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Summer Gear Guide

Discover products to help make the most of your photography this season
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Summer is here, and with it come many opportunities to create wonderful photographs. Whether planning to visit your local mountains or travel abroad, you may need more than a camera and lens to make those outings a success.

Here’s an assortment of products that will make a difference on your next trip, namely, keep you safe and comfortable and, ultimately, help you take better shots. We’ve also asked several professional photographers what essential gear they take with them into the field. You’ll find some exciting and interesting items to take along with you this season.

summer gear guideTamrac Photo Trail Backpack
The Tamrac Photo Trail Backpack Model 767 makes it easy to transport your photo gear, no matter where you are. It can accommodate a lens as long as 11 inches, and holds multiple camera bodies, lenses, flashes and other accessories, including a professional-grade tripod. The backpack’s well-padded harness and hip belt make it incredibly comfortable, even with a full load. (800) 662-0717 •

Kata GDC W-92 Waist Pack
The Kata GDC W-92 Waist Pack is a good complement to a large camera bag. Providing a main compartment with seven other spaces, the bag allows easy access to your equipment. It provides protection against shock and impact due to its unique ribbed design, and includes an emergency rain cover that protects your gear during sudden summer downpours.
(201) 818-9500 •

Lowepro DryZone 200
Keep your camera and lenses perfectly dry in the waterproof Lowepro DryZone 200. Its unique zipper design prevents water from entering the well-padded compartments, which can hold a pro-level SLR and up to five lenses. It features a technical backpack harness and built-in lumbar support for comfort, as well as a tuck-away tripod holder. (707) 575-4363 •

Giottos Universal Tripod
To ensure you return home with sharp images, a solid tripod is a must. The Giottos Universal Tripod ensures stability in a versatile and lightweight design. Available in both carbon fiber or aluminum, the tripod features a leg-spread range of 25 to 75 degrees, a built-in spirit level, a reversible center column and a special tilt control on the column that allows it to be positioned at any angle from the tripod legs. (800) 735-4373 •

Gitzo Carbon Fiber Ultra Compact Tripod
Travel with a tripod that you can store in your carry-on luggage with the Gitzo Carbon Fiber Ultra Compact tripod. Weighing less than a pound, the carbon-fiber tripod uses special dual-jointing technology to ensure strength and stability in an incredibly compact design. It supports a maximum of 5.5 pounds of gear and offers a maximum operating height (without center column extension) of 20 inches. (201) 818-9500 •

Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets
Ensure that you have safe water to drink in the field. Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets disinfect against viruses, bacteria, giardia and cryptosporidium. One tablet purifies one quart of water. (800) 755-6701 •

Jerry Monkman
Kirk BH-1 Ballhead

Along with a carbon-fiber tripod, Jerry Monkman depends on a Kirk BH-1 ballhead. The rugged and precise head provides stability and durability. Weighing only two pounds, the ball-and-socket design allows a full 360 degrees of panning, and a universal quick-release plate accepts Arca-style mounts and plates. (800) 626-5074 •

John Isaac
LaCie Pocket Drive

Shooting an average of 6 GB worth of images in a single day, John Isaac backs up his images to the LaCie Pocket Drive. Available in capacities as high as 80 GB, the sturdy portable drive accepts a variety of media cards and connects to your computer using either a FireWire (IEEE 1394) or USB 2.0 interface. It’s enclosed in a shock-absorbent housing and supports data transfer rates as high as 480 Mbits per second (with FireWire). (503) 844-4500 •

Gary Alan Nelson
Timex Ironman Watch Triathlon Model

Besides making sure that he gets up well before sunrise, Gary Alan Nelson uses his Timex Ironman Watch to time his long exposures when shooting with his large-format camera. The Triathlon features a 16-hour stopwatch, a 10-hour, three-mode countdown timer and top-mounted control buttons. It’s shock- and water-resistant.
(800) 448-4639 •

Mike MacDonald
Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters

When photographing in the prairie, Mike MacDonald walks through the heavily dewed grass in Outdoor Research’s Crocodile Gaiters. Made with a Gore-Tex
® lining, the boots go to your knees keeping your legs, pants and feet warm and dry. (888) 467-4327 •

