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Luggage Transfer Correos

Camera Backpack Recommendations

0 Euro Camino Bank Note

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
Hello everyone!

I plan on walking the Camino del Norte route next year but as a photographer I'm hoping to capture the journey through photos and videos. So apart from all the usual items (clothes, toiletries, etc), I'll be packing my camera gear and I'm looking for camera backpack to carry it all. My main concerns are capacity and weight. Here's what I'm carrying in terms of camera gear:
1 x Sony A7R III
1 x Sony 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS
1 x Zeiss 55mm F1.8
1 x Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8
1 x RX100 VII (with rig, mic and grip)
1 x Travel tripod
Hardware (laptop, hdds, etc)

I've looked at the Peak Design Travel Backpack but is it too heavy (especially with a Camera Cube)? I've also got the F-Stop Tilopa with a ICU and I think that's the same weight.
Has anyone tried a lightweight backpack (eg. one of those ultralight Dyneema backpacks) and put a camera cube inside? Does it make it too cumbersome to access the camera?

Thanks for any suggestions!
 
Last edited:

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
You can check out the pacsafe lineup: https://www.pacsafe.com/use/photography/ . I'm not sure what size you need as this is quite a bit more gear than I carried but they have several sizes.

I used one and was quite happy with it. Not only safe (cable lined straps to prevent slash-n-go, safety locking clips on each zipper, etc) but the straps reconfigured so I could wear this pack in the front during the day for easy access to my camera gear and wear my main pack on the back. In town at night I would just take this camera pack when I walked around. It also has a tablet pocket in the back which was perfect for me as I edited on the way.

I used the pacsafe camerasafe V17 anti-theft bag:
1566067683385.png
 

Jean Ti

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Trying to do one camino every year
How many days are you expecting go walk?

Have you ever done that type of trip before ?
 

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
You can check out the pacsafe lineup: https://www.pacsafe.com/use/photography/ . I'm not sure what size you need as this is quite a bit more gear than I carried but they have several sizes.

I used one and was quite happy with it. Not only safe (cable lined straps to prevent slash-n-go, safety locking clips on each zipper, etc) but the straps reconfigured so I could wear this pack in the front during the day for easy access to my camera gear and wear my main pack on the back. In town at night I would just take this camera pack when I walked around. It also has a tablet pocket in the back which was perfect for me as I edited on the way.

I used the pacsafe camerasafe V17 anti-theft bag:
View attachment 63476
Thanks for the suggestion. I've used Pacsafe gear before and I like their bags but the idea of carrying a second bag isn't appealing. Will keep it in mind though.
 

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
How many days are you expecting go walk?

Have you ever done that type of trip before ?
I've given myself a bit over 40 days. I've done quite a few trips but never one this long. I've done a pilgrimage from Germany to Rome (had a car most of the time but there was a fair bit of hiking in Germany) and I learnt my lesson about carrying essential gear (I had 2 x 5D bodies, 24-70, 17-40, 35, 50, 150-600, 2 x speedlites, tripod, 15" MBP - it was just too much weight).
 

Jean Ti

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Trying to do one camino every year
I think that you carry to much equipment. You should do a simple test. Pack all your personnal gear for the trip and all the photo equipment plus the computer charger etc and go walk 30km on a nice day. And do the same thing in a rainy day.

Last time in did the Norte i got 5 days of rain in a row...🐳🐋🐟🐠🐡

After that i am shure that you will remove some gears...
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
How do you plan to reach your equipment if it is in a backpack when you are in need of a lens change or other speedy change in equipment?

A second real question is how you plan to watch your camera when visiting museums or other location which have a no backpack rule.
 
Last edited:

Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
I can't offer much in the way of a pack. All of my searches for some form of hybrid camera pack over the years leads me to believe it is somewhat of a unicorn and then there is personal preference. I have a closet full of camera packs of various size and shape that I rotate between for short trips and couldn't imagine using any of them day after day as their ergonomics aren't great. I have an old LowePro that I used backpacking on Catalina Island several years ago to photograph bald eagles and bison. Similar gear as what you have listed with a 500mm f/4 as well. All in one pack. I will not do that to myself ever again.

