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Thread: Trekking with quick access

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    Member Mircula's Avatar
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    Trekking with quick access

    Hello,

    as mentioned before I am going to India/Nepal soon and planning to do some more day treks.

    I am looking for some sort of camera bag i can strap on the front of my 70L backpack as well as my daypack (when i walk around in cities etc, just with my daypack).

    I would like to protect my camera while walking around thats why i dont just want to hang it around my neck but at the same time i would like to have quick access to the camera in case i want to quickly take a photo, without taking the backpack off etc etc.

    I have seen that people strap their Lowepro toploader 75 aw on the front somehow....


    Does any of you have experience with that? Do you do trekking with your camera? And how do YOU carry your camera and gear on hikes?



    Cheers,

    Mirc
    Constructive criticism is most welcome!!!

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    I just trekked around a whole lot of america with the Lowepro fastpack 250 and it was excellent. Was able to get to my camera very quickly. The bag was also very comfortable and has alot of storage space. I travelled with a 40D, and two lenses - a wide angle and 50mm prime.

    I highly recommend this bag as a day bag... can't really use with a 70L backpack at the same time.

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    A top loader type bag will be the quickest and most comfortable if you will hanging it on your chest off your main pack. I have a Lowepro top loader and you can buy a chest harness for them, but you could easily rig it to the harness of a normal hiking pack on the front. I guess it comes down to how much gear you will have and how quickly you want to access it all.

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    Hey,

    had a look at the fastpacks and slingshots but the problem there is that i cannot use it with my big packback on long hikes....

    I guess i will have my 17-70 my 100-300 and maybe a wide angle lens with me. I was planning on leaving 2 lenses in my backpack and just have quick access to my camera with attached lens.

    Shoulder bags are not so good either as i cannot really use them with daypack or big backpack.

    Some sort of top-loader to mount on daypack and on big backpack would probably me good. No idea how comfortable that will be though. And walking around in 35 degrees heat with daypack AND the camera bag at the front might be quite annoying too.....


    ARghh....not so easy....any other experiences to share?

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    Mirc honestly, there isn't going to be an ideal solution. Quick access while carrying a big pack is going to be uncomfortable no matter what you rig up. I think if you can pack it so that worst case you can quickly drop the toploader into the top of your main pack if you know you wont stop for awhile would be the best bet IMHO.

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    I have a Lowpro Toploader 75aw find it is very good for quick access, there is a e-bay dealer in QLD who throws in the chest harness when you buy from them. I find I can have it on my chest with two other lens pouches attached to it quite comfortably and the harness spreads the weight quite well,have managed to attach to a a backpack on a couple of occasions . Normally use it to carry a 5d11 with grip or 1d11n with 300 f4 with other lens in pouch attached to the side,and plenty of space in its front pocket for a 580EX plus a few other items.The added bonus of having an all weather cover with it for those wet or dusty days.
    Mike
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    Tamrac Ultra Pro 17 bag,Lowpro Toploader 75AW,Lowpro Outback 200 belt pack,Black Rapid RS-5 and R-3,Aperture 3,Elements 8.
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    hey, tahnks for the advice. I think i am going for one of the toploaders and then either have it in front of me or put it in the main pack....

    Cheers.

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    Mirc I came across this today. Looks kind interesting best thing I've seen to date that allows quick access. But I doubt it actually be big enough for a proper hiking pack. I'd also be scared of dumping that bag down accidentally when it is full of gear with your DSLR in the bottom of it!

    http://www.clikelite.com/shop/obscura/

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    Thanks mikec,

    had a look at it. Quite good, but again, what do i do when i go for hikes with my 70L pack.

    Will try out these toploaders of lowprow if i can find a used one....

    Thanks!

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    I do a lot of hiking and photography along the way.

    My favoured bag is the LowePro TLZ-mini or LowePro TLZ-2, both of which are top loaders and quite weather resistant. Spraying the outside of the bag with commercially available water repellents (available from hiking stores) will make them pretty much rain tight. The TLZ-2 has four clips on it so the optional harness can be added. It wouldn't be mean feat to construct your own harness or even modify the TLZ-mini to fit the harness.

    If you are taking the 17-70mm I can't see why you really need to take a wider lens at all. The longer lens might be useful though. But I wouldn't take both due to weight and volume issues. It would be a different story I someone else was carrying my pack all day long.

    Now on to that 70L backpack ... which one do you have and is it the lightest most breathable pack you can get? You can shed about 3kg off your back by getting a nice light pack and you will appreciate a reduction of every kg in that heat.

    Good luck and have a great trip.
    "Nature photography is about choosing a location, crawling through dirt, being bitten by insects and occasionally taking a great image". - Wayne Eddy.

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    Heyhey,

    thanks for the post. the waterproof tip is a very good idea!

    I will have a look at the tlz....

    I am planning to take my sigma and my 100-300 canon.

    I have my old lowpro 70L pack. It is about 7 years old and traveled a lot with me, still going strong

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mircula View Post
    I have my old lowpro 70L pack. It is about 7 years old and traveled a lot with me, still going strong
    oh, a Lowepro 70L, I thought you had a seventy litre trekking backpack you were taking with you. Don't know much about the Lowepro 70 though.

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    ooops sorry i mixed that up.

