Leeonmaui, how do you keep the camera gear accessible in a top loading backpack? Choose one or two things to strap onto the outside of the pack? Keep camera and most-used lens in top of bag, everything else below the rest of the cooking ,sleep, shelter gear? I really like the Cotton Carrier vest and a Canon 60D/EF-S 15-85mm lens attached to the vest - in practice I find that this handles most of my daytime trailside photos.
As far as I am concerned, here is what I do:
- The real camera is within the pack near the top (I typically keep one jacket between the camera and the top of the bag). I need to stop, open the bag take the camera out, mount it on the tripod to take images,
- For the casual images, I use my Sony RX100 that I keep in my trousers pocket.
From a pure technical quality standpoint, I do of course get better files from my D800 even handheld, but when factoring in the fact that my D800 lenses are non stabilized and that images taken on the go are rarely interesting anyway, the RX100 does a splendid job for those snaps.