Hiking Setup and Backpacks

Feb 5, 2014
5
0
They don't have a US distributor anymore that I know of, but Aarn Packs makes the perfect packs for quick-drawing a camera. They basically have a pair of modular bags that are part of the main shoulder straps (but have stays that distribute their weight to the hip belt). They have a couple of camera-specific models. I've carried a 50D plus a 70-300L, a 10-22, a 100L, and accessories with it all immediately accessible on the front of my body (the rest of my gear goes in the traditional portion of the pack). Aarn packs include water-proof bags for everything as well.
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,816
35
candc said:
i really like the f-stop satori for weekend long backcountry trips with a dslr kit. it uses a regular back pack frame and is good for strapping your tent, snowshoes and other stuff to the outside.
I am intrigued by the F-stop line. I have my idea on a Tipola. Too bad their distribution is so poor in the US. I live in Chicago and there is no where I can check them out. Mostly want for equipment and day hikes. No overnight backpacks.
 

Larsskv

EOS 7D MK II
Jun 12, 2015
793
218
andrei1989 said:
i am seriously thinking about the mindshift rotation for hiking but i am not sure between the panorama and the trail. my usual gear for hiking is just the 70d body with the sigma 17-70 and i will get the 10-18 stm but not more, as the people i go with are not into photography and i wouldn't make them wait for me to change lenses..

i saw the review of the trail on shuttermuse and the guy put a 5d3 with 24-70 on its side inside the belt section. would my 70d fit vertically there?
would the panorama fit the above mentioned plus a 70-210 2.8?
With the Panorama, I can fit a 5Ds with a 24-70 f/2.8LII, and the 16-35 f/4LIS in the hipbelt compartment. Often I pack my 100-400LII attached to the 7DII in the upper compartment, plus dry clothing, food and water. A tripod can easily be attached on the outside.

I can promise you, that the carrying comfort is on par with a good hiking pack. Trust me, I own four Osprey packs and an Arctery'x pack.

The Panorama isn't very big, so if you are 6 feet or taller, it might feel small.

The rotation Pro 180 is expensive, but gives you more room, and should fit taller persons very well. I went hiking for 5 days in Patagonia with it, carrying 5Ds, 7DII, 24-70f2.8LII, 16-35F4LIS, and 100-400LII, a tripod and all the clothes and personal items I needed for all five days. It was heavy, but the carrying comfort was excellent. Mindshift is the way to go!
 

NWPhil

one eye; one shot - multiple misses
Oct 4, 2011
272
0
As others already said - backpacking= overnight and maybe more than one day.
So, the priorities: survival, meaning you pack properly for a backpacking outing (sounds that you know what this means) and compromise some comfort or luxury items in favor of photo gear - replacing with ultra light gear works too if conditions allow.
The gear will go in neoprene wraps, pouches or soft case enclosed units, like the ICUs from F-Stop (there are cheaper versions)
while on the trail - depending on terrain, you might b able to be comfortable with a strap, better yet if a slide type. Other option is the harness holster type (Cotton carrier for instance) or a dedicated (and bulky) pouch.
Consider carrying a P&S as a snapshot machine along the way instead

all the other packs are borderline hacks - meant to be camera gear bags for walk around town, or short distance away from the car parked at the TH, "modified" to look like a true backpack (meaning they don't fit, lack proper features, are heavier and absurdly more expensive)
There is no substitute to a true fit, and only a true backpack gives you that. You might as well look into 55l and/or a bit bigger capacity bag, so you will have extra room, and a pack that can handle a heavier load.
Yes, gear access will be compromised, but not your comfort and ability to accomplish your backpacking adventure


ps: I use:
a gregory targhee 45 for day hikes with gear
the Osprey Atmos 65l for backpack - allows to carry 2-3 lenses and tripod with some compromises
a (gone away brand) P1 Photobackpacker for heavy hauls in short (less than 10 miles) day trips
a few other bags for around town/short distance on groomed trail
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,254
454
Having backpacked in the Himalayas, NZ and Indonesia I would recommend for a multi-day walk buying a backpack for hiking first and then select the one that offers ways of carrying your camera gear.
FWIW, I had my SLR in a holster bag and when the backpack was on, I put the strap of the holster bag round my neck, put both arms through the strap and shrugged the strap backwards until it was was resting on the harness straps of the rucksack - no weight on the shoulders or neck. The camera was readily accessible and protected from the elements and the relatively low weight of the camera (compared to the backpack) meant it did not feel unbalanced. Worked for me.
 
