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View Full Version : LF means heavy hiking. What's on your "not necessary" list?



Heroique
18-Jun-2015, 12:56
If my personal experience is common around here, there must be a sizeable group of day-hikers (and overnight hikers) whose LF gear + hiking gear fall into the "ultraheavy" category, not the ultralight one.

Yes, just my my Ries J-600 tripod and J-250 head qualify me as a proud ultraheavy hiker. :D

I've never felt unduly constrained by this so-called "disadvantage," but maybe I would if I were much older, or much less healthy ... or much more wealthy.

To better travel over hill and dale, through branch and bramble, across creek and stream, my principal strategy is to leave unnecessary things behind. Simple. Effective. Affordable.

For example, no battery driven communication or navigation devices for me. (Traditional map and compass are fine.)

I could start a long list of items abandoned to the closet, quickly adding up to lost weight, but I'd enjoy hearing about your personal experience and long-held secrets.

We've all heard about the "10 essentials" list but what might you add to the "no need to take" list? I mean both LF and hiking gear.

And when does it depend on the nature of your hike, the weather conditions, your image making goals, or an honest evaluation of your personal abilities?

John Kasaian
18-Jun-2015, 13:30
A small bottle of wine and not the big 1500ml heavy ones, and preferably with a screw top so no need to take a cork screw.:o

Drew Wiley
18-Jun-2015, 13:40
I deliberately keep my weekend pack heavy: big Ries tripod, hardshell case for the 8x10, maybe heavy lenses. Trying to keep my training weight up there. When I was a young feller in my 50's, I'd still sometimes strap a 5-gal jerrycan of water on too, and sometimes even an iron vise. But then the packs started wearing out prematurely. The nice thing about the water jug is that I could dump it over myself at the top of a hill. It built my knees going uphill, and minus the water was much lighter downhill to relieve stress. But that got me in good shape for lugging 85 and 90 lbs packs in the high country. Now my target is more like 65 to 70 lbs for a two-week backpack with my little Ebony folder and CF tripod. I have a progressive old age strategy with lighter gear, like a big CF tripod for the 8x10 when that day arrives the Ries is too heavy (which I recently used recovering from the shingles), roll film backs for the 4x5's, and some younger friends who can help with packing an extra weeks worth of food. But for now I lug it all myself. Do have to start disciplining myself more seriously about diet,
since gout has kicked in. I've been an off-trail hiker ever since childhood, and really look forward to that kind of thing every trip, at least a token amount. No
compass, no damned GPS. Always always always a dependable jacket and rain parka.

cdholden
18-Jun-2015, 13:54
Leave the GPS/phone/electronics behind. A compass is still nice to carry, even if you know the area. It helps to orient yourself at a moment's notice and won't fail if you forget to charge it. Topographical map is a bonus.
No big bulky tent. I use a lightweight (silnylon or cuben fiber) tarp.
Squeeze out little blobs in a row of toothpaste on wax paper and cover with another piece of wax paper. After it dries, cut in a row to size and roll up for storage in a pill bottle. Much lighter than a full size tube. Some cut off the handle of their toothbrush. I'm not that hardcore.
Try to find multiple uses for a single item. Why carry two things when you can carry one?
No tripod head or QR plates.... camera mounts straight on the tripod. Use the tripod legs to orient the exposure.
No more than a half gallon of water. I'm usually close to water so I can filter and treat to refill as needed or planned.
I try to plan ahead and only pack lightweight dry food or "'just add water" and cook in baggies. Water weight adds up fast. Skip the prepared food. Do it yourself, eat fewer preservatives eat healthier. Peanut butter, sunflower seeds, almonds, granola and beef jerky are a staple, with dehydrated fruits and veggies. Ramen noodles are a good source of carbs. Discard the seasoning pack and bring your own... olive oil and parmesan cheese; chili powder and rehydrated pickles (sounds gross, tastes great!). Ramen or other rice noodles are cheap and doesn't require the water to even be hot to rehydrate and can be the staple of any meal that is only limited by what you have in your pack.
Small LED lights replace big bulky lanterns that suck up heavier liquid fuel that I don't want to carry.
Comfortable trail running shoes. No, I'm not running, but they're lighter than big boots and I don't need them for mountain climbing _where I go_.
Baselayer insulation. Skip all the heavy crap for 3 season hiking. Apply/remove lighter layers of clothing for better temp control. This is an important tool to comfort and safety that is widely overlooked or just ignorantly ignored. Carry a balaclava and gloves for anything under 40F. "If your feet get cold, put a hat on!"
Try to find a central base camp and do shorter day trips with less gear from that base location. Carrying less gear means less stress on your body, less chance of injury and less muscle/joint pain at the end of the day. Less pain usually makes for a better start the next day, feeling charged and ready to go.
No camera gear, my pack is 13-15 pounds for a 3-4 day trip. With my 5x7 kit, my pack is still under 30 pounds.
I'm sure I'd think of some other points to note if I opened my backpack to look. These are just some off the top of my head.

Chris

Heroique
18-Jun-2015, 14:01
A small bottle of wine and not the big 1500ml heavy ones, and preferably with a screw top so no need to take a cork screw.:o

Good point. In our draught-stricken West, wine may be necessary, but not cork screws. My "not necessary" list is now one item longer! ;^)


When I was a young feller in my 50's, I'd still sometimes strap a 5-gal jerrycan of water on too.

I've often left water behind on my way into the water-rich Cascade mountains. A water filter will do. But not this year. Water hasn't wholly disappeared, but the melt streams aren't flowing in my favorite higher areas. Hence the wine!


Some cut off the handle of their toothbrush.

I've done this more than once. I've also trimmed the margins from paper maps. Mostly it reduces psychological weight, if not too much physical weight. But in my experience, both types of weight are significant issues.

Drew Wiley
18-Jun-2015, 15:27
I've been thru every phase. As a kid I'd often travel with a big fellow who said he only liked fresh food. I remember one time when he had a couple cantaloupe,
a small watermelon, some zucchini, a side of bacon, a ham, and a dozen eggs in his pack, plus a cast iron skillet, axe, and fishing gear. We still did about 6 mph
uphill. Gosh we were in shape. Not like Norman Clyde, who still packed like that in his 80's, plus three different roll-film folders, but obviously at a slow pace by then. Then I went thru my ultralight phase - no tent, no sleeping bag, just a big poncho that served as both raingear and shelter, an early little Pentax camera,
no canteen, and almost zero food - fished or foraged. Then my lengthy Sinar years with 85 lb packs. Now I'm a self-enclosed motorhome replete with real food, but have spent some money to get modern lightwt gear. Don't know about true old age yet. Have to wait and see. Just ran into an old pal who had just returned
from a month of bakpacking with his brother in New Zealand. He's 75 and his brother is 80. Next month they're going to do a two-weeker in Kings Canyon. 35lb
packs and no serious camera gear - but hey, anybody still at it that age gives me hope!

paulr
18-Jun-2015, 15:52
If wine's on your must-have list, you can decant it into a nalgene bottle. Lighter, less breakable, easy to open. We do this all the time to bring wine to concerts in city parks (security shakes you down for glass bottles). I've never brought wine backpacking, but you've given me something to aspire to.

