Photography Gear For The Trails
As the weather starts getting warmer and you're gearing up for the trails, you always want to be prepared for whatever might come your way. Bad weather, injuries, a flat tire, etc. But what about when it comes to photography? You have your camera, but what else could you bring that would help capture your experience and memories even better?
First, here are some things to remember:
Always Pack Light - Less is more (example: don't pack everything shown in the above photo)
When you're packing your bags for your next adventure be sure you have everything you need, but not everything you own. As you’re packing, try to imagine carrying everything for hours on end every day, for many days, while making sure you bring what you need for both easy times as well as emergencies. It can be rather tricky!
Bring ONLY the essentials
Example: Just because you own 4 different lenses, it doesn't mean you should bring them all. Choose which ones you know you will make the most use out of, and leave the others behind. Your back will thank you later!
During your adventure, Maintenance is KEY
If the weather is cold and rainy, be sure that you're packed properly to avoid getting your camera wet. Also remember that cold weather drains batteries faster than normal. To avoid this you may need to keep the battery in a pocket inside your pack and only take it out when you're ready to take a photo.
Now, keeping all of the above thoughts in mind, lets move on to what kind of gear you may want to include in your travels.
First of all, you're obviously going to bring your camera. But do you have a "hands free" way of transporting your camera, such as a strap or harness? These can be extremely useful to avoid dropping the camera, or avoid injury from not having your hands available to catch yourself from a fall.
A good bag for your gear and camera is an essential part of traveling. The right bag can keep you from spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars to repair your damaged gear if you get caught up in the wrong kind of weather or something unpredictable happens, such as losing your footing and falling into a body of water. Your bag doesn't necessarily have to be specific for cameras only, but it all depends on personal preference.
Being a photographer constantly on-the-go, I use the Rover Sling Pack for my shooter bag. It's just big enough for my camera, a couple batteries, some memory cards and a couple extra things, but small enough that I can just grab it and go without bringing my larger pack along.
When I'm planning longer outings, I grab the smaller pack to keep on me with the essentials and keep the larger pack, with my other gear in the truck to use as needed. The larger pack that I found best fits my needs is the Tenacity Three Day Support Pack.
Batteries. When packing batteries be sure to think of the factors that your adventure may bring. Are you going to be out there for hours, or days? Do you have a way to charge batteries out on the trail, with devices such as a solar charger? Be sure to fully charge your batteries before heading out and pack extras, just in case. No batteries = no photos in this digital world.
Memory cards. The same goes for memory cards as it did for batteries. No memory card or not enough memory = no photos. These are extremely lightweight and easily stored so it never hurts to have too many rather than not enough!
Cleaning Equipment. Anyone who's spent time in the great outdoors knows it can be a task to stay spotless. Having some simple cleaning gear can save you from a lot of grief while looking at your speckled photos later because there were dust particles on the sensor or lens. There are many options for cleaning products, but just a simple cleaning cloth and an air puffer will do the trick.
Travel Tripod. Depending on what kind of shooting you're going to be doing, a tripod might be useful for you. Carrying a large bulky full size tripod can get to be quite a task, so if you do use them, check out the travel sized tripods for easier transportation.
Other essential items to think about including in your photo gear may be: Ziplock bags, a journal to record the locations your photos were taken at, flashlight, lens filters, and anything else that can be a photography staple for you.
Those are the most useful pieces of gear to include out on your travels. It doesn't have to be a lot of gear, it just has to be useful and functional gear. Try not to weigh down your packs any more than you have to, you'll definitely be thanking yourself later!
Be sure to keep an eye out for more photography blog posts in the near future! We'll touch on some rules of photography, camera settings for the time of day/night you're shooting in, other photography tips and tricks and much more!
If you have any questions about photography gear, please feel free to leave a comment!
P.S. Always remember: The best camera is the one you have on you! You don't have to have a big fancy camera to practice photography, it's for everyone and anyone!
See you out on the trails, and don't forget your camera!
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