Cookset 2017/12

My backpacking cook set-up is tidy. Not perfect, but I wanted everything to pack inside my 650ml Toaks mug, and that’s done. Everything inside means stove, fuel, wind screen and lighter fits under the lid. I like the simple elegance; it saves space, with one less thing (the fuel bottle) floating about in the pack. […]

Light Backpacking Gear

Light-weight your three-season backpacking gear to hike farther and higher, and capture the photographs of your dreams. Note: this is an update of a 2016/01/29 post. My ultalight Odyssey took root in a 1995 backpack to the Washington State Enchantments. On day one, we slogged over Aasgard Pass, a 4,550 ft elevation gain. My 55-pound […]

Backpacking Photographer, Light-weight Supporting Camera Gear        2016/01

Light-weight ideas for tripod, camera case, filters and other tools of the backpacking photographer I researched switching to a mirrorless camera for backpacking recently, figuring the weight savings and comparable picture quality would make the switch from a Canon 5D III a win. A driver of that investigation was that I skipped purchase the 50MP […]

Photographer Kayak: Necky Elias ____ 2014/04

I’ve been paddling a fiberglass Necky Elias for a year now and I’m constantly reminded of its suitability for photographers. Our needs are a bit different from other paddlers; those needs include ample stowage, ample hatch and cockpit openings, and maneuverability. Speed is rarely an issue. Open ocean suitability is a plus. The Necky Elias […]

Ultralight Camera Bag—Reconsidered ____ 2014/03

In recent years while backpacking, I stowed my Canon 5D in a Tamrac 3330 Aero Zoom30 (7½W x 5D x 8H external). The 7 oz. bag is the lightest I’ve found that meets the need of housing a full-frame camera with zoom lens attached. It’s cheap at $20 (Amazon). In the field, I use the […]

Backpacking Photography Gear        2013/01

Sunrise near Sahale Glacier camp, Sahale Arm, North Cascades NP, Washington State.

I’ve written thrice about backpacking (Ultralight Backpacking and Photography, Backpacking and Photography Re-visit, Light-Weight Backpacking and Photography), all pointed at ultra-lightening the backpack gear. The goal is to safely reduce pack weight to ease the burden of carrying a dSLR, lenses and tripod. And it works. Ultralight backpacking is a photographer’s godsend. Ultralighting gets us […]

Photo Tip: Gearing Up! ____ 2012/04

We all make decisions about photography gear based on perceived need, cost or cost-effectiveness and—as pro photographer John Shaw pointed out—the “lust factor”. I’m guilty on all counts. Here’s what I did last month. Spring is always a transition. In our local (Kirkland, WA) watershed park, Indian Plum blossoms early. Next up are the dazzling […]

Expedition Trip Photography Plan, Part I—the Gear ___ 2011/03

Two years ago, I wrote about photography on a longish kayak trip (Ten-day Power Trip, 06/2009) in Baja, a trip without the ability to charge batteries. My solution then was extra batteries and plenty of flash memory, coupled with judicious use of those resources. A solar charger didn’t make sense—the trip wasn’t long enough—and a […]

Backpacking and Photography Re-visit ___ 2010/11

I survived our Enchantments backpack trip. OK, maybe better than survived. I feel more like I thrived, despite the 4,400 ft vertical climb the first day over Aasgard Pass. The thriving resulted from getting in shape, and cutting the gear load. The eye-popping, golden-larch and granite spire landscape-that-rivals-Yosemite might be a factor. Maybe. Washington’s Alpine […]

Light-Weight Backpacking and Photography __ 10/2009

I was tempted to call this tip “Small is Beautiful”.I started pruning backpacking poundage after a 1995 trip to Washington State’s Enchantments, when my pack for five days in mid-September tallied 55 lbs. There’s no reason to re-hash the old gear, but the same trip today would weigh in at about 35 lbs, with better […]