In general, I think the trick is to evaluate your needs based on each individual trip, the likely range of conditions, and your abilities. In a lot of cases, you might even leave a map and compass behind (I haven't carried a compass in 20 years, but that would change if I went into the Alaska range, for example). If there's water everywhere, you can get away with a lightweight filter and a small hydration bladder. If you're traversing the Grand Canyon in August, you'll need to carry a gallon or maybe more. That will undo a lot of your carbon fiber purchases ;). For shoes, always the lightest you can get away with. I did ten days with full climbing gear in low top approach shoes once, because I knew from experience I could get away with it. My partner was a better climber than me but had old ankle injuries, so he suffered boots.

You also have to figure out where you want to be on the continuum between light/fast and heavy/slow/comfortable. If you're slogging into a beautiful place and making a camp for several days of hikes and photographing, the latter approach might appeal. If you're moving every day with all your stuff, maybe lean the other way.

Personally, I'd be all about keeping it simple with the cameras. One lens, maybe two. But that's obviously not everyone's style.

Drew Wiley
18-Jun-2015, 16:23
Lesson no. 1, if you simply have to bring beer, bring cans, not bottles. Better yet, acquire a taste for natural mtn water. It's generally way cleaner than city tap water anyway. When in doubt, always filter it. And I agree with the less-is-more approach to camera gear. I remember stumbling onto someone in Titcomb Basin in Wyo once with a Tachi and seven lenses, and about twenty gel filters. I was packing a Sinar and exactly one lens. I got a nice shot, was all packed back up and headed out while that guy was still fussing around with too many choices. I think it got dark before he made up his mind. I'm not quite that Spartan anymore, but will probably carry just two lenses on the next backpack trip, with two glass filters. The most important piece of equipment is your eyes anyway, and if you're too busy worrying about gear issues, you simply won't have time to use them. I want 80% of my energy into just the experience itself, whether I bag a shot or not. Lots of time I have simply sat there watching the light and not even tripped the shutter because I didn't want the experience interrupted by
anything ulterior. There will always be another shot.

jp
18-Jun-2015, 16:46
"Not necessary" for me to be the Chuck Norris of camera+hiking.

I'll leave the warm beer for the British auto enthusiasts to joke about.

Along with my tripod/speed graphic/film/2 lenses/incident meter, I take a snack or meal, plastic 1L bottle of seltzer, and my phone for daytime hikes.

Taking my smartphone lets me leave behind a bigger digital camera, writing utensils, etc.. I don't need a compass and don't depend on the phone for navigation.

StoneNYC
18-Jun-2015, 17:04
Well I spent the big bucks over the past few years to have the lightest version of all the gear I could find for my chosen format.

After hiking the Grand Canyon once for eight days back in 2010 with my 35mm gear which was all heavy glass even if a tiny format, I decided to go later the next time again 8 days in 2013 with my 120 gear and take my Mamiya 7 which was much lighter.

Finally this time I plan to go with my 8x10 Chamonix, and all Fujinon C (C is for Compact) lens lineup that is the lightest (yet sharp) in modern lenses, and should be under 20lbs which is acceptable to me.

The 2010 35mm gear came in at 85lbs

The 2013 120 gear came in at 75lbs

I'm hoping that I can get my next trip with the 8x10 gear to come in at 65lbs.

I know that might sound crazy for an 8 day trip but I've gotten good at reducing the needed amenities and because of the bull size of the 8x10 gear itself, I'll literally be forced to reduce what I bring because I just won't have the space!

I'll let you guys know.

bobwysiwyg
18-Jun-2015, 17:07
"Better yet, acquire a taste for natural mtn water. It's generally way cleaner than city tap water anyway."

Sounds risky to me. That beaver dam or decaying deer carcass up stream can do you in.

John Kasaian
18-Jun-2015, 17:21
If wine's on your must-have list, you can decant it into a nalgene bottle. Good grief man! Isn't giving up the corks enough?:rolleyes:

Jerry Bodine
18-Jun-2015, 17:39
Just ran into an old pal who had just returned
from a month of backpacking with his brother in New Zealand. He's 75 and his brother is 80. Next month they're going to do a two-weeker in Kings Canyon. 35lb
packs and no serious camera gear - but hey, anybody still at it that age gives me hope!

The last trip I made at 80 with my small format (4x5 Norma) was uphill on the way in and uphill on the way out. So there is hope, Drew.

paulr
18-Jun-2015, 20:37
"Better yet, acquire a taste for natural mtn water. It's generally way cleaner than city tap water anyway."

Sounds risky to me. That beaver dam or decaying deer carcass up stream can do you in.

It's risky, but it seems the risks have been overstated over the last couple of decades. It was right when I started getting serious about mountain stuff as a teenager when the APB on giardia went out; I was suddenly told by people like guides and NOLS instructors that all surface water in the U.S. should be considered tainted. The culprits were alternately high mountain voles, livestock, and other humans.

A few years ago a study showed that giardia, campylobacter, and cryptosporidium were actually quite rare, and that much of the intestinal woes of backpackers could be blamed on good old fashioned bad sanitation. They found that a typical campsite replicated the conditions of 3rd world squalor quite convincingly, with predictable results (e.coli and norovirus outbreaks, lots of puking and diarrhea). The solution is getting people to wash their hands and dishes.

But the risks of giardia and and some other microbes still exist. And it's sometimes hard to predict the risk factors for a given area, unless you've studied the watershed and know what goes on upstream. Considering the stakes (a dramatically wrecked vacation, for one) and how small and easy and effective the filters are today, there's little reason not to use one.

Leszek Vogt
18-Jun-2015, 20:51
Totally agree with what you say, Paul. There are variety of nasty microbes in them hills, particularly when you have sheep up in the higher plateaus. About 2-3 weeks ago I actually witnessed people filling up bottles of "fresh" water in AK...with Dall Sheep up above. I'll take my chances with bottled water, thank you.

Les

Wayne
19-Jun-2015, 05:52
It's risky, but it seems the risks have been overstated...

A few years ago a study showed that

Citation please? This smacks of rumor to me but would happily be proved wrong.

Heroique
19-Jun-2015, 11:25
Wayne, here's a link to a study to help address your question:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10737847

The title of the study:

"Risk of giardiasis from consumption of wilderness water in North America: a systematic review of epidemiologic data."

And the main take-away:

CONCLUSIONS:
Published reports of confirmed giardiasis among outdoor recreationalists clearly demonstrate a high incidence among this population. However, the evidence for an association between drinking backcountry water and acquiring giardiasis is minimal. Education efforts aimed at outdoor recreationalists should place more emphasis on handwashing than on water purification. Further studies should attempt to separate the specific risk factor of drinking water from backcountry sources from other behaviors among this group that may contribute to the risk.

-----
I've heard the "gloom and doom" sales pitch for water filters at the flagship REI here in Seattle, and one should take it with a wry smile & grain of salt. However, I still think the negligible weight of a good, compact water filter (e.g., by PUR) makes it worth carrying for the extra protection it offers. One should erase it from their "not necessary" list, and consider adding it to the "essentials."

