I need pack advice

Eric Christensen

Let the Wookie go hiking
Aug 9, 2013
The last pack that I owned was a small external frame pack I used as a scout. I am now a little overwhelmed by the selection available. I am hoping to get some opinions and advice on where to invest my money. I have been looking at some packs, like the clik brand, that can carry my camera gear as well as my hiking gear, but I am wondering if it is better to get just a pack and find a separate way to carry my camera gear?

I have been into a couple of shops here in the Ogden area, and have found some basic packs I like, but also would like advice on this side as well, like what is comfortable when loaded, what lasts and what tears and falls apart? One I have thought about is, as I remember it, the scout brand that is carried at recreation outlet, any tips on this?

I have an older Pentax ist D, and love it, but want to upgrade soon to the K 30. I have 4 lenses and various filters, cards, flash, and other accessories like a tri-pod I would like to take with me. So I guess the area that I need the most advice is how should I carry my photography gear, in a special pack like the Clik Obscura, or grab a nice pack and use a chest type carrier for my camera gear?

Any and all advice and opinions are welcome. Thanks!
p.s. attached are a couple of shots from day trips from my portfolio, you can give advice on them too, like "you stink, or better luck next time" lol One is from Snow Canyon in southern Utah and the other is Kenai Lake in Alaska.Kenai Lake 24x36.JPG Desert Path24x36.JPG
I've recently come back to photography and purchased the majority of my hiking/camping gear long before. Therefor, my solution may not work for you. When I'm on the move or sitting in camp my camera is usually in my hand or close by. A camera specific pack would not be as useful for me as I only carry 2 additional lenses (in puffy lense pouches) stored safely in the main pocket. I use the Capture system to secure my camera (Panasonic G3) to my pack harness for easy access. Until Osprey, Gregory or one of the other major backpacking pack manufacturers release a camera compatible pack I'd stick with a hiking pack.
I think packs that are meant to carry camera gear aren't realistic for backpacking. There's just so much unnecessary weight built into them to create the structures and support for the lenses, etc. I just use a normal backpack like an Osprey Atmos 50. I carry my camera on my chest in a Clik Access which is by far the best chest pack on the market in my opinion. What else I bring depends on the trip, but the most I'd bring is one extra lens which I keep in the pack in a neoprene lens sleeve. Then supplies like wired trigger, batteries and cards in one of the front pockets of the pack. Tripod stored outside the pack on the side, leaving one leg outside the side pocket to reduce damage to the backpack pocket from things rubbing up against it. It works really well for me.
Thanks Nick and Jimmy! This is great information. I know that when I take day hikes I keep my camera close to grab quick shots, but I was not sure how much I would enjoy it hanging in front of me after 5 miles and 3 days worth of gear on my back. I agree though, the packs I have seen that include camera storage, well it just seems to take up too much valuable space and adds weight. Other camera specialty packs are for the "National Geographic" photographers, which is not me. :) I will keep on looking at good quality packs and find a good chest carrier for my camera, thanks guys!​
Thanks Nick and Jimmy! This is great information. I know that when I take day hikes I keep my camera close to grab quick shots, but I was not sure how much I would enjoy it hanging in front of me after 5 miles and 3 days worth of gear on my back./INDENT]​

Your welcome, Eric. Having just come back from my first trip using the Capture Clip I highly recommend it. It kept my camera secured to my backpack harness (Dueter ActLite 65+10), was available at a moments notice, and stayed out of my way when I wasn't shooting. I do have a smaller camera than most (a m4/3 Panasonic G3) which I'm sure helped. If not this then I recommend what I used my previous trip the Clik Access. The pros if the Capture over the Access for me were it wasn't sitting in my chest which made for better airflow less sweating and didn't require extra unclipping when taking a pack off break. The con for the Capture was that I needed to retighten the screws a few times. Before my next trip I will see if I can purchase an extra...just in case.​
I put my camera in a fanny sack worn facing frontwards......instant access.
The trekking pole attachments on Osprey packs work great for toting a tripod and keeping it accessible. For the cam, I use a Lowepro toploader clipped to the shoulder strap.
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