Potential gear probably deserves its own thread, and you'll elicit just about as many opinions as there are fromats and models of cameras out there. But in principle, as general advice, I'd say forget
all those fancy camera daypacks and their heavy rubber packing. Learn to use simple lightwt bubble
packing and plastic bags, or spare clothing as padding. Only take what lenses and gear you really need, and already intuitively use. When you're tired and a storm is closing in, you need to do things
instinctively. The less bells and whistles a camera has, and the less battery-dependent, the better.
Some things that are wonderful in the studio can fail in the weather. Unless you are doing strictly
handheld work, get a solid tripod, but no heavier than necessary. A flimsy one or wobbly ballhead doesn't realistically save any weight if your pictures are blurred! Expect things eventually get dinged
up, no matter how careful you are. Never put your own safety in jeopardy just to get a shot. Squalls
and lightning won't wait for you. Always have a decent parka and sweater, even if you're out for a
dayhike in potentially cold or wet areas. Talk to the locals or travel with an experienced individual if
you're not experienced yourself. Camping gear itself is a bit involved and off-topic, but there are plenty of websites dedicated to that subject.
I agree with Drew about one trick pony camera, lens cases and packs, think of it this way, if you put a lens in a case instead of a beanie or wrapped in a quick dry fleece, can you wear that lens case...?....I doubt it.
Photo gear: 5x4 camera, three lenses, tripod, light meter, six film holders, changing bag, filters, and film - Say 8Kg.
A down jacket, waterproof coat, poncho, and a spare base layer, socks, & underwear completed the kit. This all went in to a 40l ultralight backpack and combat vest.
On the next trip, the flysheet will be swapped out for a larger poncho that can double as a shelter - The tripod and walking stick would double up as support poles. At this time of year, I'd change to a petrol stove as butane/propane proved to be short lived in cooler weather - The flame would die while the canister was still half full..
A lighter camera, one less lens, and a smaller changing bag would be the only changes on that front. With the typical wet weather that Cumbria has at any time of year, going light can be a bit of a crap shoot, so it is worth taking gear that can serve multiple uses. A poncho will keep the rain off and can be used as a shelter or a groundsheet (a mylar space blanket could also serve as a groundsheet). As mentioned earlier, the tripod & walking stick can form part of the shelter. A down jacket worn at night means a lighter sleeping bag can be taken but this needs to be balanced against expected night time temperatures.
Going ultralight entails taking extra care and having an exit stratagy should things go pear shaped without relying on Mountain Rescue - A mobile phone is not a substitute for poor planning.
And it is!. If you take all that gear as listed, what will the weight come to? Something else has to be left back in the van — your tent? Sleeping bag and mat? Stove??
Priorities first are to live 'out there' in relative comfort and take what is comfortable to carry on your back. Sure, there are muscle-bois out there who will take every camera they can think of, plus tent, GPS, altimeter, iPhone, recorder... ??? . Let them: they "probably" have the physical capacity to do so (in Australia there are only two I think who take large (4x5) outfits into the wilds for 2 weeks of self-contained wilderness walking. Well known Tasmanian photographer died climbing Mount Hayes in 1996 with 45kg on his back, a lot of that a Linhof, 5 holders, 3 lenses and a meter. But the rest of us go out there to enjoy the scenery and experience: a camera is just to record what we see at specific times — not necessarily to create a masterpiece of light and tone on the first day out.
