So, here is the deal. We've scored some of the most difficult reservations in the world: a night in the Phantom Ranch cabins at the bottom of the Grand Canyon for next September.
We will be traveling very light. Pair of underwear, toothbrush, exercise shorts and shirt to sleep in, snacks and lots and lots of water. Right now I'm planning on my 7D (unless the 7DII comes out before then), with the 15-85mm lens. No grip. Just extra batteries for this trip.
Dilemma number one: hiking day pack or camera backpack? Since comfort and every ounce counts, I'm inclined to take a day pack designed for hiking; most likely something with a built-in water bladder or a bladder insert. Carrying the camera inside a backpack is kind of pointless, so the camera will be out most of the hike.
Dilemma number two: extra lens? I'm not about to lug my 70-300 or 100-400 up the canyon, but I am giving some thought to buying a 70-200 f4. On the one hand, I'd hate to miss a chance at some critter because I don't have anything longer than the 15-85mm. On the other hand, if the 70-200 is in my backpack, what good is it going to do me?
Dilemma number three: camera strap. I've got the Black Rapid Sport, but I can't say I'm overwhelmed by it. Lately, when hiking, I've just been using a regular strap (Kata) and looping it through a handle on my Kata camera backpack (takes the weight off the neck and essentially forces the backpack to carry the camera). Again, stressing lightness, anyone with hiking and packing experience have a favorite strap configuration.
Dilemma number four: dump the 7D and go with a 1DX or similar small, all-in-one body and lens kit. I know that every extra ounce on the 7D is going to feel like a pound coming back up.
I'm inclined to go minimalist here. This is about the experience, not the photos. Yet, I doubt I'll ever be down there again, so don't really want to miss an opportunity.