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I've been thinking about a better way to transport a camera with me when exploring.I haven't gone to anything exiting but just some trekking through a park near my house was a bit of a hassle. I've seen some camera backpacks but they all seem to large and bulky for exploring. After I moved on from that I thought about maybe rigging up a backpack with a foam pocket so I could carry flashlights, water, camera, ventilation mask, etc. What are your guy's thoughts?

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I have an Ape Case Pro, and it's very large, but holds all my gear. It's great for a short hike as it accommodates all my gear, and I take a lot of stuff. I take two cameras, three lenses, gps, 2 lights, etc, etc. With that said, many times I think I take too much gear with me. I need to find a way to slim down.  

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Gear = bulk = weight.  If you *need* what you bring, then there is no getting around it.  Be prepared to hump it around and make sure you have good boots.  Eventually, most people realize "Hey, I don't need this, that, or the other thing" and take it out of the pack.  Then, life gets a little easier.  I pack around a decent amount of gear, but that's partly because the pack is almost always ready to go, except for camera gear.  That makes getting out of town that much quicker and easier.  It's also packed for multiple purposes, with very little gear swapping needed.  The same pack can be used for desert travel, mine exploration, deer hunting, or Search and Rescue duties (the last does require some swaps, though). 

Another option is to maintain multiple packs for multiple disciplines.  That gets a little more expensive, but it can greatly simplify matters in other ways.  That's my basic goal these days.  First I'll get one pack ready for "everything", then I'll get another pack and split up the gear.  Whatever I need in both packs, I have to buy duplicates of, which is moderately annoying.  But again, the simplification outweighs the other concerns. 

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I understand there is going to be weight that's not my primary concern. What I was trying to say is I'm trying to find a more compact bag that isn't masssive or blocky like most I've seen. I just want to have a decent amount of maneuverability and a bag that isn't going to be smashing everything when I'm walking. 

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Sounds like you have a lot to carry, but depending on what kind of camera you shoot with, you could probably get away with a smaller amazon basics camera back pack. I have one of their smaller ones and it works great, but I would add more padding to the area your camera sits. 

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I have four different gear bags or cases, depending on where I am going and what I am shooting.I have a larger camera backpack with straps for holding my tripods, I have a sling bag that I use when shooting live concerts, a smaller standard bag and a metal case. If you want shots that won't require a zoom lens I would take just the camera, a standard 18-55 mm lens and a 35 mm lens. You can get away with not taking a tripod if you make a simple stringpod that you can carry in your pocket. I find it surprisingly steady, sturdy and effective.

http://lifehacker.com/257008/diy-string-tripod

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Well, in terms of just regular old packs, I've found the 5.11 Rush 72 to be an excellent pack.  It's durable and it holds a LOT of gear.  If it's not packed to bursting, the compression straps let you compact the pack into something smaller and easier to use. 

It is durable enough that I have no issues dragging it across rock and dirt inside nasty old mines, and if I need to lower/hoist it, the webbing and straps easily accommodate various lashing methods and carabiner attachment.  It has no padding to speak of, but I've used foam in various pockets, depending on how big the item is that needs padding.  I can lash smaller tools to it easily (shovels, hatchets, rock hammers) as well.  With all the MOLLE webbing, it's easy to customize for just about any need.  The only downside is that it's not waterproof, so anything sensitive to water needs a dedicated dry bag.

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1 hour ago, desertdog said:

Well, in terms of just regular old packs, I've found the 5.11 Rush 72 to be an excellent pack.  It's durable and it holds a LOT of gear.  If it's not packed to bursting, the compression straps let you compact the pack into something smaller and easier to use. 

It is durable enough that I have no issues dragging it across rock and dirt inside nasty old mines, and if I need to lower/hoist it, the webbing and straps easily accommodate various lashing methods and carabiner attachment.  It has no padding to speak of, but I've used foam in various pockets, depending on how big the item is that needs padding.  I can lash smaller tools to it easily (shovels, hatchets, rock hammers) as well.  With all the MOLLE webbing, it's easy to customize for just about any need.  The only downside is that it's not waterproof, so anything sensitive to water needs a dedicated dry bag.

I used to be a big fan of 5.11, they screwed up an order (sent wrong items and double charged me) and their customer service sucked big time, refused to do anything claiming in essence I was lying and so was my CC company (re: the double charge). I had to dispute the charge with my CC company to get anywhere and even then they fought it for weeks.  I've never purchased anything else from them.   That was all directly with the company, I suspect doing it through a more professional third party seller probably makes the issue moot.. however I prefer to just to never do business with them again...  I also got a few contracts for local LEO's in Stark County Ohio pulled, they probably felt that a bit....

They do make good durable stuff, just not worth the headache for me.

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For decades I simply hiked where I wanted to go with both a 35mm (later digital) camera and a video camera slung around my neck. If backpacking, other camera gear was stashed there, but always kept a still camera and video camera around my neck for use in an instant.

Nowadays, I simply use the video and still photo capability of my phone. Its image quality and resolution matches that of my digital camera. And it takes darn nice panorama images, far better than I can recreate from multiple images and Photoshop. The phone is always in my shirt pocket and easily acessable and light.

That said, I am at an age when I'd rather work smarter than harder. And its been 20 years since I've had a backpack on. And likely never will again.

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On 3/20/2017 at 10:32 AM, MissinTxtr said:

I've been thinking about a better way to transport a camera with me when exploring.

There's the rub with that last word if you ask me.  It's that doggone element of SURPRISE wanting and needing to shoot something in the distance that you did not anticipate!!  That being said, if I'm doing some amount of hiking (God forbid with my aging body!) I try to accommodate myself with a small pack that will have room for two lenses of different strengths....the camera is ALWAYS around my neck.  But again, this is in consideration of ergonomics and countryside; thick highly forested areas IHMO would be prohibitive of shooting anything with a 200-400mm lens.   Generally I have a Tamrac camera case...room enough for the variety of stuff I'd like to have with me....while not hoofing it for any length of time.

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My friends daughter has a chest strap for a gopro... it's always pointed where you're pointed and I'd imaging quick to startup...  maybe that's an option for the immediate need...

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good point on the GoPro.  I'm waiting for an implant that can just take a snapshot of what my eye sees at full resolution, with built in correction for vision issues... that'd sure be handy!

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16 minutes ago, Harley Kuehl said:

Question:  This is something available at Amazon.com?  LOL  j/k....

Not yet, but pretty soon google will require this with a google account.. and of course for your convenience record everything you see to the cloud..

 

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The joys of technology.  Hence the reason I usually turn off location services on my mobile devices whenever possible.  I used to at least cryptographically sign all my outbound email, as well.  I should re-install that software now that the needed update is in a stable beta.  I also tend to not geotag my photos, if possible, and always strip the metadata down to the bare bones when I upload photos and videos. 

Truth be told, I'd be just fine without my 'smart' phone.  I have books and I have local libraries.  Most of the information I want can be had in those places.  For what's not readily available, college libraries are a good alternative.  I really wish I still had ready access to the UC Davis Engineering library, though.  That place was great.  UC Berkeley has good libraries (better, really), but...Berkeley.  I don't like that place, or its inhabitants. 

I should really see what my options are to get into Stanford's libraries and back into SCU's law library (another favorite of mine where I spent probably too many hours not too many years ago).

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