A quick realistic assessment is that your basic camera gear listed comes to 3.1 kg. Your 15" MBP is about 1.8 kg. Throw in a tripod and your HDDs and suddenly you are very likely pushing over 7kg. This is not including what you need for charging or your rig/mic/grip. Nor any of your general walking items. While I do not want to dissuade you from carrying anything, I would encourage you to think how you can shave grams where possible.

-Are you considering having personal effects shuttled ahead for you daily so that you can be a comfortable walking glass taxi?

-What is the storage space on your MBP like? Is it possible to bare bones the SSD (assuming it's not an older one with a spinner) and still have enough space? What sort of connections does your unit have and are you able to get a small USB-C enclosure for a 1TB NVME (something like this, prebuilt or build your own)? Personally, I would shy away from carrying a spinner because of speed, potential corruption and weight.

-Does your Sony A7R III have redundant memory cards? Early this year I took several cards and always shot in backup mode and one copy was secured when filled and the other one for downloads to my iPad. Having been bitten once by a corrupt card I always do this at this point. RAW files on the iPad were uploaded as proper network access permitted. But I don't feel this is a reliable option as uploading multiple 25MB RAW files is not what most albergues are in the business for. Nor did I feel very comfortable hogging what little bandwidth there was nor what the albergues are paying their providers for. Some hotels though cater to business folk and have a zippy wifi and proper bandwidth.

Personally my stuff is insured so theft or breakage is more of a pain in the okole but losing pictures is heartbreaking.

I'm excited for you and hope you share your shots...but I wouldn't want to carry your pack! :)
 

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
I think that you carry to much equipment. You should do a simple test. Pack all your personnal gear for the trip and all the photo equipment plus the computer charger etc and go walk 30km on a nice day. And do the same thing in a rainy day.

Last time in did the Norte i got 5 days of rain in a row...🐳🐋🐟🐠🐡

After that i am shure that you will remove some gears...
I've stripped down to what I think is the bare essentials (for my photography - the purpose of this trip). I have been packing a heavy backpack to work every Friday (and getting some strange looks at work) and I admit, it's a little heavy but I'm hoping in the year I have to train, I'll be ready.
 

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
How do you plan to reach your equipment if it is in a backpack when you are in need of a lens change or other speedy change in equipment?

A second real question is how you plan to watch your camera when visiting museums or other location which have a no backpack rule.
That's why I'm here - I'm hoping some other photographers might be on here and could share their pack solutions. The Peak Design Travel Back Pack, gives both quick side access and rear panel access. The F-Stop gives back panel access but I sometimes put an extra lens or body (with lens) in the top section.

Thanks for the info about the museums - I'll definitely have to look into that. In some places I've been, I've actually secured my bag by running a steel cable through the zips and then locking it to a post/wall/etc. Not sure if this would work in Spain.
 

Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
I've actually secured my bag by running a steel cable through the zips and then locking it to a post/wall/etc. Not sure if this would work in Spain.
Many Cathedrals, etc have lockers or cubbies or if asked nicely the attendant has put my pack behind the counter. I would be hesitant about steel cabling...sooner or later somebody might call in the bomb disposal unit. That would certainly be an interesting form of loss.
 

gschmidl

sator arepo tenet opera rotas
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo (11/2018), Camino Sanabres (4/2019)
There's also the other Peak Design backpack which is more specifically for cameras, but you'd have to check if the straps are comfortable for you. I've now taken it to Japan twice (16 days each, >20 km a day) as well as one-week city stays and never had a problem. I took the travel backpack on the Camino, but we only walked 100km on the VdlP. I used the small camera cube to store my drinking bladder, and had the camera in the remainder of the main compartment. It, too, never felt too heavy, despite me running on vastly reduced power due to being on antibiotics for an UTI, and has somewhat wider, more comfortable straps.
 