My long day pack, that also doubles as an excellent carry-on bag for airlines is a Mountainsmith Borealis. It does a great job of protecting my gear, has a rain fly, slot for a water bladder AND a laptop, tripod attachment points, etc. The waist and shoulder straps are more like a real backpack and the zipout on the lower compartment for lenses makes it easy for my hiking partner to help me swap out lenses fairly quickly. I carried it on an 8-day climb of Kilimanjaro and it held up very, very well.
http://mountainsmith.com/camera/borealis-2014.html
 

j-nord

Derp
Feb 16, 2016
467
3
Colorado
slclick said:
Backpacking implies overnight(s)
steepjay said:
As has been observed, backpacking = overnight for me...
NWPhil said:
As others already said - backpacking= overnight and maybe more than one day.
Although I agree with you guys, 'backpacking' means overnight or multi-day (and less camera gear), I'm not sure where this backpacking talk is coming from?
 

j-nord

Derp
Feb 16, 2016
467
3
Colorado
My take on some of the backpacks mentioned:

f-stop - look like high quality packs and I did look at them pretty closely (online), they have some nice features but the straps look sub par and the prices are pretty obscene. I seriously doubt they can compete comfort or value wise with real backpacks. I certainly wouldn't take a chance on them unless I had money to burn.

Mind shift - the only promising looking DSLR orient backpacks I've seen but not promising enough I'd gamble on them with out taking them for a test run. Prices are also very high. The rotation system looks nice for a very lightweight and small day pack but if you have any significant load in the back pack, the hip belt doesn't look like its going to take the load off your shoulders.

Lowe pro - no, maybe for carrying your gear from your house to your car and back...
 

j-nord

Derp
Feb 16, 2016
467
3
Colorado
steepjay said:
have a strong 5mm cord strung on my 6D / 16-35f4 and that hangs off my pack via a carabiner.
Can you elaborate? I'm interested in how you have this strung up. Im always looking for a new way to carry my camera for super easy access. I haven't yet opted for the camera case mounted to the hip belt route. Ive thought about hanging the camera from the 2 shoulder straps, sitting near the middle of my chest or a shoulder strap mount system.
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
Sep 8, 2012
935
44
FWIW, as others have said it all depends on the trip and the kit. I have done multi-day Himalaya treks with a Loka. I'll have a Thinktank holster on my chest (used to hang it on the shoulder strapos but now have a TT harness that I put on before slinging the pack over my shoulders) with a DSLR and something like a 24-105 or 24-70 there ready to use. I bring batteries, cards, and either a 17-40 / 16-24 or prime and something long (70-200 f/4 IS) in the pack. In fairness, I do these big trips with support so I don't need to haul my tent or cooking gear or most of the food, just my personal things and water and snacks each day.

For less trying adventures or Grand Canyon day trekking, I use an Osprey daypack, a Digital Holster and either put another lens in the top of the pack or hang it in a Lowepro lenscase off the strap. I picked up a Kiboko 22L+ on sale last year but have not used it for hiking. It is great for carrying a big kit but one needs to bring layers, water and other supplies besides photo gear.
 

Vern

EOS 7D MK II
Jun 11, 2013
413
82
I backpack with a DanaDesign (since bought out by K2) Terrapin X internal frame pack that fits me like a glove. IMO, a real backpacking outfit is key to successfully lugging much gear around the wilderness if you are camping. Per other's comments, I haven't seen a camera oriented pack (and I have one of the big Lowepro ones) be comfortable enough for real backpacking. I use the Lowepro for day hikes. It is better at keeping all the camera gear neat, protected and in order, but with my DanaDesign pack I can carry camera gear, food, a tent, sleeping bag etc and be comfortable (but very, very slow).

I have recently reduced my camera gear when backpacking to a single body (5DIII or 1Dx depending on photo ops - I'm likely to get a 5Ds R before my next landscape trip) and 2 lenses - the 24-70 2.8 II and the 100-400 II plus a 1.4XIII. This plus a tripod, extra batteries, filters is enough when backpacking. (Although, I'm tempted to add the 11-24 as well before my next trip.)

For access while packing in, I hang my tripod w mounted camera and lens off a large S-hook hung from a position over my right shoulder (tripod is upright and my camera at shoulder height). I can effortlessly take shots while walking w/o disengaging the tripod or take it off when needed for stability/panos etc. With this setup, I don't have to give up quick shots while carrying everything and the weight of the camera/tripod is distributed to the high-quality belt and not my shoulders. I attach a pic where my pack is the green and black one to the right. This was after a great hike around the Syncline loop at Islands in the Sky. A bit scary in places (pic 2), but I had no problems with all my gear (actually carried much more on this occasion - included the 300 2.8II for wildlife, but my sons and a friend helped w other items). I'm no hulk (old guy w the whitening beard on the left), so a good pack makes a huge difference.
 

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NWPhil

one eye; one shot - multiple misses
Oct 4, 2011
272
0
Hey Vern, thanks for your insights - could you post a more detailed picture showing your setup?
seems that was not on in last picture, and would really like to know how to replicate it - that is, if you don't mind :)
Thanks
Phil
 

Vern

EOS 7D MK II
Jun 11, 2013
413
82
NWPhil said:
Hey Vern, thanks for your insights - could you post a more detailed picture showing your setup?
seems that was not on in last picture, and would really like to know how to replicate it - that is, if you don't mind :)
Thanks
Phil
Hi Phil - my sincere apologies for missing your question for ~6 months. This site is quirky about showing replies to posts and I just stumbled across yours. I don't have a pic of my setup, but would be happy to post one if it still of any interest. I will check back on this post ;-)