Drew Wiley
19-Jun-2015, 12:13
Giardia is fairly predictable. Drink snowmelt. Never drink from streams subject to car camping or crowds. When in doubt, filter. Be above any beaver ponds. My
success rate after hundreds of backpack trips, most of them without even bothering to carry a filter, has been 100%. This includes desert canyon trips - drink from seeps naturally filtered through sandstone rather than streams (where pesticides from farms above might be the bigger risk). In the high Sierra itself a lot of studies have been done. Except for a few predictable touristy spots, esp in Yosemite, the risk of giardia has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, at the tent camp along the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia, they discovered the creek water running into the filtered cistern had far less bacteria in general than the cistern itself. And gosh, if people really knew where their bottle drinking water came from!!!! Dead cattle and coyote poop are in every source of urban drinking water. That's why these have treatment facilities and chlorine. But that doesn't efficiently get rid of things like pesticides. Mtn water is generally far safer. But what the
hell do I know - I grew up drinking from cattle troughs (the inlet pipe, obviously, not the trough itself). Better than dying of thirst. Never got sick. Not even once.

StoneNYC
19-Jun-2015, 13:19
I always carry my MSR salination device which they recently discontinued for some reason (I think it's only because they lost the government contract which helped lower the price to acceptable levels for the retail market) which is the size of a small flashlight, it does require batteries but they last forever and just needs some sea salt and a cap full of the taking from stream water to operate.

Works great.

However I've also drank from many streams without it, just don't drink stagnant water, drink from where the stream is heavily flowing and you're fine 98% of the time.

I'm not saying be stupid, I'm saying if you're without a purifier and it's that or severe dehydration, drink only fast flowing water not the side pool areas of a river where the bad stuff thrives.

Drew Wiley
19-Jun-2015, 13:47
One way to get sick in the desert is simply due to a mineral content you're not accustomed to. Drink small amounts frequently without chugging it; and it also helps
to take water with food. The people I know who seem to keep getting giardia are Yosemite climber types, who come off some dome up around Tuolumne and drink
from a trailside stream. Given the fact that about a thousand times more people hike in that vicinity than in the high Sierra in general, that might not be the best
idea.

Sirius Glass
19-Jun-2015, 14:42
A tripod that is not carbon fiber increases in weight by a factor of the square of the distance traveled. The farther one goes the weight increases quadratically.

Drew Wiley
19-Jun-2015, 15:36
Yes, but wooden tripod give more mass down below the camera where it's actually needed. And they have bigger spike feet. Those characteristics are especially
nice and intimidating when some smart ass walks up and asks why you don't simply use a cell phone to take the shot like everyone else. Whaaack !!! You KNOW they're down for the count when a wooden tripod is involved.

Wayne
19-Jun-2015, 18:55
Good practical advice, but " 100% success rate" is 95% meaningless. People can be asymptomatic carriers.



My
success rate after hundreds of backpack trips, most of them without even bothering to carry a filter, has been 100%.

Wayne
19-Jun-2015, 19:28
Interesting article, thanks.


Wayne, here's a link to a study to help address your question:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10737847

The title of the study:

"Risk of giardiasis from consumption of wilderness water in North America: a systematic review of epidemiologic data."

And the main take-away:

CONCLUSIONS:
Published reports of confirmed giardiasis among outdoor recreationalists clearly demonstrate a high incidence among this population. However, the evidence for an association between drinking backcountry water and acquiring giardiasis is minimal. Education efforts aimed at outdoor recreationalists should place more emphasis on handwashing than on water purification. Further studies should attempt to separate the specific risk factor of drinking water from backcountry sources from other behaviors among this group that may contribute to the risk.

-----
I've heard the "gloom and doom" sales pitch for water filters at the flagship REI here in Seattle, and one should take it with a wry smile & grain of salt. However, I still think the negligible weight of a good, compact water filter (e.g., by PUR) makes it worth carrying for the extra protection it offers. One should erase it from their "not necessary" list, and consider adding it to the "essentials."

David Lobato
19-Jun-2015, 19:37
Does anyone remember who the first ultralight packer was to leave one leg on a quadpod at home, and take only three on a hike? Great idea, whoever it was. ;)

John Kasaian
19-Jun-2015, 20:44
I find that artesian springs are reliable sources of safe potable water in the wild.

David Lobato
19-Jun-2015, 21:25
I find that artesian springs are reliable sources of safe potable water in the wild.

Lost Maples in Texas has a spring with excellent tasting water. Two years ago I found a pipe in a rock delivering great water on the Appalachian Trail. Others I've come across over the years were enjoyable experiences. I've taken a bottle or two home from them.

sun of sand
19-Jun-2015, 22:19
A mule
Bag balm
My personal soundtrack
Demo tape
Brass knuckles
My copy of on golden pond
Muffler
Potting soil
TV remote
Gap wedge
Mayonnaise
Soft pillow
Extra underwear
Carpet pad
Bodyguard
Eyelash curlers
Old ticket stubs
Hand lotion

I don't know what simple effective affordable has to do with anything
Was that just for fun


I'm taking my hot air balloon

Drew Bedo
20-Jun-2015, 05:27
am trying to get my 4x5 kit down from 27 pounds to something I can carry.

Went to Colorado last week (Estes Pk area) and nearly died from multiple age related degenerative processes.

Current kit is a little Wista mfg Zone-VI and three lenses (90mm, 150mm, 210mm)with 12 film holders, meter, loupe BTZS hood, and a Velbon CF tripod with a magnesium ball head.

We are going away again later in the summer and I'll try to reduce this to one lens (15mm?) and a Grafmatic in a smaller bag.

Any thoughts?


For Ultra-heavy gear; Wheels.

I have played aound with a golf-bag pull along cart modified for hauling my 8x10 gear. I figure that many really nice areas of Nat Pks are wheel-chair accessable with board walks and paths. The cart will go into a short grass meadow and the wider stance and large-ish wheels will handle the rocks. Can't fly with it.

I am waiting for our grand kids to outgrow their elaborate stroller with pneumatic wheels.

goamules
20-Jun-2015, 05:29
Long hiking means small format, not LF. I leave the LF gear at home if I'm really hiking.

John Kasaian
20-Jun-2015, 06:53
A mule

You CARRY a mule?
You're supposed to let the mule carry your junk!

StoneNYC
20-Jun-2015, 08:26
am trying to get my 4x5 kit down from 27 pounds to something I can carry.

Went to Colorado last week (Estes Pk area) and nearly died from multiple age related degenerative processes.

Current kit is a little Wista mfg Zone-VI and three lenses (90mm, 150mm, 210mm)with 12 film holders, meter, loupe BTZS hood, and a Velbon CF tripod with a magnesium ball head.

We are going away again later in the summer and I'll try to reduce this to one lens (15mm?) and a Grafmatic in a smaller bag.

Any thoughts?


For Ultra-heavy gear; Wheels.

I have played aound with a golf-bag pull along cart modified for hauling my 8x10 gear. I figure that many really nice areas of Nat Pks are wheel-chair accessable with board walks and paths. The cart will go into a short grass meadow and the wider stance and large-ish wheels will handle the rocks. Can't fly with it.

I am waiting for our grand kids to outgrow their elaborate stroller with pneumatic wheels.

