BC when hiking and climbing. Most of my shooting is in outdoor, hard to access locations and the pack works a treat. The harness is superb and the idea of detachable ICU's (Internal Camera unit's) is great as it means you can if need be pop out the ICU and have a normal technical pack.

I agree with peoples comments on taking of a pack to change lenses etc but it is a small price to pay for all day comfort when in the back country. Also the F-Stop packs have a tough rubberised material on the outside and base of the pack meaning you always lay the pack harness up and access the camera that way, keeping a clean harness.

The Tilopa BC may be be bigger than you need but I would check out the F-Stop range in general. The bottom line is if I'm abseiling 40 metres into climbing areas and moving around on precarious ledges I want something that I can trust. I took a long time deciding on the pack I got but it's been worth every cent.

I also just reviewed the pack on my blog if you want some photos of it. http://eddiefowkephotography.com/2013/01/03/f-stop-tilopa-bc-reviewed/
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Post Options Post Options   Quote slobeatz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 00:19
I use a small hydration pack and attach my camera to the shoulder straps, then use lens cases to attach lenses to the waist strap. This allows me to use a small pack and have quick access for a lens change.   If you are going to use a large telephoto this probably won't work, but I've had good success carrying my 70-300 while having my 17-50 on my camera.
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Tezzating View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tezzating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 16:08
For hiking I got a 30l "technical day pack". The young fellow at the Adventure Store was very enthusiastic about it. Plenty of room for bug spray, sunblock, flash light, 1st aid kit, jackets, lunch, drink bottles, all the wifes stuff, and a lens in a neoprene sleeve in the top. The tummy straps have loops to hold a monopod and pockets for GPS and bear protection..

You'll need to take the thing off to get at the lens tho; I suppose you could get a lens sleeve with a clip to hang off the straps too. I just hike with a telephoto on the camera and switch when landscaping.

Oh and get a nice thick neoprene neck strap! I think Sony designers had a competition to make the most uncomfortable neckstrap possible. I cant recommend this one enough: Crumpler Industry Disgrace. You can comfortably hike for hours with your gear hanging off that.

Anyway, that pack was on sale for $45 and the strap for $30.
Sony SLT-A65, Tamron SP 17-50, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Minolta 50/1.7, 100/2.8 Macro, 100/2, 300/2.8 APO, Metz 50af-1.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tefoonez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 16:56
Originally posted by Tezzating Tezzating wrote:

The tummy straps have loops to hold a monopod and pockets for GPS and bear protection..


What sort of bear protection can you fit in a tummy strap

Daniel
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Post Options Post Options   Quote leohendriks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 17:20
For day hikes I use my Lowepro Primus.
It has a side entrance for a middle sized camera (my A850 with Tammy 24-135 barely fits).
The bottom compartment allowes for my A850 with lens attached, a compact telezoom (100-300 APO D) and a wide angle (17-35 D).
The upper half of the bag is used for water, food and some clothing.
There is a large flap on the bag that can take some rainwear.
The bag has a good raincover.
I am not sure if it is still available.

Multiday hikes (with Lowe Cerro Torre) then I take my camera in a Lowepro Topload zoom attached to my backpack shoulderstraps with op/tech straps and stuff.

Works great for me.
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Deur View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Deur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2013 at 17:36
Originally posted by Sags Sags wrote:

I've done a lot of hiking and backpacking with camera gear.

As far as day-hikes go. I have used a couple different Lowepro models. (Nature trekker for lots of gear and Rover for less). I was never really satisfied with either, especially the Trekker. Problem is it is a big bag, that I could load with quite a lot of gear, but the bag has no frame or suspension at all to handle the weight. Honestly I found I could carry 60 lbs in my big Osprey pack, much more comfortably then 30 lbs in my Nature Trekker.

Solution (I hope)... after a 2 month backorder I just got one of these:   F-Stop Loka    with 2 ICUs. Being that it is built more like a "real" pack with a frame, and still allows easy access to camera gear, I'm hoping it handles the weight much better. I haven't really had a chance to try it out yet, my one worry is that the torso length is not adjustable.. so I hope it fits properly. If I like the Loka, I might also order the big Satori EXP for 2-3 night trips.


Same issue here, and this looks like good backpack that is also able to properly carry/protect photo gear. Interested to hear if it works as good as it looks.

One thing I am considering is the Cotton Carrier:   
website cotton carrier

Have other people used this product. (especially interested in how it works together with a normal backpack)


edit: fixed link
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