Richard Hamilton Smith
Suunto Tandem

Richard Hamilton Smith uses the Suunto Tandem to help pinpoint the locations of sunrises and sunsets with this dual-purpose tool, which includes a compass and a clinometer. The handheld device combines an accurate compass with a precise tool for measuring vertical angles, heights and slopes. (800) 543-9124 •

Connie Bransilver

Keeping a lens, viewfinder and LCD clean is vital, and for that, Connie Bransilver uses the LensPen. The compact tool has a flexible cleaning tip that’s free of solutions to safely clean optical surfaces. The LensPen, which can slip into a shirt pocket, reduces static build-up and can be used safely with all lenses. (604) 681-6472 •

Jim Clark
Hama Single Bubble Level

To ensure that his camera and tripod are level, Jim Clark uses a Hama Single Bubble Level. The clear housing slips into your camera’s hot-shoe or a tripod thread. The level can be especially useful when creating panoramic images. (800) 223-2500 •

Sierra Designs Wicked Fastbag Summer
Carry comfortable sleeping gear in the field that takes up minimal space in your pack. The Sierra Designs Wicked Fastbag Summer is a goose-down sleeping bag that weighs only 15 ounces. Rated to a temperature of 40 degrees F, the bag can fit a person up to six feet in height. (800) 635-0461 •

Ex Officio Buzz Off Hat
There are few things more distracting than insects buzzing around your ears while you’re photographing. The Ex Officio Buzz Off hat uses a special, odorless insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, midges and other insects. Made of 100-percent nylon, the hat also provides 30+ SPF protection against harmful UV rays and includes a foldaway cape to shield the back of your neck. (800) 644-7303 •

Slik Pro Pod 381 CF Monopod
When you don’t want to lug around a tripod, a monopod is the best alternative. Weighing less than a pound, the carbon-fiber Slik Pro Pod 381 CF extends to an operating length of 59 inches and supports weights of up to 11 pounds. It collapses down to a mere 20 inches, making it an ultra-portable platform to guarantee stability. (800) 421-1141 •

Eagle Creek Ultimate Explorer Backpack
When hiking into a remote location, you’ll need more than a camera. The Eagle Creek Ultimate Explorer backpack has plenty of space for essentials while lending comfort and accessibility. It features convenient pockets for water bottles, sunglasses, compass, sleeping bag and more. A special Aero-Mesh backing wicks away moisture from your back as you’re walking, and a three-in-one travel shell serves as rain protection, security cover and a stand-alone duffel. (800) 874-1048 •

Thorlo Light Hiker CoolMax
More than a good pair of shoes, socks like the Thorlo Light Hiker CoolMax can make sure your feet don’t suffer during a long trek. Flat, knit ventilation combined with CoolMax synthetic fabric wicks away moisture from your feet, keeping them dry and less prone to blistering. The socks also include additional heel padding for more cushioning and comfort. (888) 846-7567 •

Garmin Foretrex 201
Keep track of where you’re going and where you’ve been with a wearable GPS receiver. The Garmin Foretrex 201, which weighs less than three ounces, is worn on your wrist and provides accuracy to approximately 10 feet when WAAS-enabled. The waterproof receiver features a backlit monochrome display and the ability to input 500 waypoints and 10 reversible routes. (800) 800-1020 •

Mountain Hardwear Airjet 3 Tent
Carry a shelter that accommodates three people, but weighs less than six pounds. The Mountain Hardwear Airjet 3 tent is spacious and includes an integrated front vestibule, CrossFlow construction for improved ventilation, a modified tension shelf and water-resistant, inverted fly zippers. (800) 953-8375 •

Adventure Medical Essentials Personal RT
Be prepared for accidents and hazards by carrying the Adventure Medical Essentials Personal RT. Designed specifically for outdoor excursions, the kit includes treatment for injuries, such as cuts, blisters, wounds and trauma. It also has a survival blanket, compass, whistle, and waterproof, windproof matches for emergencies. (800) 324-3517 •

MicroSolutions RoadStor
Back up your digital images while you’re still in the field with the MicroSolutions RoadStor. Simply insert your media card into the unit and your digital files are copied to a CD-R or CD-RW. Image files from 1 GB or greater cards can be recorded to multiple discs. It features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a speedy USB 2.0 connection. (800) 890-7227 •