I don't know how the wista and Chanonix differ but you might shave a lb or two by getting a Chamonix.

They also have CF lensboards which would cut some weight.

Replace the 210 you currently have with a 200 M or better a 210 Graphic Kowa which is super light. Needs to be stopped down to f/22 for sharpness but for most landscapes that's not really an issue.

Definitely grafmatic and not film holders, it's minimal, but you do save on weight AND space with those.

I would actually keep the 90mm and chuck the 150mm, I'm sure the 90 is heavier but then you limit yourself from having any wide broad shots.

Perhaps look for an old 90mm angulon? The 65mm angulon I have is ridiculously tiny, comes in a #00 shutter.

So those are my suggestions, keep the FL ranges you're used to, just replace the heavier glass with lighter glass and the heavier camera with lighter camera.

If you want to go really crazy, forget the grafmatic's and buy Chamonix holders too which are lighter still. And those CF lensboards are expensive but much lighter than the heavy metal ones.

Every ounce you shave off will help.

sun of sand
20-Jun-2015, 09:58
John there was no mention of it needing to be strictly worn on the back gear
Simply effectively approximately anything regarding your gear that you'd often take but have found to be cumbersome thus making your jaunts over jagged jumblies less than efficient

My Maughan mule which I'd lease would carry most of this stuff but would often be swept away when even cautiously crossing crickey creeks so obviously I had to rethink reuse recycle my goals

Take my hoard of crap along with me because you never know when you might need a doorknob or when a stack of old newspapers could save your life in a nonsoon
or settle for an easygoing day of shutter snapping the scenics and pray the percentages preclude me

Mule muffler and mayo had to go

Lenny Eiger
20-Jun-2015, 11:27
Stop thinking you need all those lenses. You will very rarely need a wide angle. You can almost always take a step forward. I finally stopped carrying mine.

Randy Moe
20-Jun-2015, 11:50
Hiking is not on the list. Here in the city with a brand new 3 mile, rail to trail, outside my door, new visions abound,

I ride bike with up to 4x5 and 8x10 to ULF with bike towed trailer.

Everybody wants to chat old camera, I just keep at it and shoot while they blather on.

Meeting plenty of nice people, young and old.

So I make sure I have a pocket full of 'business' cards which is not a biz, because it is NOT ART.

My studio is clearly visible from one set of my tripod holes and everybody on the trail.

135773

AuditorOne
21-Jun-2015, 16:18
ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT -
My 19 year old grandson who loves hiking as much as I do. As long as I can promise fishing somewhere along the hike he will happily carry amazing loads. He still hasn't heard about ultra light. I figure I have another 20 years before he does. :)

If he isn't available then I pack my Voigtlander Bessa II instead. Works very well on my little Slik magnesium tripod. Takes amazingly good photographs on HP5+ that stand up to enlargements quite well.

John Kasaian
21-Jun-2015, 21:43
Yes, but wooden tripod give more mass down below the camera where it's actually needed. And they have bigger spike feet. Those characteristics are especially
nice and intimidating when some smart ass walks up and asks why you don't simply use a cell phone to take the shot like everyone else. Whaaack !!! You KNOW they're down for the count when a wooden tripod is involved.
A most excellent point, Drew.

ruilourosa
21-Jun-2015, 23:52
Keep inside, outdoor is overrated. Welcome the uncanny and forget the usual.

Jody_S
22-Jun-2015, 08:30
When I was much younger, I used to go canoe-camping several times a year, with a Rolleicord and a few rolls of film. 50-60lb pack and still had to carry the canoe, paddles, fishing gear...

What's on my 'not necessary' list today?
Canoe
Anything related to fishing
Anything related to camping
Any place I can't get close to in a car.

Anything further than about 1 mile from a road requires a cyclable path, in which case I might still bring a minimal 4x5 kit.

paulr
22-Jun-2015, 08:33
Wayne, here's a link to a study to help address your question:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10737847

The title of the study:
"Risk of giardiasis from consumption of wilderness water in North America: a systematic review of epidemiologic data."



Thanks Heroique,

that's the exact study I was referencing, but I couldn't find it again.

paulr
22-Jun-2015, 08:43
I lug my big wooden tripod around town, and love it, but if I hiked with a camera I'd get a carbon tripod first thing. Lighter than wood, more rigid, damps vibration even better. If it's really windy and you feel the need to add weight, hang weight from it. But I don't think there's much chance of a sharp picture in strong/gusty winds, since the bellows is a big sail and the camera itself flexes.

I've tried photographing in the dessert in strong winds and got a lot of fuzzy pictures, and a lot of sand in my film holders and in my ears. This was with a 10lb wood tripod and a mere 4x5.

Drew Wiley
22-Jun-2015, 10:11
I don't need to pack a mule. I am my own mule. How's that for logic?

paulr
22-Jun-2015, 10:44
Irrefutable.

prendt
22-Jun-2015, 12:18
Who the heck makes "not necessary" lists?

Drew Wiley
22-Jun-2015, 12:19
Not necessarily anyone. It's a mandatory elective option.

Heroique
22-Jun-2015, 12:32
This item crowns my "not necessary" list.

Yet I always carry it. Call me irrational. There is about 0% chance I'll ever need it.

But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure or 8.1 ounces in this case. ;^)

135860

Randy Moe
22-Jun-2015, 13:03
What's it do to people?

Serious question.

Drew Wiley
22-Jun-2015, 13:19
I already related an anecdote in a past thread, so ignore this if you've already read it. My hiking companion in Wyoming last fall was worried about the grizzlies,
so carried one of those pepper spray canister on his hip. We never saw a single bear the whole time. But one afternoon he was putting his pack back on and somehow one of his pack straps managed to tug that spray holster behind him, pull the grenade pin, and squeeze the trigger all at the same time. About half the
canister emptied point blank onto the middle of his back. And it was still about two miles to the next lake; so he had to wear that huge pack the whole time until
he stripped down and jumped in the lake. He also had to empty all his gear and thoroughly rinse and dry the pack itself. Fortunately we were on the last leg of the trip and only a day from the truck. But he still had to contend with something analogous to a severe sunburn on his back all the drive back. I kept kidding him that if he encountered any bears with a taste for spicy Mex-Tex cuisine, he was at more risk than ever.

Randy Moe
22-Jun-2015, 13:33
LOL

I have never found a weapon that was fast enough to counter a drawn gun, so I rely on wits?

Worked well as a Snap On Tool dealer in ghetto. Several tool dealers were found murdered downstate where it was safe...

I also had a dangerous truck, very hard to get off without permission, loose load. :)

pdh
22-Jun-2015, 13:39
I've tried photographing in the dessert in strong winds and got a lot of fuzzy pictures,

Was it jello or strawberry blancmange?

Corran
22-Jun-2015, 13:43
Well first of all, my "not necessary" kit starts with the 8x10. Oh no, I can't print absolutely tack-sharp images bigger than 50x40 inches, what ever shall I do???

I've started shaving my kit down to 58-90-150. Sometimes just the 90 and maybe one other lens.


Stop thinking you need all those lenses. You will very rarely need a wide angle. You can almost always take a step forward. I finally stopped carrying mine.