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
I can't offer much in the way of a pack. All of my searches for some form of hybrid camera pack over the years leads me to believe it is somewhat of a unicorn and then there is personal preference. I have a closet full of camera packs of various size and shape that I rotate between for short trips and couldn't imagine using any of them day after day as their ergonomics aren't great. I have an old LowePro that I used backpacking on Catalina Island several years ago to photograph bald eagles and bison. Similar gear as what you have listed with a 500mm f/4 as well. All in one pack. I will not do that to myself ever again.

A quick realistic assessment is that your basic camera gear listed comes to 3.1 kg. Your 15" MBP is about 1.8 kg. Throw in a tripod and your HDDs and suddenly you are very likely pushing over 7kg. This is not including what you need for charging or your rig/mic/grip. Nor any of your general walking items. While I do not want to dissuade you from carrying anything, I would encourage you to think how you can shave grams where possible.

-Are you considering having personal effects shuttled ahead for you daily so that you can be a comfortable walking glass taxi?

-What is the storage space on your MBP like? Is it possible to bare bones the SSD (assuming it's not an older one with a spinner) and still have enough space? What sort of connections does your unit have and are you able to get a small USB-C enclosure for a 1TB NVME (something like this, prebuilt or build your own)? Personally, I would shy away from carrying a spinner because of speed, potential corruption and weight.

-Does your Sony A7R III have redundant memory cards? Early this year I took several cards and always shot in backup mode and one copy was secured when filled and the other one for downloads to my iPad. Having been bitten once by a corrupt card I always do this at this point. RAW files on the iPad were uploaded as proper network access permitted. But I don't feel this is a reliable option as uploading multiple 25MB RAW files is not what most albergues are in the business for. Nor did I feel very comfortable hogging what little bandwidth there was nor what the albergues are paying their providers for. Some hotels though cater to business folk and have a zippy wifi and proper bandwidth.

Personally my stuff is insured so theft or breakage is more of a pain in the okole but losing pictures is heartbreaking.

I'm excited for you and hope you share your shots...but I wouldn't want to carry your pack! :)
Yes, the perfect bag is certainly elusive - I think I've bought over 50 camera bags now. They all have wonderful features but none are perfect.

My current list of equipment (including hdds, chargers, tripod, etc) totals to 6.810 kg - I've really gone for lightweight equipment.

Yes, I have considered shuttling my luggage ahead but then the only things I would shuttle ahead would be my toiletries and spare clothes (which doesn't amount to very much).

No longer using the MBP - have downsized to a XPS 13 (512 GB SSD internal and I'll be carrying several 2 TB Samsung T5 drives).

Yes, the A7R III has dual SD card slots - both of which are set to write to RAW. My plan is to upload low res images to social media and only upload my RAW files to my Google Drive when I have a decent connection for backup purposes. I'll be backing up to the several T5 drives between cloud backups.

And all my gear is insured too - first thing I did when I got into this business was to insure everything and take out a public liability insurance policy.
 

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
There's also the other Peak Design backpack which is more specifically for cameras, but you'd have to check if the straps are comfortable for you. I've now taken it to Japan twice (16 days each, >20 km a day) as well as one-week city stays and never had a problem. I took the travel backpack on the Camino, but we only walked 100km on the VdlP. I used the small camera cube to store my drinking bladder, and had the camera in the remainder of the main compartment. It, too, never felt too heavy, despite me running on vastly reduced power due to being on antibiotics for an UTI, and has somewhat wider, more comfortable straps.
I'm definitely leaning towards the PD Travel Backpack - I'm pretty happy with all their other products. Good to know that the backpack was comfortable for you.
 

gschmidl

sator arepo tenet opera rotas
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo (11/2018), Camino Sanabres (4/2019)
I'm definitely leaning towards the PD Travel Backpack - I'm pretty happy with all their other products. Good to know that the backpack was comfortable for you.
Note that the photo backpack has a ton more little compartments to put stuff into, but the travel backpack is roomier. I'm really looking forward to their new super-light tripod, too, maybe that'll actually make me take one on trips.

