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03-12-2021, 02:06 PM   #1
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What carrying bag/system to use on walks/hikes with very young children

Hello!

I am seeking for advice in how to efficiently carry my K-5 iis on walks and hikes, as the father of 4 young to very young children (that often need to be run after and carried, often against their wishes).

So far, when outing the Pentax together with the kids, I'd usually simply carry it with the 18-135 WR in place over my neck or shoulder , using a wide cotton strap I've salvaged from an old Minolta after my original died. From experience this is clearly not ergonomic, and stresses me out when I have to run after or carry a reluctant child.

The strain on my neck/shoulder, combined with the sprint handicap, has often led me to leave the DSLR at home, favoring my pocketable Olympus TG-4, which I enjoy much for its wide angle capability (25 to 100mm equivalent in 35mm) combined with decent macro, but much less for the comparatively short Tele, impracticality when trying to select a focus and inferior reactivity...

I would like to be able to take along my Pentax more often, most likely with the 18-135 by default, altough I've entertained the idea of a two camera setting using the HD 55-300 WR combined with the TG-4 (I do use that combination for bridge pile inspection work with satisfactory results). I haven't defined it yet, but I do ponder about a 2 lens set, given that the TG-4 is very often in the hands of my 7y old eldest, which I might have interested a bit too much in photography (as he was still 6, I once came back from work only to see that he had taken my Pentax and tripod, carefully combined the two in the garden, and asked siblings and guests to pose for pictures and videos...).

On some walks I wouldn't have a backpack, and on other I'd have a fine Mammut hiking backpack, with belt, back metal frame and wide shoulder straps. I do have a relatively old Lowepro Fastpack 250, which I've used as handcarry and for storage, but it is too massive and comparatively uncomfortable for walks, plus following my latest GAS/LBA it became quite bloated with the addition of 4 new lenses, including the heavy Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 and HD DA* 11-18 f/2.8...

03-12-2021, 02:21 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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This maybe not what you want to hear but I have long given up on combining social/family trips with photographic opportunities.

I find I enjoy social trips with just my iphone, or dedicated photo excursions simply on my own.
03-12-2021, 02:21 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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An adjustable sling strap, which attaches to the camera's tripod thread and left hand strap lug, is more comfortable than the traditional strap. You can easily swing the camera behind your back when a child needs carrying.

A clip on your belt (or the shoulder strap of your backpack) is useful as a more secure mounting point for your camera if you need to run after a kid with the camera bouncing around.

The carry system I use is made by Peak Design, but there are no doubt others.
03-12-2021, 02:22 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
This maybe not what you want to hear but I have long given up on combining social/family trips with photographic opportunities.

I find I enjoy social trips with just my iphone, or dedicated photo excursions simply on my own.
And I was going to say something much like this as well. Wrangling four kids on a hike is quite enough work without worrying about camera gear

03-12-2021, 02:34 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Greetings! I use a B-Grip Uno*, which attaches to a backpack shoulder strap. A quick-release mounting plate attached to the cameraís tripod socket secures the camera plus lens so that it hangs downwards. Iíve used mine with a K-5 plus original 55-300, and now with the K-3II and the 55-300PLM and itís perfectly stable, and quick-release.

*other mounting systems are available! 😉
03-12-2021, 02:39 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Only a backpack would save the situation, though I won't carry so much with me when I'm on a hike with kids. You should choose to hike with kids or hike with photography equipment)) Anyway good luck!
03-12-2021, 03:10 PM - 1 Like   #7
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is the purpose of your activity to enjoy, supervise and interact with your children ?

if so, no photography equipment or the bare minimum, camera with good zoom

QuoteQuote:
the father of 4 young to very young children (that often need to be run after and carried, often against their wishes).
I cannot imagine how you could safely carry camera equipment while carrying a child

if your spouse is helping, I suggest you make sure you take turns so you are not the only one who doesn't have to look after the children

if carrying your camera and lens, I recommend an over the shoulder sling as mentioned but I like the way the Optech USA utility sling attaches to my camera at the upper lug on the camera

03-12-2021, 04:23 PM - 1 Like   #8
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If you want to carry a camera comfortably and have it ready to shoot, what Sandy said. If you want to carry equipment to get it out when you want it, a small sling bag is quick and not heavy. I have two sizes (small and medium)of the ThinkTank Turnstyle sling bags, you don't have to take them off to access them, small enough to not be burdened with carrying too much.
03-12-2021, 04:43 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I use a very old Tamrac holster style (not sure they still make one like it), but looks somewhat like a slightly slimmer version of this (this was just a somewhat random grab at B&H - poke around on their site to see a lot of variants and options on size, pouches etc):

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/626825-REG/Case_Logic_SLRC_201_SLRC_2...981&

I put my 55-300 PLM in the front pocket, and then my K-3 II and attached lens in the main compartment, and depending on the size of that attached lens, perhaps another at the bottom, e.g. 15 Limited in a pouch, K-3 II with 20-40 Limited mounted above it, and the PLM in the pocket. There's enough room in it to also carry a spare battery and a couple polarizers. I've found it a great way to go for a walk with the dog and family and have what I need in a light weight kit.