I disagree most heartily!!! You can always crop. Taking a step forward changes the perspective or you walk off a cliff. Now on the other hand you probably don't need a 75-90-105-120-135-150 progression!

Drew Wiley
22-Jun-2015, 13:44
I am a tool dealer, and lots of expensive stuff; but I would never sell tools on the road or in a rough neighborhood. One of the local Snap-On guys can't seem to make a dime. It seems there are certain shady ladies who will take Snap-On tools in barter for favors. That should make for an interesting warranty policy.

cdholden
22-Jun-2015, 16:31
Uhhhh.... Snap-On or strap on?

Randy Moe
22-Jun-2015, 18:27
I am a tool dealer, and lots of expensive stuff; but I would never sell tools on the road or in a rough neighborhood. One of the local Snap-On guys can't seem to make a dime. It seems there are certain shady ladies who will take Snap-On tools in barter for favors. That should make for an interesting warranty policy.

I started making money my second week. I paid off all loans in one year. It was 1981 and nobody in my long abandoned territory had credit or credit cards. The shops were mostly small and run by a smorgasbord of recent immigrants. I had to learn how each ethnic group bargains and how much money these 'poor' mechanics actually made. I cashed paychecks, I loaned my customers $150K of my own money, in a continuous rolling reinvestment. I saw one boss whose mechanics were doing as you say, he took the lady of the night in the back, she left later looking very rough and that never happened again inside that shop. Plenty of competition in the streets from all kinds of hustle. Police would hop on and ask what's free. I gave them Slim Jims, a tool for opening car doors. I sold so many of those to actual mechanics, tow truck drivers and cops that I joked I could make a good living selling only those. My truck was my fortress and I parked in middle of the street right on top of the shops.

I loved selling to Thai, as they are all gamblers and most carry a large roll. You squat with them and bargain until a cash only sale is done. I filled that shop with expensive Snap On tool boxes. Everybody was happy.

Since I had a lot of my money on the street, you do lose once in a while and the first $1000 hit hurt emotionally real bad. At first I would chase those customers down to their homes, their coworkers would tell me how to find them. However I stopped doing that, because sure as shit, they would show back up at another shop and right away offer to start payments again. Might be 6 months to 2 years, but there they were. They had nowhere to go, still don't.

It's a numbers game, I found I lost about 3% a year but my margin covered that easily and it was far better for me to just move on to sell and loan more, than waste time chasing lost money.

All was really good, until my wife wanted a divorce and her lawyer convinced her I was beyond wealthy. Depositions, bla bla bla. They thought my wealth was in the truck and inventory, but it was actually on the street. I offered my wife fair alimony and the house, they refused, she ended up with 50% of my offer. They had a court order to stop me from selling my business, but they were 2 hours late.

No regrets, ever.

rakkir
22-Jun-2015, 20:01
Hiking is not on the list. Here in the city with a brand new 3 mile, rail to trail, outside my door, new visions abound,

I ride bike with up to 4x5 and 8x10 to ULF with bike towed trailer.

Everybody wants to chat old camera, I just keep at it and shoot while they blather on.

Meeting plenty of nice people, young and old.

So I make sure I have a pocket full of 'business' cards which is not a biz, because it is NOT ART.

My studio is clearly visible from one set of my tripod holes and everybody on the trail.

135773

+1
a bike and trailer or a cart is necessary for really heavy stuff or long distance.

Lenny Eiger
23-Jun-2015, 09:37
Well first of all, my "not necessary" kit starts with the 8x10. Oh no, I can't print absolutely tack-sharp images bigger than 50x40 inches, what ever shall I do???

I am also carrying the 4x5 around now. Using the drum scanner, I have 99% of the quality of an 8x10 in 4x5 film, at the 40 inch print size. Most can't tell the difference between the two...


I've started shaving my kit down to 58-90-150. Sometimes just the 90 and maybe one other lens.
I disagree most heartily!!! You can always crop. Taking a step forward changes the perspective or you walk off a cliff. Now on the other hand you probably don't need a 75-90-105-120-135-150 progression!

I'll respectfully disagree back...

1) Most of the photographers in the History of Photography (with some notable exceptions) shot with one camera and one lens for many years at a time.

2) I find that there is a distance that I am interested in. I am not a big mountain vista guy, nor am I interested in tiny things. I am interested in the kind of things one might see if one was hiking and you looked over to your right... I am clear that this is a personal interest. I have known others who were only interested in using a telephoto lens. They would say wow, do you see that, and I would look, perplexed... wondering what they were talking about. However, I liked the final images, altho' they seemed a bit flattened, which they liked, apparently. It's important to find your distance, and know who you are... speaking generally here...

3) Once one finds that distance, it is my opinion that the more one stays with a single lens that the more sensitive one can be with what fits in the frame. Your eye gets tuned to exactly what fits, and doesn't. The more limitations on the medium, the more creativity is available within that medium. It is the same as printing with one medium at a time. If you love printing in platinum, then focusing on that will yield better results than doing platinum one day, ink jet the next and the darkroom the next. I mean, they are getting people to pay good money for little rectangles to look at the landscape with... if you need one of these, I would say you have too many lenses.

I do carry two, one a little longer for those times when I can't get to what I am looking at. I would say if you are interested in the wide angle feel, then add the wide, they are usually smaller. I have no need for this... but if you like it and you can tune your eyes to its frame, then by all means...

The need for three lenses (or nine, like some here) was a marketing ploy developed way back when to get people to buy more stuff. It doesn't make any sense from an aesthetic perspective. Of course, none of this applies to a commercial perspective, where you have to allow for every possibility...

This is all opinion, not fact, and everyone is free to disagree...

Lenny

Randy Moe
23-Jun-2015, 10:50
I find outside, I tend to normal FL lens in all formats. I shot 50mm on Pentax for 40 years and that's what I see.

Since I shoot city and lake, I prefer a nearly disposable rig in case of anything.

Drew Wiley
23-Jun-2015, 11:44
Well, before I make it into history myself (with a tombstone), I'd sure like to have as much fun as possible with the 8x10, and as much nonsense as possible up in the hills with a view camera too, albeit nowadays generally 4x5 on those longer treks. These are just my own infallible opinions, of course; so if you don't like them, you forfeit photography. And I simply can't understand why anyone would compromise format size but still need to lug a scanner in your pack. You can't
even get decent cell reception in the hills, where the heck are you going to find an electrical outlet for that scanner? And bikes, carts? They're heavy too. I'd rather have some extra food in the pack. Have a horse pull them. At least you can eat a horse if necessary. If something breaks, you gotta shoot them anyone. Snap-On tools generally don't work for fixing livestock.

Randy Moe
23-Jun-2015, 11:53
I guess I wasn't clear enough, I also shoot 8x10 and up in the city, but carry a single lens that has 'normal' angle of view.

Tombstone? Burn me and scatter my ashes in the alley. Thar's history.

Dust in the Wind.

jp
23-Jun-2015, 11:57
This is all opinion, not fact, and everyone is free to disagree...

Lenny

Despite being inflicted with GAS, I do share your opinion mostly. I have plenty of lenses, but only use a couple at a time, and only go out with 1-2 at a time. I can look at a scene, think about the lens I have with me, and determine my options for portraying the scene, as opposed to seeing a scene and trying to duplicate it on film. It didn't come about from lugging overweight LF or 35mm gear, but from my ongoing affair with my Rolleiflex.

