Share Your Backpacking Setup: how do you carry your M4/3 gear?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by dyrmaker83, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. dyrmaker83

    dyrmaker83 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2011
    Washington, DC
    Real Name:
    It's been a long time since I've been backpacking - an amazing trip to England's Yorkshire Dales and Lake District - and I'd like to know how people are carrying their gear while backpacking.

    A couple caveats: I'm not talking about camera inserts for packs, but rather quick access solutions to a camera and two or more native lenses of varying size. With a large pack it's a chore to remove it any time you want to grab the camera or switch lenses. I know there are elaborate SLR setups for backpackers, but the ones I've seen are way too bulky for M4/3 gear. I would think a "modular" setup consisting of a belt/strap-looped camera case and individual lens cases would work best, but I'm hoping some folks have a few good ideas. I'm also not talking about a whole system - backpackers like to keep things as light as possible. I was thinking something like this mounted to the pack straps for the camera body with prime/short zoom:

    ILC Classic 50

    Or one or two of these cases for medium-sized lenses:

    Lens Case 8 x 6cm

    Anything that has a waterproof option gets bonus points, because hiking all day can leave you stuck in the rain for some time. Ideas for pancake and compact prime lenses are also appreciated.

  2. Fred49

    Fred49 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2010
  3. dyrmaker83

    dyrmaker83 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2011
    Washington, DC
    Real Name:
    Thanks, that's a nice setup. I was looking more at traditional camera bag companies but it looks like there are a lot of smaller pack companies that have proliferated in recent years that make accessories like these. I'm glad you posted your setup!

    I've rounded up a few similar companies for more ideas:

    Gossamer Gear
    Backpack Accessories
    McHale Packs - I like this guy...
    Six Moon Designs

    Combined with DIY inserts or other means of padding, a number of these could work well. Many of them are cottage industry bag makers so that makes me feel even better about them.
  4. matz03

    matz03 Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 10, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    I've been testing the capture camera clip on a couple of hikes and it seems to have solved my issues with camera straps. I've attached the clip to the shoulder strap of my camelback and I always have the camera ready to go with quick access while hands free when not using the camera. I'll still carry a couple of lenses in the backpack. I just hated the way neck straps and wrist straps worked, camera is always dangling and moving around, now it sits firmly in place but with one touch it's out and ready to use,

    here's a quick video
    [ame=]Capture Camera Clip System by Peter Dering[/ame]
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    If you like the chest rig concept, you can also check out Hill People Gear's various Kit Bag incarnations. I have one of the standard models and it's great for keeping commonly used stuff up front where you need it.

    That said, I don't use mine for camera equipment; I found when hiking with my camera I prefer having it ready to use rather than in a pouch or case (unless it's raining). In light of that, I usually keep my camera on a neck strap and just carry it that way, with spare lenses in my pack. I've also found that a twin grenade pouch works perfectly for carrying small m4/3 lenses - it will fit the 12-35mm in a pinch but works best with the 25mm, 45mm, 12mm and the like. It comes with snaps to attach it to your belt or a pack with webbing, and two pouches with quick-release buckles or velcro tops for easy access to a couple lenses.

    A couple other things on my "to try" list:

    This Christmas I received a Cotton Carrier which I'll be testing next time I go hiking - I like that it can hold the camera in ready-to access position, but without having it dangling from a neck strap. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to use it yet so I can't provide feedback on it yet.

    OpTech Stabilizer Strap - combined with a neck strap this will keep the camera from swinging and bouncing but still make it easy to access for a photo op. This is another one I haven't used yet, but it's on my list of possible approaches if I'm not happy with the Cotton Carrier.