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Thread: Heading out west - what did I forget?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 1998

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    East coast boy, 33, heading to the Four Corners region for three weeks beginning May 5 curious to know what accessory YOU find indispensable. I'm pretty sure I 've covered all the bases, but someone out there has an good idea from which we all could benefit. Care to share? My #1 item(s): Ziploc and trash bags.

  2. #2

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    I would highly recommend you purchase a copy of Land of the Canyons from . It's an excellent resource and guidebook. I've met and photographed with the author, Laurent Martres. He's a talented photographer and has spent tons of time researching this book and gearing it towards the needs of professional photographers as well as amateurs.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 1999

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    Man do I ever envy you! I go out to Big Bend every year for a week and it's never long enough, but the experience sticks with me for months. Just some random thoughts on necessities: - spare cable release? - 2 cans of dust-off compressed air. - roll of photo black tape to seal leaky holders or reducing backs. I still have a strip over a crack in a dark slide that I used to swat a bee. - roll of duct tape for whatever. - tube of superglue. - half dozen small bungees. - can of fix-a-flat. - wide brimmed hat for shading lenses and the noggin. - good book, power bars and bottle of water while waiting for afternoon light. - all-in-one tool, like a Bucktool, for repairs. - alarm clock to get up before sunrise. I use a light tent inside my camper to change film. On moonless nights in the desert I've even changed film with no protection at all and had no effects. I store shot film in a film box with indexed folders using notches that can be felt in the dark.

    Good luck.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 1999

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    Two things I never leave home without: an extra cable release and an extra set of car keys. If you're traveling with someone, give the extra keys to your travel partner.

    Don't forget the sunscreen!

  5. #5

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    First, make sure you include the Escalante Grand Staircase area, but you can't really go wrong anywhere in the 4 corners. DUST, dust, dust !!! This is going to be your biggest problem, although it may not be as bad in the spring. Shoot readyloads and you will save yourself a great deal of disappointment over black spots on your prints. If you decide not to shoot readyloads: 1. Load your sheets in a moist environment like a bathroom where you have run the hot water for awhile. 2. Treat your film holders with antistatic spray before you leave home. 3. keep unexposed film (in holders) in a plastic bag and don't put them back in after exposure. 4. Dust off the film holder with an antistatic brush just before you put it in the camera. You are going to have a great time ! I usually go for two weeks in September and have never had a bad trip. Don't forget hand lotion and chapstick.

  6. #6

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    Chad: You forgot one important didn't invite me and the other good folks on this forum to go with you. How could you be so forgetful! I am most envious. Post us some photos when you get back. A couple of suggestions: I would take a couple of small coolers to store film and holders in. They are nearly waterproof, dustproof and keep the film cooler even without ice. I would get the ones with the white tops that close snugly. I would also suggest that you lay your camera on a table and then add all the accessories that you need beside it. Go over eveything carefully. Then take a good inventory and write everything down. Do the same thing for personal comfort items and clothing, tools, spare nuts and screws, water bottles, etc. Incidentally, the desert area can get downright cold at night. Take warm clothes for late evening shots. It is an unwritten rule that equipment that works everyday for 100 years at home will break down the first hour you are off in the boonies. I would try and get the location of a good repairman or camera shop in the area before you leave home. It could save time if you did need repairs or replacement items. One last thing...take about twice the film you plan on shooting and double up on the shots you know will be significant to you. Good shooting, Doug.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 1999

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    oh and try not to talk... coming from a southern boy, 33, and a good thumper(can you "carry-on" a husaberg?) with desert tank and racks for hard luggage. Try to steer clear of reservation roads at check gettin time...that way you'll avoid bunch a liquored-up cousins of mine.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 1998

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    Suntan lotion, water, and good maps. A hat. Any piece of camera equipment you haven't used at least 1,000 times already you should leave at home.

    I spend a lot of time camping and taking pictures for work in the summer in Idaho and Nevada. (I'm a public lands litigation researcher.) My pictures are always best when I'm relaxed and not too taxed by the bugs, sun, heat, or mechanical failures of the auto or photograpic equipment variety. All the doodads just get lost and broken, so I keep my gear simple and easy to reach. Now is probably not the time to experiment with that new filter you've never really had a chance to use, for example.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    Heading out west - what did I forget?


    It is dry out there. Read Fire Danger From my 1/2 lifetime in the west experience, they might start to enforce the bucket, saw, shovel requirement to go onto national lands. See what the rules are for the area.

    Best wishes,,,,,

  10. #10

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    Anti-snake venom.

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