I am going to be on a trekking tour in the High Atlas (Morocco) this Summer. My Question is this:
Does anyone know a good solution for transporting a camera while trekking? obviously I dont want to put my whole Rucksack (around 15kg) down, every time I see an image worth taking. But on the other hand, i dont want to have the camera dangle on my chest alle the time.
Thanks in advance,
You might want to search the forum on this topic, it has been discussed a great many times.
My personnal solution is to have a compact digital camera in my pocket (currently a Ricoh GX100), and the heavy stuff (typically a Nikon D2x) in the backpack along with the tripod.
Since I personnally always use a tripod with the heavier cameras, I find that having to put the backpack down everytime (around 20 - 25 kgs typically) is actually a blessing. It allows me to slow down, get smarter at finding the really cool locations with potential, and to study a subject before commiting to a photograph.
I have identified a very strong inverse relationship between the amount of images I shoot and the amount of keepers. The more I shoot, the less keepers. Like 3 keepers in 500 images shot quick with the backpack on my back, but 10 keepers in 120 images shot slowly with the back on the ground.
But that is of course just me. Working like that requires both a good physical and mental condition. Taking the pack down for the 53rd time of the day after 10 hours walk in hard terrain can be a difficult decision to take... but I feel that trying to shoot with a 15 kg pack on your back is yet an order of magnitude harder a task. I just cannot get low with a pack on my back.
Logistics come into play though. If you don't plan your route in a smart way, it could be that you won't have the time to both cover the distance and put your pack down 40 times in a day. I typically plan my routes and schedule them taking into account at least 4 hours of picture only time (without pack on my back). That often requires to leave camp very early - just after sunrise for instance, which requires to eat before, which requires to pack etc... the night before... That also typically forces me to walk independantly since typical tours just cannot cope with such situations.
This seemingly innocent placking question can in fact not be answered independantly from the whole philosophy underlying one's shooting style.
I am in the process of writing an article on this topic actually.