Top 10 things in my backpack - Summer
I frequently get questions regarding the gear I use so I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog post on the topic.
Here’s a short summary of some of my favorite gear for a two week long solo photography adventure in the mountains. As a photographer I always carry around 6-7 kg of camera gear (cameras, lenses, tripod, batteries etc) so it’s important for me to keep the weight down on the other gear.
Over the years I’ve used a lot of different gear but only some stands the test of time. I will give you more details on my gear on the blog in the future, but here’s some of my favorites:
The Backpack - Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter 4400/5400
Lightweight, nearly waterproof and versatile. I use both the 4400 and 5400 version depending on how much gear I need to carry. It’s a minimalist type of pack but you can add extras outside (see the first image).
Camera & Lenses - Sony A7R III + Sony GM Lenses
Obviously a photographer needs camera gear. I often carry two Sony A7R III with either the 16-35 GM, 24-70 GM or the 70-200 GM lenses mounted depending on the type of photography I want to do. The cameras are great and the GM lenses are outstanding. (Disclaimer: I’m a Sony Ambassador but this is the kit I would use anyway)
Tripod - Feisol 3442 Tripod + Acratech GP-ss Ballhead
The best lightweight tripod system I have found. The tripod is tall enough for me (I’m 178 cm) and the ballhead is both sturdy and have some extra features like the ability to make easy panorama stitching by inverting the head.
Insulating Jacket - Arcteryx Atom AR
Synthethic insulation isn’t as warm per gram as down but this jacket has become a favorite of mine. It’s a great allround piece and dries much faster than down. Very comfortable!
Stove - MSR Pocket Rocket 2
I have used the original version of this stove for more than 10 years (it’s still going strong) and the new version is even better. Coupled with a titanium pot it makes for a great summer cooking system. Although you need to have shelter from the wind to use it.
Tent - Locus Gear Khufu or Hilleberg Niak
I choose my tent depending on the terrain I will encounter. I really enjoy pyramid shelters like the Locus Gear Khufu but in some terrain it’s better with a freestanding tent like the Hilleberg Niak. Both are excellent and roomy options for solo adventures. The Khufu is lighter but the Niak is more comfortable.
Freeze-dried Dinner - Real Turmat
A good dinner is essential for well being in the wilderness. These are the ones that taste the best if you ask me. Pork Sweet and Sour is my current favorite - I’ve had a few of those and they can be a real moral boost when your’e tired.
Sleep System - Katabatic Gear Flex and Therma-a-Rest Xlite
In the summer I use quilts instead of sleeping bags as I find them more comfortable. I believe Therma-a-Rest makes the best sleeping pads in terms of both comfort and durability. I’ve had problems with other brands with sleepless nights as a result.
Footwear - La Sportiva Akyra and TNF Ultra Fastpack III Mid
Nowadays I use lightweight shoes instead of heavy boots. I have a pair of trail running shoes like the La Sportiva Akyra (without Gore-Tex) during the day. These are ok to get wet when crossing rivers etc. When I finish hiking for the day I change to a pair of lightweight hiking boots with Gore-Tex (The North Face Ultra Fastpack Mid III). Wet shoes during the day - dry shoes in camp and when the terrain is dry. To me this is the best system for most of the adventures in the summer.
Coffe or tea? - Lemmel Kaffe and YogiTea Classic
Having a cup of coffe or tea outside of the tent in the morning - words can’t describe it. My favorite coffe is made by Lemmel Kaffe and my tea of choice is the YogiTea Classic. Tea is more lightweight than coffe so on longer hikes I usually only drink tea. Instant coffe is not for me. 😉
Do you have any questions or favorite pieces of gear of your own? Let me know in the comments below.