High above the Hoh River on The Catwalk, Bailey Range, Olympic National Park
Lowepro TLZ1 Toploader with chest harness for extended backcountry adventure photography

For long backpacking trips or more technically oriented outdoor adventure where weight is critical, I’ll use the Lowepro TLZ 1 Toploader supported by a Lowepro TLZ Chest Harness.  This system puts a Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS right on my chest ready for immediate access, even while still wearing a full-size backpack.

In addition to the Toploader, I will usually put a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L in a Lowepro belt pouch on my backpack waist strap, stuff a Sunpak RD2000 flash into a pants pocket and carry more small stuff in my backpack’s top pouch (shutter release cable, ND grad filters, spare batteries, Cokin P filter holder, memory cards, Lenspen, microfiber cloth).

This is the system I use for long backpack trips (5+ days), climbing and mountaineering.

I recently used this setup on an 8-day 65 mile back-country traverse of the Bailey Range in Olympic National Park.  The photo gear on this trip weighed 7.5 pounds, plus a 3.5 pound tripod (Flashpoint F-1128 carbon fiber legs with Manfrotto 484RC2 ball head).  My complete backpack, however, totaled 65 lbs, with food, camping gear, ice axe and crampons.  “65 pounds of ultra-light-weight camping equipment,” we would joke to ourselves.

Bailey Range Photo Gear
Author on 8-day traverse of the Bailey Range, Olympic National Park, Washington

Hopefully I’ve fueled your camera bag addiction a bit.  Now it’s time to find a bag to house my new Sony NEX-7 system.

Camera Bags Part 1:  The Addiction

Camera Bags Part 2:  Think Tank Speed Racer for Travel and Everyday Shooting

Camera Bags Part 3:  Lowepro Photo Trekker for “Serious” Nature Shooting

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