Now is the most popular time of year to take to the trails and campsites of America. Having the right gear will keep you outdoors in comfort and safety.
By Ted Alan Stedman
The art of what to pack is a balancing act between essential gear and photography equipment. With limited packing volume, it comes down to scaling back on some items and making the right choices on lightweight critical gear so you have everything you need. What you bring needs to be rugged, light and, whenever possible, essential to the photo task at hand.
UPstrap's SLR-QR quick-release camera strap uses abrasion-resistant Kevlar to post a 300-pound tensile strength, allowing safe hauling for the heaviest cameras. The quick-release system has a double-locking adjustment that makes the connection amazingly secure, and the new stainless sliders provide a reliable connection that won't slip or fail. List Price: $50.
With an 80 GB hard drive and four-color filter LCD screen, the Epson P-5000 Multimedia Storage Viewer is a portable solution to download, store and view a wide number of image, video and audio files. The unit, weighing one pound with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery, accepts CF and SD memory cards, along with many others via an optional adapter. List Price: $699.
Rugged construction and real RAW file decoding distinguish the JOBO GIGA Vu PRO media storage/player. Store more than 40,000 photos, along with other digital media, on the hard drive (three capacities), then view images on the bright 3.75-inch color LCD screen. Using a rechargeable Li-Ion battery, it supports CF cards and Microdrives, and through an adapter, accepts many other memory cards. List Price: $495 (40 GB); $695 (80 GB); $895 (120 GB).
The carbon-fiber Gitzo Mountaineer Weekend Tripod (G1028) is ultra-portable, with a closed length of about 16 inches and a weight of 1.7 pounds. It comfortably supports camera loads up to 6.5 pounds and extends to 43.3 inches. List Price: $545.
The Manfrotto 190 Mag Fiber three-section tripod weighs 3.8 pounds and can handle camera loads up to 8.8 pounds with a design using carbon-fiber tripod legs and an aluminum/nylon polymer center column. Closed, the tripod is just 22 inches, and fully extended, provides a working height of 45 inches. List Price: $392.