Just do it. In my younger days, I would take my tent and other backpacking stuff (sleeping bag, stove etc.) along with my Mamiya TLR outfit and big(ish) tripod and go hiking over the high tops of the Lake District. Good idea about trying out a campsite first, just to make sure you're cut out for it, although to be honest wild camping is supposed to be an enjoyable pursuit, not a date with death. Just make sure you take sensible precautions; ensure you're fit enough and don't overdo it; teach yourself navigation using map and compass or at the very least a GPS unit - this is the most important part - it's one thing knowing where you're going but next to useless if you don't know where you are. The rest is, or should be, common sense. Oh, and one more thing, don't camp too close to mountain streams; they can rapidly become torrents in time of heavy rain - I speak from experience! Regards and good luck, B.
Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.
Depends on what company you keep I guess. I have gotten my self into some hairy situations, done a ton of solo work and the people I hang out with have done the same, half a dozen have submmitted Everest, two without oxygen and one friend had to cut his own arm off in your state's desert.
Originally Posted by summicron1
Most people today are wusses, yes, but many I know would also leave your river floating heroes in the Utah dust...
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
I hike into wild country often, and sometimes wild camp in the mountains too. Just remember that if you are camping a tent, sleep mat, sleeping bag, appropriate clothing, map, torch, water, cooking equipment / food on top of cameras, lenses, film, tripod can weigh a bloody tonne. Sounds obvious, but a too-heavy pack is a sure way to kill enjoyment. Might be an idea to do a wee practice-run before setting out somewhere far.
I've been doing this for years, and you need to buy the best, lightest outdoor kit you can afford, and be absolutely ruthless when packing. My packing luxury would be a decent book and / or mp3 player, as you will be hanging about waiting for light to change for hours. Photo equipment-wise, pare back to the essentials. If I'm going on a mountain trip, I don't take my usual range of kit - it's either the Mamiya 7II with one lens, or the Fotoman 617 with one lens, and a lighter tripod than my normal. In the mountains, everything is a trade off.
You need to plan plan plan and keep a keen eye on the forecast for weather windows, or you'll be hanging around in the rain all day. But being up high when the light is good and low at the beginning / end of the day is fabulous. In the UK you'll have to work for it though...
This is by far the most accurate weather forecast for UK mountains: http://www.mwis.org.uk.
This tool might help you plan locations / angle of sunlight: http://photoephemeris.com
and here's the OS 1:50 000 maps online:http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/maps/.
You might also enjoy the APUG 'Hiking and Trekking Group:http://www.apug.org/forums/groups/hiking-trekking.html
Feel free to PM me.
Last edited by coigach; 09-12-2012 at 12:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.
As usual, lots and lots of great advice - wish this forum was around when I started hiking with my gear about 20 years ago.
I too, would stress SAFETY. Common sense dictates: map out your route carefully, be aware of your surroundings, be careful where you step, pick your camp carefully, put your food sack high up on a tree, away from your tent and so on, ad infinitum. Hiking/camping with someone else gives a sense of security.
My last hike/camping trip (New York State) was just three days and the heaviest item was the water i had to haul in. When I am hiking/camping in the Apennines where I come from and in areas I am familiar with, I only carry 1 Liter of water because I know where potable water can be found. This makes a huge difference weight-wise. This last trip I resorted to a wood cooking stove (Emberlit) that folds flat and weighs about 160g. - it worked great. Freeze-dried food is a great weight and space saver but you need water and fuel to be able to use it.
I trimmed the 4x5 gear as well: Linhof Tech with a 135mm lens that stays mounted when the camera is closed, MIDO film holders, light meter, carbon-fiber tripod with monoball (which I don't usually care for), two filters, loupe, cable release.
Ho hum. Been doing it my whole life. Gear has gotten lighter and fancier, but to tell you the truth ...
standard equipment when we were young (literally) ... axe, cast iron skillet, side of bacon, full ham, a few zucchini, small watermelon or several cantaloupe, dry rice, fishing gear, sleeping bag,etc. Typical first day ... four to six thousand foot grade over twelve miles in two hours! Those were
the days! Now that I'm well over sixty, I've been reduced to buying some of that fancy new gear and am clear down to a pitiful little 65lbs pack, and slogging along at about two miles an hour or less The trick is to keep moving, stay in shape, and truly enjoy it. For a beginner, just hang out with some ole worn-out geezer like me and learn the ropes a step at a time.
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This thread has become a great resource. I've just bought a new pair of £15 socks, so I guess I'm not messing about.
Thanks for the wealth of info.
My previous experience of "wild camping" as a young marine put me off the outdoors for life, and marching 30miles over rough country in 8 hours with a 56lb pack and a rifle and being tired, cold, wet, and hungry is strictly for the birds, I'll leave landscape photography to others who I'm sure are much better at it than I.
I had clothes!
That'a another story Mr.Smith, that I might relate some day.
Originally Posted by EASmithV
Just got back from a couple backpack trips with the 4x5. Five days (Mon. - Fri.) on a solo backpack trip in the redwoods -- about 20 exposures. Once I left the trailhead, I did not see anyone until I got back to the trailhead...nice! Then a quick week-end trip into the Trinity Alps with one of my boy's backpacking club -- took one shot.
In the redwoods, a bear walked into one scene I was photographing -- but he was only in the scene for perhaps 4 seconds out of the total of 45 seconds, so I doubt he'll show up.
Now to find time this week to develop the film. It will be interesting as I used some out-dated (1996) Tech Pan film. Exposed at ASA 16 so every exposure was long, with an hour being the longest. For exposures metering around a minute or more, I doubled or quadupled the time.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.