Instead of preoccupation with photographic gear, take the minimum you know you will use. Use the rest of the time to immerse yourself in the scenery and after that, brew up something interesting on your camp stove, like damper. Of course, that cast-iron pot might have to take precedence over the folder... :)
My 4-night walk kit
'Brutus' the EOS1N, with 17-40mm or TS-E 24mm
Sky1B and POL filters 77Ø, one fitted to lens
2 rolls of 135/36
Notebook and pencil
Weight: 3.4kg, packed
Alt. kit (same duration)
Zero Image pinhole 6x9
XA + 2 rolls 35mm
Weight: 1.2kg, packed
Gitzo GT0931 carbon fibre, 1.8kg
You wants a carry-on list!? :) All in a Berghaus 60L pack
Titanium stove head + 100gm propane/butane gas canister (substituted with a MSR Whisperlite + 200ml shellite in cold weather/high altitudes)
MONT Moondance 1person tent (1.9kg)
Sleeping bag (1.4kg)
Thermarest Micro (750gm)
Spork, Swiss army knife
Collapsible Sea-to-Summit bowl
Collapsible 2.5L water flask
(inside pack) 1L water flask with hose
Gas lighter (in locked position)
iPood spade (yes, that's it's real name!) + industrial strength paper
Industrial-strength mozzie repellant
Head torch (fresh batteries installed)
Small lantern for inside tent
Change of clothes (Budgie Smugglers are excellent as they dry quickly after swimming)
Bandaids, waterproof surgical tape for treating blisters
Puritabs for treating water
Hand sanitiser goop
Toothbrush (half-size) and 35mm container with stuff inside it
Raincoat (rolled up, doubles as a pillow)
Chux wipe (this is my towel: dries quickly, weighs nothing)
CROCS for around camp, in glow-in-the-dark pink so I can find them at night
Jumper (worn, or packed); just a vest in Spring-Summer
hat or beanie (but not both)
gloves (winter only)
Foldable closed-foam mat (for kneeling/sitting on); bought 25 years ago at a fleamarket...
Wooden spoon (to belt stickybeak tourists peaking over my shoulder)
Superior Little Person's Book of Words (accessory to the wooden spoon)
Food bits (say for two to three nights)
Vit C tabs (counted for walk)
Fish oil caps (good for heart, counted for walk)
M&Ms container for maintenance meds of my 35-year old transplant
Green tea, earl grey tea, camomile tea
35mm container of Red Box/Manuka blend honey (for the tea)
Portion serves of pasta twirls and film container of sauce; another film container with grated cheese
Gravlax, dried tomato, mesculin, blob of mayo and chips (treat for night one!), freeze-dried icecream (just add water and shake)
TinyTuna (75gm diced toona for sandwiches)
Pathology specimen container with Vegemite inside (yum!)
Dry biskits (2 a day)
Powdered milk mixed 50/50 Sustagen SPORT (big energy boost start to the day)
Goobies for brekky (VitaWeeties with cashews or dried apricots)
Chocky (of course, of course) — deep frozen before heading out in hot weather to prevent if being poured instead of chewed...)
Galaxy SII phone (turned off, used only to contact Ranger or in an emergency)
As I've said, I now strongly favour recording my walks with a pinhole — a proven conversation starter wherever I go. And it is much lighter to boot!
Other food stuff, highly variable, depending on climate and walking distance. I dislike packed freeze-dry food. Lots of alternatives though.
Target weight is 17kg (pack) add camera+tripod is c. 24.5kg or a third and a bit of my weight — any more I cannot do, of 61kg).
Now let's see what others are carrying! :)
In my younger days, I'd pack my backpack as if for any 10 or 11 day backpack trip, and toss the 4x5, film, 5 holders, changing bag, tripod (Gitzo 300 - pre carbon fiber days), meter, etc on top of everything else. I had the largest volume pack Gregory made. Okay, it weighed 85+ pounds, but like I said, it was my younger days! I like to keep it at around a pound a year now -- up to about 60 pounds for a week...I am at 250 pounds (aiming at 230).
People today are a bunch of wusses.
In 1912 the Kolb brothers ran the Grand Canyon and Colorado river, from Green River Wyoming all the way to the end, in wooden boats hauling gear for more than a month plus a 35 mm movie camera, 8 by 10 view camera, tripods and some smaller (4 by 5) cameras for snapshots, and a portable darkroom. Got some great shots. The big cameras used glass plate negatives, too, I believe.
So I'd say you can handle whatever you want to.
their book was also a really great read, if you seek inspiration:
but if it is me and i want to do "large" format in the wild, I grab the rollei, a coupla pro-packs and call it good.
People definitely are wusses today. The age of health and safety. I think it's worse over here for finicky campers/ramblers and there's more of a sport's mentality - with appropriately branded gear. It's less 'Roughing It' and more 'Roughing It in the Correct Fashion'. That said, I respect the potential hostility of the outdoors and certainly wouldn't take silly risks.
My main problem is how skinny, weedy (and white) I am and I'm pretty impressed by the 'muscle bois' with all that gear. I can probably just about manage 10kg with frequent breaks! All manliness aside. I suppose summer is the best bet for these photography expeditions, when all you might need is a flysheet and light sleeping bag.
I'll be watching some Ray Mears before I go.
If you're looking for cheap camping gear, Alpkit has a small range of good quality stuff - Have a jacket & bivvy bag from them.