I'm heading away, probably after the weekend (meant to be really wet), and for the first time I'm making the conscious decision that photography is my secondary aim. I always go out with the intention of long days of quiet meditation, reading, journaling and strolling around, but it always turns into "oh, and I HAVE to take this camera, incase I come across this.. And if I see that, then ill need this kit too...". This one will be aaall about the time away, I'm not sure yet, but the camera kit might consist of, oh, I dunno, a 'Clack' or something!
Damit - Just booked some time off work and will have to go up to the Lake District first week of November. Should be nice and chilly up on the peaks which might discourage the casual tourist. Camera choice is already decided, as is the number of socks.... Should I take the -5C or the -10C sleeping bag..
Just reading the Ansel Adams autobiography, who slept in the snow in his - in the Sierra(s). I'm guessing in the 1930s sleeping bags were sleeping bags and it was good clothes that really mattered. Does 'much ado about nothing' sum up modern camping mentality?
P.S. My sleeping bag is -15C. :D
The Lakes and Snowdonia were two places that left a big impression on me when the family visited the UK in 1988 (June): cold and wet and "out of season" like! Somewhere exists here Kodachrome slides of what I saw stepping out of the car in between "stream showers": an euphemism for chucking it down every 2 hours.
Snow is an insulator: you should not feel cold sleeping on it, but it will have mostly flattened or softened by morning. I've slept in the (Australian) alps at –6°C in a sleeping bag rated to –5, and it was effing cold!! Worse was being trapped in the tent by frozen zippers. Socks frozen, knickers frozen, beard frozen,. nose numb ... arrrrrrrgh—! The only thing that worked was the stove. Now it's Spring, warming up delightfully and I'm packing for a roadie.:)
And remember, there are different types of 'cold' - dry cold or damp cold. Here in the Highlands of Scotland, it's not the overall temperature you need to worry about, but the real-on-the-mountain temperature when you factor in windchill and damp. And, no matter how good your sleeping bag is, if it's filled with down, it will lose insulation when wet. Keeping kit dry in a tent when packing and unpacking in the p*ssing rain on a mountain far from home is a skill in itself...!
As for camping on snow - there are endless types of mountain snow too - hard packed from mountain freeze / thaw cycles, hard-packed with a damp sleety top-layer, soft unpacked which is a bugger to pitch on etc. And the joys of freezing tent pegs etc.
However, lest this all become too gloomy, the rewards as you rise from your tent at first light on a sharp morning high up a mountain outweigh hardship and make you forget all those trips where you wake up miles from anywhere, heaving rain, wind blowing a hooly, in thick mist :blink:
My overall feeling is that it's a little futile to offer opinions on suitability of gear etc from the comfort of a comfy seat indoors, another thing to wild camp high on the mountains a few times, find out both how miserable / rewarding it can be, then start working out what kit best meets your own needs based on your experiences...
I'd just take the smallest 35mm body with lenses around 28/50/135mm and as much film as you can sensibly fit into your pack (after the essentials, obviously). Don't take anything irreplaceable or seriously rare - for example, my SMC Pentax 120mm f2.8 never comes out if there's a real risk of damaging it, I use the common-or-garden Pentax-M 135mm f3.5 for those times instead. In fact the 28mm f3.5, 50mm f1.7 and 135mm f3.5 with an MX, ME Super or P30 would make an excellent outfit for this.
It really comes down to what the primary purpose of your trip is. I used to do a lot of 4x4ing, on those trips I'd just take something fairly indestructible and two or three easily replaced lenses. If you're driving, and especially if you're leading a group, you don't get time for photos as most people don't want to stop every five minutes. The primary aim here was to explore as many of the unsurfaced rights of way as you sensibly could before you ran out of daylight/weather/enthusiasm, any photos resulting were a bonus. At less than walking pace (as you don't want to damage the terrain or your vehicle) it takes a while to get anywhere, but that's part of the fun.