For the printing, certain images make nice silver prints, certain images don't make good silver prints even when there is nothing wrong with the image. I don't mind skipping around different printing options. After 25 years of printing silver, it's time to branch out.

Drew Wiley
23-Jun-2015, 12:47
I'd prefer to have my ashes scattered over the Silver Divide up in the hills, but if I were cremated would probably just end up in the kitty litter box. I think my
happiest days, photographically, were when I only owned one camera, one lens, and carried only one type of film. But when you're a long long ways from the
nearest Snap-On Truck, it's advisable to not put all your eggs in one basket in terms of potential equipment damage. I always carry a spare of my favorite filter,
for example, because I've been known to drop them. Lenses can get fogged or worse in inclement weather, which I seem to be attracted to. Always two pairs of
sunglasses or risk snow-blindness if you drop your first pair. And extra grain magnifier or suitable reading glasses - dropped one of those off a cliff once too.
Gosh - the headaches I went through two summers ago repairing my friend's expensive Zeiss lenses with a Swiss Army knife and notched stick, and then whittling him two whitebark pine prosthetic legs for his Gitzo tripod after taking a bad slip in the stream. Lucky he still had one lens that wasn't dunked, merely
ring-dented. Stuff like that happens.

Corran
23-Jun-2015, 12:55
With regard to lens choices, I do think we all "see" differently.

I absolutely see wide angle, all the time. I think it comes from years of marching band where I had to be very aware of everything in the periphery of my vision to keep the form. Or maybe not and I just see that way.

Also, photography in the dense underbrush of a swamp is very, very different from the Rocky Mountains. I hear the term "mountain vistas" bandied about a lot, but we don't have those down here.

Clyde Butcher is of course famous for his usage of a 90mm...on 8x10!

Drew Wiley
23-Jun-2015, 13:18
You're applying a stereotype, as if all of us were mindless postcard types. I know people who use nothing but wide angle lenses in the mountains, and I routinely (but not exclusively) use long lenses in dense forest and brush. But it is a convenient fact that many of us tend to gravitate to what is most comfortable in focal length. I generally see and compose things in narrow perspective, suitable for longer lenses. My "normal" for 35mm film is an 85mm lens, for example; so just extrapolate that for sheet film sizes. I do own relatively wide-angle lenses for certain applications, but rarely hike with them unless I'm anticipating a cave or tunnel etc.

Corran
23-Jun-2015, 13:35
With regard to lens choices, I do think we all "see" differently.


You're applying a stereotype, as if all of us were mindless postcard types.

Sometimes I wonder what you are reading, because it doesn't seem to be what I wrote.

Randy Moe
23-Jun-2015, 13:41
Sometimes I wonder what you are reading, because it doesn't seem to be what I wrote.

+1

Drew Wiley
23-Jun-2015, 14:02
You used the term "mountain vistas" and equated that with a particular kind of lens choice. That's equivalent to "scenic turnout", aim there.

StoneNYC
23-Jun-2015, 14:10
It's funny, in order of what I use most for landscape work,

with 6x7 I tend to prefer ...

43mm
65mm
150mm

In 4x5 I tend to like ...

90mm
300mm
150mm
(I used the 75mm so little that I sold it!)

But in 8x10 I tend to use...

450mm (which I always feel is too short, now I have a 600mm but I haven't used it enough to conclude how often I pull that lens, however I suspect the 450mm will start to see very little use and the 600mm will be my new go-to lens).
300mm
150mm
210mm
(I've considered finding an even wider lens as when I used the 150mm on an 11x14 I borrowed I just loved every shot, so I might look for a 120/110mm or maybe 90mm that covers 8x10).

This doesn't really make any sense, it's totally bizarre.

If I often went wide just for the larger format based on detail, that would make sense, but I love the wide on my 6x7 also, so that just seems weird.

It may also be the environment I'm living in as Corran said, grand vistas exist here but are often less than grand, not very intricate and often boring. But water and the ocean can work well. So can a lot of nice scenery, but often I can't "get" to it because it's on some private land or some other reason where a long lens works best. So perhaps if I lived in the Midwest I wouldn't need the long and would be often shooting wide for that grand-scape.

We're on a tangent, not necessary? Hmm maybe that small tin of loose leaf tea I bring, always important to have afternoon tea ;)

Vaughn
23-Jun-2015, 14:42
Drew -- lucky, or immune perhaps. Twelve years in the Yolla Bolly wilderness (and a week-long trip or two a year lately) without treating water...luck or perhaps immune, tho I avoid areas with cows. Years in the Trinities and in the Grand Canyon, too (but treated water from the Colorado)...but treat most of the water in the Trinities these days.

But what I leave behind. The Rolleiflex/cord if I am taking LF. Too bad, the dang thing is fun.

Drew Wiley
23-Jun-2015, 15:46
Giardiasis is definitely nasty and has to be treated. It won't go away on its own. I've never had it. Otherwise, we had a saying about being "used" to the water. Due to the relative drought this year with low water flow, I'm certain I'll carry a water filter with me heading out of Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon in Sept. That is a popular trail known for Giardia risk in the main stream. I generally try to get water from side streams coming down the cliffs anyway. But I did decades of hiking in the Sierras before ever owning a water filter. It probably helped that I prefer quieter country; but none of my friends ever got sick either, and some of them spent entire summers in the high country. Nobody in their right mind would drink water from any creek that has car camping sites. I'd like to visit the Trinities some day if I can find some relief from the heat. They don't have the altitude of the Sierras obviously, so the trailheads tend to be much lower. My heat tolerance certainly isn't what it once was.

David_Senesac
23-Jun-2015, 16:43
Surprised at all the posts on this thread. What isn't necessary? Well for many years I slept in a bivy instead of a tent just to save a few pounds to keep carrying weights below 75 pounds and still fit in some fishing gear and lots of enjoyable food and snacks. For all the years I've been rambling about in the Sierra backcountry, only a few times ever saw any others with large format camera gear. And until this last decade and one-half of the digital camera revolution, rarely even saw anyone with large tripods. And how that has changed in just a few years now.

I'm a little guy 66" 140# and for years my packs that included about 25# of large format camera gear were often about 70#. An image along Mono Creek from about a decade ago coming off a week long trip in the Silver Divide of the John Muir Wilderness.

135888

The orange piggy back daypack on the back of my red backpack contained all my 4x5 photo gear except for the big Gitzo seen hanging on the side. And back in the late 90s was the 6x7 Pentax, and before then a decade plus of 35mm SLR gear where I carried too many fixed prime lenses for my own good. Much like Drew's related it somehow has kept my body strong into my olde age much in the tradition of Normal Clyde.

But then last year as I officially reached SS retirement age in order to reduce weight began carrying a mirrorless digital camera system because now with focus stack blending and stitch blending I can still make large sharp images. Recent work this year.

