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04-04-2021, 06:47 PM   #1
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Ways to carry a landscape and nature kit

Hi all. I'm planning this summers gear where we are focusing on travel to outdoor spaces, hiking, wildlife and nature. I have a backpack with an insert and am planning to carry the following.

DA* 300
DA 20-40
Maybe 100mm macro
Maybe 15 ltd

While out I may or may not carry it all, and I may leave the backpack and take just camera and a lens. I'm looking for advice on how to carry both a small setup (20-40) and long setup (300) with and without a backpack.

Black rapid strap under/over backpack
Peak design slide over backpack
Capture on backpack and another strap
Something else

I have a PD leash and it is great. Is there some other piece of gear I'm missing?

04-04-2021, 08:24 PM   #2
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I have a simple setup that I really like. I use a Tamrac non-slip web strap with quick release male clips. The camera has short straps with quick release female clips. When I have a pack on it has quick release male clips on the backpack straps, so the camera clips into those, and all the weight of the camera is on the pack system. When I don't have the pack on I simply unclip the camera from the pack straps, take out the regular strap and cllip the camera to that. Works great, at least for me.
04-04-2021, 09:17 PM - 2 Likes   #3

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My method may or may not work for you. I do different things depending on the type of ground I'm hiking on.

Easy trail:
  • Camera at my chest, aimed downward, with a strap under the prism carrying the weight. The image linked below is sort of how it works.
  • Use the neck strap as a safety. It's not usually carrying weight but is there just in case the chest strap comes loose.
  • I modify this for heavy lenses to reduce strain on the lens mount. Pivot the tripod foot so it slides under the chest strap, letting the strap support the lens instead of the camera.
Unstable footing, especially when there's more risk of falling forwards. I don't want to turn a small uneventful slip into a broken camera and injured ribs:
  • Camera in backpack if I don't expect to take photos for a while.
  • If I expect to be taking frequent photos at unpredictable times, and the trail isn't very difficult, and I'm not using hiking poles, I might just keep the camera in my right hand to avoid the hassle of back-and-forth into the backpack. I twist the neck strap around my wrist a few times so the camera doesn't drop if my fingers slip. If I trip and fall the camera might get smashed but my ribs will hopefully be safer than if the camera was connected to my chest.

(Apologies for the huge photo, the Insert Image button offers no option to resize when I link a photo from Manfrotto's website)
04-04-2021, 09:50 PM   #4

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QuoteOriginally posted by ncallender Quote
Is there some other piece of gear I'm missing?
Don't forget a tripod and back up batteries. I went on a trip once with full gears but forget all batterie on the chargers at home.

04-05-2021, 01:59 AM   #5
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I do a lot of walking in nature areas, Iíll be heading out this morning and will probably walk between 6 to 12 miles. I guess you would call me a minimalistic walker, I like to carry as little as possible, Iíve taken too many hikes with unused gear that added nothing but weight. I will be taking kit similar to yours, today it will be KP, DA300*and TC, and DA 20-40. I will have the 20-40 in a lowepro lens case on my belt. I will have the KP and DA300 on a Black Rapid sling or in a Thinktank holster with a harness on my chest with a small tripod attached, a couple batteries in my pocket, and a water bottle on the belt. I got the holster for using on a bike or rougher terrain where I donít want the camera/lens swinging if I have to climb over things. Itís a very recent addition but so far I like it a lot. Sometimes I may carry the 15 or a macro lens either instead of the 20-40 or in addition to. If needed I have a Thinktank Turnstyle 10 sling that can hold a KP with 20-40. 55-300, and 15 and or macro lens. Those are the lenses I will carry. Iím not a fan of most backpacks if you have to remove them to access.
There are a lot of ways you can do it, what works for me may not for you. Your own experience will guide you. I remember my first sling bag was big enough to carry several lenses and other gear, I found out on a hike with a rapid elevation climb that it was pretty dumb to carry lenses that you would maybe use and a big tripod for a couple of photos. Iíve got to go now to catch a sunrise in the forest.
04-05-2021, 02:46 AM - 1 Like   #6
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My standard 'do everything' outdoor kit is K3 & grip with 55-300 attached, Sigma 10-20, Pentax 18-135, Sigma 105mm macro, AA tray for grip with Eneloops, spare Eneloops, 3 spare K3 batteries, rocket blower, right-angle viewfinder, IR remote, spare SDXC cards, Sigma 150-500 zoom, home-made bean bag, CF tripod with Manfrotto head, sticking plasters, painkillers etc, all in a sturdy backpack (no idea what make - it was £30 on Ebay. I have re-inforced the straps and attachments). As I am too well-built (ok, fat) to do up the body-warmer I wear over my fleece, I do not use the waist strap, so all the weight is on my shoulders. I have been told this is bad for me. Oh - and reading glasses, for when I use Live View, but they usually go in my pocket.

Always use public transport, so I'm carrying the lot all day, usually some five to seven miles, with cafe stops as and when (hopefully !). Twice some varlet has tried to steal the bag from the seat beside me, only to be brought up short by being unable to lift it ! Kids of today are so unfit. I intend to still be so equipped even when I am seventy (week after next !)
04-05-2021, 06:26 AM   #7
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I do walks of a few miles at a time with my K-3 and DA*300mm (with or without the 1.4x TC depending on the light). I use a Think Tank Pro Speed belt with a Think Tank camera clip adaptor V3.0, and a Peak Design Capture clip with the plate attached to the camera lens. The adaptor has a thick foam pad that separates the lens from my leg but I usually hold the camera steady with my left hand as I'm walking. I just have to press the red button and pull the camera up and out of the clip when I see something. I have a few assorted pouches that I use to store lenses, battteries, a cleaning cloth, and my Ricoh GR-3 which helps to minimize lens changes. I use binoculars on a strap around my neck as well and this combination works for me.

04-05-2021, 09:40 AM   #8
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I use a Think Tank/Mind Shift Dual Ultralight 36L backpack. The bottom compartment can be removed, and used as a camera bag with waist or neck strap. I've carried Pentax 645Z with 80-160, 55, and 35 in camera bag.
Think they quit making this set up.


Last edited by barondla; 04-05-2021 at 09:46 AM.
04-05-2021, 05:02 PM   #9
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If it is the same series of trails you don't need to take everything. Sometime it might be enjoyable to limit the hike to one or 2 lenses knowing you will take different lenses another time
04-05-2021, 09:03 PM   #10
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Thanks all. It will be a flexible setup so I think you have provided a couple more interesting ideas. The cheat strap is brilliant and I may give that a try. I like to hike with one lens on camera and the rest in the bag. So I think I may have to order a few products and return what doesn't work over a few springtime trials. I hate doing that because I end up finding out they all work well for different things. It's the worst!

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