Last edited by clickclick; 03-12-2021 at 04:49 PM.
03-12-2021, 04:50 PM - 1 Like   #10
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A small prime lens will make all the difference.
03-12-2021, 06:05 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I use a 2 lens 2 body set when travelling. Sigma 10-20 on one and Tammy 28-75 on the other. I use a fossil messenger bag for one, the other in my hand, but. I have many times taken just one body and the 2 lenses, and it all fits in the messenger bag, along with spare batteries, memory cards and cell phone.
03-12-2021, 07:50 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote

I am seeking for advice in how to efficiently carry my K-5 iis on walks and hikes, as the father of 4 young to very young children (that often need to be run after and carried, often against their wishes).

So far, when outing the Pentax together with the kids, I'd usually simply carry it with the 18-135 WR in place over my neck or shoulder , using a wide cotton strap I've salvaged from an old Minolta after my original died. From experience this is clearly not ergonomic, and stresses me out when I have to run after or carry a reluctant child. ...
You answered your own question. Lose the wide cotton strap, overkill. Find something maybe an inch wide with non skid rubber underneath. Carry a smaller, lighter lens, like a Tamron 17-50. Don't worry about breaking stuff - your kids will break before your gear.
03-12-2021, 09:24 PM - 1 Like   #13
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There is a 2 year gap in my photo archive around the time my kids were toddlers. I regret that.

My family now loves to go on hikes and travel in general. I gave up taking pictures of stuff. Now I bring my gear to take great memories of our trips. And the photos really are fantastic.

A few things I have learned to make life easier. I have moved from shoulder bags like domke, which I love btw, to backpacks. I tend to take a few lenses on a trip but on each outing pick one and stick with it. I also tend to prefer telephoto and fast - two things that makes photos distinct from phone snaps. And primes.

I tend to like non photo backpacks as well. Usually I will pack a camera and lens and the family wants a bunch of other stuff too in there. That's fine. I just throw the photo gear in with a wrap or small case of some kind.

I am exploring capture clips like peak design. I do have their neck straps and I tend to just wear the straps cross body. Tighten up the strap and push the camera around on your back and it makes it easier to carry kids and move around freely. Peak design straps make it easy to change where the camera is anchored so you can hang it different ways based on lens and mood.

Last summer I travelled with a 300, 55, 21 and 15. We have started hiking on weekends already this year. I pick a lens for the day and out I go. Last weekend was the 100mm macro. Before was the 20-40. This weekend, who knows.

One other thing. I have my camera out until I lose interest and then am not afraid to throw it back in the bag. And a comfortable backpack is a wonderful thing!
03-13-2021, 02:02 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Try a neoprene camera strap. I use OpTech. Although the weight of the camera/lens is obviously unchanged it just feels lighter, I suspect due to the cushioning and shock absorption effect of the neoprene.

Not at all expensive to buy and try.

If I carry additional lenses I carry as few as I need in as small a pack as necessary, either around my waist or on my back.

As others say, out with the kids or out to take photos. If with the kids then absolute minimum camera kit, ideally 1 body plus suitable zoom.
03-13-2021, 02:46 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
An adjustable sling strap, which attaches to the camera's tripod thread and left hand strap lug, is more comfortable than the traditional strap. You can easily swing the camera behind your back when a child needs carrying.

A clip on your belt (or the shoulder strap of your backpack) is useful as a more secure mounting point for your camera if you need to run after a kid with the camera bouncing around.

The carry system I use is made by Peak Design, but there are no doubt others.
I use the sling strap by Sun Sniper. It attaches at the tripod mount, and the camera slides along the strap. It is worn cross-body, where the camera, when not in use, can easily be held in place by a pricey clip that they make, or just a simple carabiner on your left or right side. They also make a slider which can be attached to any kind of strap; backpack, camera bag or even a small-child carrying backpack.

Last edited by K(s)evin; 03-13-2021 at 02:53 AM.
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