US Parks


Mu-43 Regular
Jun 12, 2019
I typically travel internationally with a EM 10.3 + Oly 14-150mm II + P 20mm. It works well and I keep it light by one bagging it for ~2 weeks while overseas before returning to the real world.

Sadly Coronavirus has put a crimp on those plans. I'm getting tons of time off and no where to go :(

So I've decided while I'm locked out of the wider world, I have all the US to explore and I own camping gear! Let's go hit all 62 National Parks and explore this great country I live in.

Now I just need to decide what gear to bring with me and could use some feedback. I'll be car camping so light isn't necessary but there's other stuff I would like to bring and thus taking up excess room isn't ideal.

My current plan:
  • Peak Design Travel Tripod
  • Olympus 10.3 + Mounting Plate
  • Cross body carry strap
  • 2x Spare Batteries
  • USB Battery Charger
  • 1x Spare SD card
  • Olympus 14-150mm II *Note 1*
  • Laowa 7.5mm *Note 2*
  • Olympus 75mm *Note 4*
  • Circular Polarizers
  • Laptop
I'm not sure about the choice of lenses and would love some feedback.
  1. I tend to love the 14-150mm for a general all around lens. I don't have any of the pro-level lenses but do have the Olympus 12-200mm. The added reach might be nice and the added weight/size won't be as much of a problem compared to my other travels (I do lose some speed compared to the 14-150mm at the top end). Down side is I don't have a circular polarizer for that lens.
  2. The Laowa 7.5mm is a very specialized lens. Due to the nature of what I'll be doing, I figure it's a keeper because I would love to do some night astrophotography/landscape shots.
  3. I do own an Olympus 9-18mm with a step up ring to 46mm (for circular polarizers and other accessories). It seems very duplicative vs the Laowa but the slight zoom and autofocus seems like it might be an include.
  4. I'm not sold on the Olympus 75mm. It has the perfect issue of being telephoto, but not enough telephoto for long ranges. It's fast but I'm not needing fast for light telephoto work (I assume). It seems every time I want to use it, it's not what I'm looking for.
  5. I own a Panasonic Leica 25mm 1.4 and a Panasonic 20mm. The Panasonic Leica might make a good lower light prime lens. But it feels slightly duplicative of the Laowa and the Olympus 9-18mm and doesn't give me much.
My backup stack of lenses would be the following:
  • Oly 12-200
  • Laowa 7.5mm
  • Oly 9-18mm
  • PL 25mm
Any suggestions you would have would be ideal. My backup stack is further away from how I typically travel and has duplicates at various spots but I can more easily see shots I would want to take with it vs my original list.

I'm trying not to spend money right now so the option of a PL 12-60, Oly 12-40mm, or one of the real telephoto primes/zooms isn't feasible right now. I'm kicking myself at filling in the low prime range well and not filling out some of the telephoto range :(
Dec 2, 2014
Knoxville, TN
Before you go anywhere look in the what travel restrictions that are going into effect. Some states are looking to quarantine anyone entering for 2 weeks. Others have such wide spread infection rates travel to them might be unwarranted.


Mu-43 Regular
Jun 12, 2019
I'm very aware of the travel restrictions. I would have hit Arcadia National Park (~9 hr drive for me) by now but Maine has a 2 week quarantine for out of state visitors.

I'm less worried about infection rates. I'm going to go relax and enjoy the great outdoors not go partying on south beach with the college kids.


Mu-43 Regular
May 18, 2021
Tallahassee, FL
Real Name
Pete Staehling
Did your plans go ahead for 2020? If not are you going in 2021?

We have been mostly hunkered down for 2020 and were planning to hit the road for the summer of 2021, but have a geriatric dog that we are hesitant to board in her current health condition (she is 12 and recently had her spleen removed). As a result we are thinking of sticking closer to home and seeing more of our home state's (and close neighboring state's) state parks and attractions. That way we can take her along on shorter trips or have neighbors look in on her for day trips or overnight trips. Depending on how she is we may be more ambitious.


Mu-43 Veteran
Aug 18, 2020
Just because you can carry more doesn't mean that you should.
I'd take the two lenses you normally use, that's all.
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