#TechTalk

Flash Flood

Photo Trekking – Getting The Right Backpack

I have been a photographer for quite a few years now. Having the right equipment to do what you need or want to do is essential. Many times if you don’t have the right gear for an upcoming trip or project you head to your favorite online camera store and order what you think you will need. If you are lucky enough to have a good camera store within an hour’s drive you can go and check out what you are looking for. For photo trekking that means getting a backpack that will hold the equipment that you will be carrying with you. This is both blessing and the curse of buying a backpack designed for camera gear. Allow me to explain.

The some blessings of having a bag or pack designed for camera gear:

  • Padded, adjustable compartments for your camera(s), lenses and accessories.
  • A wide opening allowing quick access to your equipment.
  • Sizes vary from compact to stupid huge depending on how much equipment you have.
  • Protection from the elements varies with optional or included all weather covers.

The some curses of having a bag or pack designed for camera gear:

  • The padding can take up an incredible amount of room while providing no other protection.
  • A wide opening that immediately exposes your gear to the elements.
  • That stupid huge backpack that you can pack everything into will get very heavy.
  • Even with an all weather cover they are not waterproof.

Over the years I have used a couple different backpacks. One large enough to carry just about anything I will need and one that will carry the essentials, a camera and a handful of lenses. One has an integrated all weather cover and the other does not. Believe me when you get caught out in the pouring rain you don’t want to worry about your gear getting wet because water soaked through the seams of your backpack. It has happened to me a couple of time and I hate having to empty out my gear in order to dry my backpack!


There are several waterproof backpacks on the market and they very in size from small to stupid huge just like camera backpacks.

Can you find a waterproof backpack designed for camera gear? Sure you can but you will most likely spend quite a bit for it. The solution, a waterproof backpack designed for backpacking. I recently purchased one that kept everything inside safe and dry in some rather poor weather conditions. When we started up the mountain cloudy/foggy conditions was all that was predicted. Well, we spent the entire time in the fog and clouds, add in a bit of mizzle (mist and drizzle), then move to light rain and end with steady rain and I was glad I had my waterproof backpack on. Not a single drop of water got in. If any had I was prepared for that but that is for my next post.

There are several waterproof backpacks on the market and they very in size from small to stupid huge just like camera backpacks. So which one did I get? I got the Mountain Hardware, Scrambler 30. The 30 stands for the volume of the pack, 30 liters. This pack came highly recommended by Keith here at River Rock Outfitter who uses one as his all around everyday pack. It is large enough for everything I will need for a day of photographing any trekking or climbing adventure I might want to. It’s also small enough that I won’t carry everything I own when I want to go out and make photos. And, just to be clear, while this bag is waterproof it in not immersible. If I was taking this on the water it would be in a wet bag just in case it wet for a dip!

Next time I’ll let you know how I keep everything safe inside the pack. Until then, Create Every Day!

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