Spring 2015 Wildflower Trip Chronicles (http://www.davidsenesac.com/Spring_2015/spring_2015-1.html)

Summer 2015 Trip Chronicles (http://www.davidsenesac.com/Spring_2015/summer_2015-1.html)

That has reduced my pack weight for a week long backpack down to about 55#. The thing about carrying heavy weights is once one reaches a certain comfortable threshold, adding another 10 pounds is much more difficult than say adding 10 pounds to a 35 pound pack. At my current weight once again move around like a frisky young-un. I haven't abandoned 4x5 film work in the front country because there are some situations where only a single capture can capture a unique moment in time. Also find the view camera process enjoyable.

In any case continue to journey into our California landscapes with the next big trip set for early July when 3 of us night hike over Duck Pass into Fish Creek areas of the John Muir Wilderness for a 9-day big lake fest.

goamules
23-Jun-2015, 17:01
Wonderful, inspirational post David. You're taking some fantastic photos, whatever you do. I keep thinking that my hiking days are over, but you inspire me to keep at it. I don't do it much anymore, and don't use my mules either. Need to get out some, but 110 degrees is offputting right now.

Lenny Eiger
23-Jun-2015, 17:18
Years ago I had a filter, filtered the water, and drank a little from the river, in Yellowstone. I wasn't quite careful enough, maybe a little spilled out the top, etc. A couple of days later, on the way home, I was pulled off the plane, at one of the scheduled stops, in a gurney and taken to the hospital. They set me up on an IV of Flagil and fed that stuff to me all night long. It was a very rough night. I don't like going to hospitals. But this wasn't at all like a little case of the runs... I have a fairly strong constitution and I was really in trouble...

Of course it could have been the food at the foodservice place, or the fact that I was also walking in the river, might have had a scratch on my leg, etc.

I appreciate you all have been lucky. I think that's great. I'm really careful with my filter these days, change the filter insert often, etc. I still like mountain water. I am just a little filtration-happy....


Lenny

Randy Moe
23-Jun-2015, 17:34
Flatlanders also carry filters. The lower the land the more you need it.

Vaughn
23-Jun-2015, 17:46
You CARRY a mule?
You're supposed to let the mule carry your junk!

I use to pack mules. First rule is to always make air-holes in the boxes.

goamules
23-Jun-2015, 18:02
And if you do wetplate, where you need water, collodion, fixer, and a darkbox, you use mules. Definitely necessary. Two of mine, Horace and Cricket.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/18480402593_a0b76eaca4_c.jpg

Drew Wiley
24-Jun-2015, 09:01
David - what a wonderful story. I'm was just the opposite, and started out with a Pentax 67 in the mtns, and after only a couple years switched to a 4x5 Sinar for twenty more years, then acquired a little Ebony 4x5 to reduce bulk and weight on long trips. On weekends I most shoot 8x10, but not exclusively. The Silver Divide was virtually my back yard growing up, long enough ago for me to actually back a couple of first ascents of peaks up there. I still have a 30x40 Cibachrome of reflections on Peter Pande Lake in my living room, left over from a gig. One of my nephews did trail work there in Fish Creek valley and later married one of the gals stationed at the High Sierra ranger station over the Kaiser Pass, just before Mono Hot Springs and Lk Edison. It's been about five years maybe since I've been back to the Silver. Remember crossing the divide off-trail three times in three days once, back when an ice axe was required up at the head of Grinnel Basin, over one of those magical secret ledges, followed by a 22-mile day starting at 5AM. I got back to the truck parked at Edison at 1:00 in
the morning, exhuasted, filthy, and feet throbbing, desperate for a shower and sleep back down the hill. Then headed up to Kaiser Pass, on that very narrow
one lane section with a steep dropoff, there was a motorhome stuck with a broken driveshaft. Eventually a convoy of jeeps etc was backed up enough to tow
the thing up out of the way. But that took four more hours. Good thing I was a lot younger then than now!

David_Senesac
24-Jun-2015, 11:09
Very cool.

Yeah have more trips into the Silver Divide, Mono Creek, and Bear Creek than other parts of the Sierra. You might have noticed there are 2 Silver Divide backpacking trip features top right on my homepage:

Minnow Creek Backpack July 2012
Pioneer Basin Backpack August 2013

So both of us could tell each other some tales about that region. Would enjoy seeing some of your prints. When we get older it is still possible to climb into those mountains with heavy burdens, one just climbs shorter distances with less vertical going slower and taking more breaks.

Have been considering a 4 or 5 day solo trip this droughty summer out of Edison up into the Laurel Creek area including Grinnel before its turfy lawns dry out. Often one visits places but conditions and or weather don't cooperate or season or time of day is off. So one adds it to a list of places to return to and my list in the Sierra is longer than this old guy will ever get back to. Laurel Creek with Red and White Peak in the back is one of several go back to's in that region.

Drew Wiley
24-Jun-2015, 11:38
First time I was up Laurel there were so few people ever in there that obsidian atlatl point were laying all over the ground around Grinnell, probably bighorn sheep hunters long long before bow and arrow days. As as kid I gunned clear up Mono Creek to Golden Lk and back in one day once from the west. Can't imagine doing that now. Went in thru the east a few years back between heavy Oct snowstorms and got some lovely fresh snow shots, exp around Fourth Recess. Such memories! I've got a three-week Goddard Creek circuit on my bucket list, but can't get enough time off this summer. Bagged Kaweah Basin a couple year back, another "must-see" sanctuary in the Sierra while I can still lug 4x5 that many days. That trip was soggy too. A hard place to get in and out of if you have to time slippery ledges precisely between daily lightning storms and whatever else comes along, which in that case included snow, hail, and heavy rain daily, depending on the specific altitude. Maybe not an epic adventure for the typical in-n'-out climber; but serious photo gear changes the equation entirely.
We'll have to hook up one of these days and compare pictures. This is a tough summer because my wife is under a lot of pressure at the moment learning a new tweak in her medical field, a new job, so I don't want to be AWOL from helpful chores too long at a time. And the house is still a disaster from half-finished remodel projects. Meanwhile, I work out over in Marin until the first high country break in Aug. Bear Creek is another area I've been into quite a bit ever since
my youth. The only place I haven't gotten to there yet is Apollo Lake. But that's fairly easy country to enter from Bear Diversion Dam, though I've taken various
routes over the top from the East side too, including the now-gone glacier between Merriam Lk and Seven Gables. The black ice mini-glacier on the backside of
Red n' White is still there. That dang but beautiful crumbly hill damn near got me with a huge rockslide on one of my foolhardy teenage climbing misadventures.

Fred V
17-Aug-2015, 19:13
Drew, how do you have your golf cart configured? I am contemplating the same approach, but have not been able to figure out how to do it?


am trying to get my 4x5 kit down from 27 pounds to something I can carry.

Went to Colorado last week (Estes Pk area) and nearly died from multiple age related degenerative processes.

Current kit is a little Wista mfg Zone-VI and three lenses (90mm, 150mm, 210mm)with 12 film holders, meter, loupe BTZS hood, and a Velbon CF tripod with a magnesium ball head.

We are going away again later in the summer and I'll try to reduce this to one lens (15mm?) and a Grafmatic in a smaller bag.

Any thoughts?


For Ultra-heavy gear; Wheels.