    I have a Lowe Alpine 70L hiking pack....not lowepro....

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    Quote Originally Posted by enduro View Post

    Now on to that 70L backpack ... which one do you have and is it the lightest most breathable pack you can get? You can shed about 3kg off your back by getting a nice light pack and you will appreciate a reduction of every kg in that heat.
    I don't think it's always a good idea to go with light weight hiking packs. They are never as durable as the more solid constructed packs around. I've got two packs I use. 1 lightweight Osprey and 1 canvas style Mont. My Mont one is about 6 years old and still looks brand new dispite being treated as badly as possible. While my Osprey pack is looking pretty worse for wear considering it'd be half the age of my Mont.

    There is definitely a trade off for saving weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    I don't think it's always a good idea to go with light weight hiking packs. They are never as durable as the more solid constructed packs around. I've got two packs I use. 1 lightweight Osprey and 1 canvas style Mont. My Mont one is about 6 years old and still looks brand new dispite being treated as badly as possible. While my Osprey pack is looking pretty worse for wear considering it'd be half the age of my Mont.

    There is definitely a trade off for saving weight.
    With the low cost of quality light weight packs nowdays, I can afford to replace my pack every few years. I have found that even quality heavy duty packs wear out, loose their synthetic water repellant coatings, absorb more water and are just as likely to break than a quality light weight one. I have a heavy duty 75L pack (about 3.8kg) and a very light 60L one (1.1kg Osprey Exos). I always take the ultra-light one with me rather than the heavier pack.

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    I have done numerous treks in Nepal and Tibet up to 4 weeks in duration at times and travelled extensively with my camera. I leave the day pack at home and carry a combined camera/daypack. I have always used lowepro camera packs. Most recently in Tibet I used the largest size compu primus all weather trekker, not the best access but comfort wise its excellent and it holds camera, lenses and gear you need for the day like wet weather clothes, water etc. I carried about 12kg in it and would recommend it. I also use a Tamrom strap that attach to your bag shoulder straps, this saved my neck and allowed me to have the camera ready for quick response when needed.

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    You should also be concerned about Dust protection.
    I trekked to EBC in Nepal last year and a lot of the time carried my camera with the strap over one shoulder and a small accessory 'biner securing the strap to the opposite backback strap. This way it was mostly supported by the backback strap, and still had enough freedom in the strap to quickly grab a shot.

    When not in use it was stuffed into a padded pouch and dropped into the top of the pack mostly with my down jacket around it.

    It took several hours of cleaning when we got back to remove the dust from everywhere.
    Nikon D700 + D90 - Nikon 50mm f1.4, Sigma 24-70 f2.8, Nikon 70-200 f2.8VR, Sigma 18-200mm,

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    Hey,

    thanks again for your comments. Really interesting how many people have been to that part of the world. Maybe I should open a off topic, Nepal hiking advice topic, because we are not so sure yet where to go.....

    In terms of bags, darkc, What did you do with the daypack/camerabag when you went on your 4 weeks hike? Assuming you carried a big 70L or so hiking backpack?


    Cheers,

    Mirc

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    Mirc,
    If you book a trek with a guiding company in Kathmandu, they will usually store your equipment that you dont want to take for no charge. Many hotels will also do this. Make sure it is locked with a padlock, or a pacsafe net or something, just to be sure.

    I travelled to Nepal with a 75litre hiking pack, and took my 40litre alpine pack as carry on (mostly empty so it looked small) to use as a day pack. Once we had found a guide, we repacked our stuff into a single hiking pack, and each took our day pack. A porter carried the hiking pack, leaving us with just our daypacks.

    It's worthwhile getting a porter unless you are super fit. Everyday of trekking in Nepal is uphill. Even on the way back, it's all uphill. The small extra cost is very much outweighed by the extra mobility you get and you won't be nearly as sore. Carrying a heavy pack for 4 weeks does take it's toll on your joints and muscles.

    I can recommend a guiding company if you send me a PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mircula View Post
    Hey,

    thanks again for your comments. Really interesting how many people have been to that part of the world. Maybe I should open a off topic, Nepal hiking advice topic, because we are not so sure yet where to go.....

    In terms of bags, darkc, What did you do with the daypack/camerabag when you went on your 4 weeks hike? Assuming you carried a big 70L or so hiking backpack?


    Cheers,

    Mirc
    In Nepal I took my 70L backpack with all my camping gear in it but the sherpas took care of that load, god bless em. I carried my daypack/camera bag each day. Anything you don't want to take you should be able to leave in a safe at the hotel or with the trekking company if you plan to use one. Just make sure you research the company you use. I have heard some horror stories, particularly around the treatment of sherpas e.g., providing adequate clothing end equipment and payment. To being left in the mountains without any provisions. I would recommend researching and choosing a route before you go, the Annapurnas is a good entry to trekking in the Himalaya. You don't have to camp as there are loads of tea houses to stay in but it will be crowded. The Everest region is harder to get to and harder trekking but you get much closer to the mountains.

    You will love the Himalaya, particularly the Nepalese people. They are warm and friendly and easy to interact with. Kathmandu is a melting pot of different cultures and a lot of fun do just hang out and take photographs. Its a travel photographers paradise.

    Anything else you want to know give me a shout.

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