Choosing the right type and amount of gear for long trips into the backcountry isn't easy. You have to be selective and leave most creature comforts at home. For many people going into these backcountry areas, their biggest concern is what luxury items they aren't bringing; folding chairs, canned food (which is banned in most backcountry areas), beer (also banned) and unneeded spare items. Those luxuries aren't even thought about when you need to pack in camera gear that initially adds 20lb or more to you backpack. When I head into these areas, I fit everything I need for five or six days into my Lowepro Rover Pro 45L, which includes camera gear, Tripod, clothing, food, stove/pots, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent and my two luxury items; a small folding stool and a candle lantern Sometimes I fit a small tackle box and fishing rod in that mix, depending on the season.
When it comes to the camera gear, I get as selective as possible. Thanks to the great staff at Bell Arte Camera, Dave and Leo, I now have the ability to minimize weight and bulk with the new Nikon TC-20E III teleconverter. When I match this up with my Nikon AF-S 70-200 F4 VR and Nikon Df, it will extend my focal (zoom) length to 400mm. The benefits of using a teleconverter over carrying a fixed lens is they are lighter, more compact and you still retain the added bonus of a zoom. There are unfortunate issues caused by using a teleconverter lens setup, but this new model has eliminated most of them. The remaining issues are something a seasoned professional can easily understand and work around.
Basics of what camera gear will be packed in my Lowepro Rover Pro 45L include the following;
- Nikon Df Body
- Nikon D7000
- Nikon AF-S 70-200 F4 VR
- Nikon AF 20 F2.8D
- Tokina M100 F2.8 Macro
- Nikon TC-20E III Teleconverter
- Cokin Z-pro Filter System
- Vello ShutterBoss Wireless Trigger
- Benro Travel Angel Carbon Tripod
- Sony Xperia Z Tablet
- ADATA HV650 Durable USB Drive
- Kingston MobileLite G2
- Spare batteries
- Pelican Memory Case
- Sandisk Extreme SD Memory Cards
Add-on the extra items of camping gear, food, clothing, a few basic necessities and you can see why weight of the whole package can be a concern. There is also the 42 lb weight of the canoe while portaging. It will not be an easy gig. So yet again, thank you to the great staff at Bell Arte Camera for helping me to keep a lighter load and Nikon for making a great teleconverter that works with my setup. I'm excited to get out there and start using it.