...I think I should get sponsored by Peak Design.
 

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
Note that the photo backpack has a ton more little compartments to put stuff into, but the travel backpack is roomier. I'm really looking forward to their new super-light tripod, too, maybe that'll actually make me take one on trips.

...I think I should get sponsored by Peak Design.
I've got the Everyday Backpack - yes, lots of pockets (especially in the side flaps). It's surprising how much you can pack into the bag. But definitely not big enough for this trip.

Agree - PD should sponsor Camino walks! Definitely would a great test of their gear!
 

Jean Ti

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Trying to do one camino every year
I share with you my previous photography experience twice in Peru and once in Bolivia.

Used Bora 80ltr Arc terix pacsack the botton part of the bag was photo equipment . I install soft pading to protec gears.

The bag even heavy is very confortable to cary.

The top part of the bag was my personal stuff.

On back up i was using a lot of 128 gigs cards that always travel with me.

I was using an old tripod that i give away a the end of trip.


I have not seen a photo of a bag big enough to fig my personal need and photo gears

Just suggestions
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
Agree - PD should sponsor Camino walks! Definitely would a great test of their gear!
Did you take a look at the PD Travel Duffleback 65l? The advantage is the modular system packing cube, that will fit perfectly here.

That maybe fitting your gear and your personal stuff. I had a 38l backpack filled just 2/3 with Canon G7x and accessories and a DJI Osmo Pocket and accessories (chargers, memorycards, tripod, cables) and my clothes, toiletries, food and some more. Water, money, cards I had in a hip-pack.

Hope you'll find your pack.
For the non-technical stuff: pack your bag as you think and than throw 50% out, that is what you really need.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
Did you take a look at the PD Travel Duffleback 65l? The advantage is the modular system packing cube, that will fit perfectly here.

That maybe fitting your gear and your personal stuff. I had a 38l backpack filled just 2/3 with Canon G7x and accessories and a DJI Osmo Pocket and accessories (chargers, memorycards, tripod, cables) and my clothes, toiletries, food and some more. Water, money, cards I had in a hip-pack.

Hope you'll find your pack.
For the non-technical stuff: pack your bag as you think and than throw 50% out, that is what you really need.

Buen Camino!
Roland
Yeah I had a look at the Travel Dufflepack but it just looks way too big - trying to keep everything to a minimum. I'm an extremely light traveller so no worries about carrying waste.
 

The Good Thief

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May (2020)
I've used 5:11 packs with camera inserts, but one of my favorite camera bag solutions have been offered by Mountainsmith. I don't see the version of the Borealis that I've carried in the past, but they make some great bags. Super bombproof, and well thought out: https://mountainsmith.com/products/camera-bags.html
I've got quite a few 5.11 bags myself - I used the Rush 72 when I was travelling through Germany and had my camera gear in an insert. Since then, I've come to appreciate bags with inserts designed for them - it just fits better and doesn't move around.
The Mountain Smith Tanucklite looks pretty good - definitely going to see if I can find one in a store! Thanks for that!
 

jrm

Active Member
I've got quite a few 5.11 bags myself - I used the Rush 72 when I was travelling through Germany and had my camera gear in an insert. Since then, I've come to appreciate bags with inserts designed for them - it just fits better and doesn't move around.
The Mountain Smith Tanucklite looks pretty good - definitely going to see if I can find one in a store! Thanks for that!
Right on! yeah, they have really nice and well thought out inserts too. I've taken the inserts out of my Borealis and put them in my Rush 24 on an around the world trip. Stood up great. Hope you find the perfect bag for your needs!
 

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