High above the Hoh River on The Catwalk, Bailey Range, Olympic National Park
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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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