I have played aound with a golf-bag pull along cart modified for hauling my 8x10 gear. I figure that many really nice areas of Nat Pks are wheel-chair accessable with board walks and paths. The cart will go into a short grass meadow and the wider stance and large-ish wheels will handle the rocks. Can't fly with it.

I am waiting for our grand kids to outgrow their elaborate stroller with pneumatic wheels.

Rayt
20-Aug-2015, 21:14
Very often the camera bag weighs as much as the camera. I just use a normal over the shoulder messenger bag or a simple back pack the type for school books.

David Hedley
21-Aug-2015, 07:33
I do a lot of day hikes in the Swiss, French and Italian Alps, and other parts of Europe. This summer has been difficult, partly because of the heat, but also because I had shoulder surgery earlier in the year, and it's been painful to carry the pack for long. Fortunately my son has been able to do this for me a few times, and I've been enjoying the hiking more as a consequence, and even discovered that taking simple panoramic photos on a phone is good fun! Because it's day hikes, sometimes via huts with food & water, there's only a need to carry enough water and a little food, a map & phone, and a light jacket in case it rains.

I have a McMore pack, in which I carry a Sinar F with bag and normal bellows, a spot meter, a couple of filters, loupe, darkcloth, notebook and about 8 film holders at a time. Current lenses carried are a Rodenstock 75mm, a Schneider 180mm and a Nikkor 300mm (which also requires an extension rail to be carried - it's such a good lense, however, that I'm loath to leave it out). That's about it. Other lenses occasionally displace the standard selection, notably a 58mm lense which is small and light.

I've been back in Europe for about a year, after spending a couple of years in Brazil. Now that is a challenging environment for LF photography, especially in areas like the Amazon or Pantanal where most of what you see and experience is from a small boat. Generally, I found it better to give up on the LF, and just enjoy what was around me. Nevertheless, there were times when the nature of LF photography really did complement the day, especially when we were able to spend several hours or most of the day in one location. You've got to take special care with your pack, though. On more than one occasion I found enormous spiders lurking in my pack after I had taken it off to concentrate on a photograph. Not recommended, and I tended to keep the pack on my back at the end.

Drew Wiley
21-Aug-2015, 08:31
There's always a trade-off when deciding which kind of gear to carry. I like the spontaneity of medium format gear for grab shots, but vastly prefer a view camera for image control, lens options, and of course, for the much more printable negatives in the darkroom. The pack weight of a basic kit comes out about the same, when everything is factored in. Lately I've been backpacking in the mountains with a younger fellow who likes to carry a lot of fancy food, so I've been eating a bit too well. But it means I can scale back a bit on the weight of my own packed food. Some of these newer ultralight tents also help; but I'd never trust them much beyond the summer season. I made out pretty good last week in torrential sleet and rain, but only because I was down into the edge of timberline with a bit of extra wind protection. Would have been electrocuted up on any ridge, anyway. Quite a light show.

John Kasaian
21-Aug-2015, 18:32
And if you do wetplate, where you need water, collodion, fixer, and a darkbox, you use mules. Definitely necessary. Two of mine, Horace and Cricket.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/18480402593_a0b76eaca4_c.jpg

Nice looking longears there! I miss my mules---I still have the stock trailer and pack saddles but no truck to pull it nor mules to saddle up. Milly, Miss Stubby and Later.
Later got shipped off to Molokai, lucky longears!

Zndrson
22-Aug-2015, 14:07
I was in Zion National Park this time last week hiking the Narrows top down with all my LF gear. For the whole 5 day trip (In Zion, not all in the Narrows) I only brought 3 film holders with the intention of bringing a box of film and a changing bag. That saved me some stress. Film holders get real heavy real fast. I also left the loup at home and relied on my eyes to focus on the ground glass. My vision is decent, so it worked out. I had the option of just taking the 3 film holders with me and leaving the changing bag/box of film at camp.

I thought about leaving the dark cloth at home, but decided on bringing the Black Jacket. Its already lightweight, I didn't have a loupe so a dark environment was crucial for composing, and the waterproof material gave me peace of mind in case I had to wrap some gear up in it.

The most important lesson learned was to bring a better bag. I had a Gregory 75L that held everything- food, sleeping bag/hammock, water, first aid kit, etc. on top of (or rather below) all my LF gear. That was fine enough, but carrying a smaller bag for the LF gear like the ICUs F-stop gear makes would have made my life a lot easier. Every time I wanted to stop while in the narrows I had to set the bag down and essentially unpack all of my LF gear at once, which was wrapped in cloth lens wraps. I had to take great care to ensure those wraps didn't get wet. With an ICU, I could just set that on the ground, unzip it, and take out items as needed. When finished, just zip it back up and plop it on top of the rest of my gear in the Gregory.

We hiked to Angel's Landing the day before, and my meager LowePro 30L AW filled with just 20 lbs of LF gear nearly killed me, yet 45 lbs and 10 miles with the Gregory was fine... So I'll be picking up a F-stop Ajna and 1 or two ICUs as a Day Bag/Overnight Bag to replace the LowePro as soon as they're back in stock.

Kirk Gittings
22-Aug-2015, 14:17
Lesson no. 1, if you simply have to bring beer, bring cans, not bottles. Better yet, acquire a taste for natural mtn water. It's generally way cleaner than city tap water anyway. When in doubt, always filter it. And I agree with the less-is-more approach to camera gear. I remember stumbling onto someone in Titcomb Basin in Wyo once with a Tachi and seven lenses, and about twenty gel filters. I was packing a Sinar and exactly one lens. I got a nice shot, was all packed back up and headed out while that guy was still fussing around with too many choices. I think it got dark before he made up his mind. I'm not quite that Spartan anymore, but will probably carry just two lenses on the next backpack trip, with two glass filters. The most important piece of equipment is your eyes anyway, and if you're too busy worrying about gear issues, you simply won't have time to use them. I want 80% of my energy into just the experience itself, whether I bag a shot or not. Lots of time I have simply sat there watching the light and not even tripped the shutter because I didn't want the experience interrupted by
anything ulterior. There will always be another shot.

Yeah but his problem was not too many choices but not enough experience to be able to look at a scene and know what the right lens and filter is.

AuditorOne
23-Aug-2015, 19:09
There's always a trade-off when deciding which kind of gear to carry. I like the spontaneity of medium format gear for grab shots, but vastly prefer a view camera for image control, lens options, and of course, for the much more printable negatives in the darkroom. The pack weight of a basic kit comes out about the same, when everything is factored in. Lately I've been backpacking in the mountains with a younger fellow who likes to carry a lot of fancy food, so I've been eating a bit too well. But it means I can scale back a bit on the weight of my own packed food. Some of these newer ultralight tents also help; but I'd never trust them much beyond the summer season. I made out pretty good last week in torrential sleet and rain, but only because I was down into the edge of timberline with a bit of extra wind protection. Would have been electrocuted up on any ridge, anyway. Quite a light show.

Sounds as though the trip worked out even if the weather forecast did not. In those mountains even the best laid plans can go to waste. H... that happens just in Nevada period.

Hope you were able to get some nice photographs. Never did make it up there myself as the camera is still in several pieces. Finished up the bellows but the extra screws never made it. That is kind of how life goes here in the Nevada outback occasionally. :(