Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
I won't speak for anyone specific, but if you read over on the Large Format Forum, there are a number of photographers there who regularly hike into the backcountry toting 4x5, 5x7, and even larger cameras, sometimes for a week or more at a time. So it's entirely do-able. It all depends on your devotion to your endeavour and your philosophical outlook on the exercise. To some folks, being out in the wilderness and camping is half the fun, and if they come back without having exposed a single negative, they still had a good time. So it's all a matter of perspective. Personally I tend to subscribe more to the Edward Weston if-it's-too-far-from-the-car-it's-not-worth-photographing school, but I'm willing to expand that to if-it's-too-far-from-the-well-marked-trail-it's-not-worth-photographing. But if I were to go camping off-trail, I would bring a camera.
I definitely agree with Weston's quote, but like you say, the camping and just being out there is part of the joy. My intention was to camp with or without the camera, but I know I'll regret not bringing it. The main benefit is being around for the light and not having to worry about walking miles back to the road in the dark. I'm a believer in developing an intimate relationship with natural subject matter, which can take more time pondering and gazing than actually making images. In this regard I see it as a beneficial exercise - if only to try it out for a couple of days. There's an element of romance to it too I suppose, which I'm trying not to get carried away with.