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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old July 4th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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Trekking with video equipment

Hello all,
I'm a newbie to this forum. I'm planning a solo trek in the Sierras this summer, and will be shooting along the way.

I have a XH-A1. I'm planning on doing a series of overnight trips. Most of the gear bags I've seen advertised appear to be day-packs, with little room for food, sleeping bag, tent etc. So I guess I'll just use a "normal" backpack, and try to work around that.

I plan on buying a monopod that can double as a walking stick, and a sturdy yet lightweight tripod.

Has anyone else here tried anything like this? Any helpful tips or tricks? Any vital accessory suggestions?

Thanks!
-Jason
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Old July 4th, 2007, 08:05 PM   #2
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Bring plenty of batteries. Whenever I go out for a long trek in Yellowstone, I bring at least five batteries with me.

Pack your gear in ziplock bags. You never know when you may have to cross a stream.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 08:37 AM   #3
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I find this handy for a rest and as a swivel-perch in the roughest of locations and it's very light in its own little bag ...

from www.basspro.com

Camo Swivel Rest Stool
$19.99

Truly vital ... water.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #4
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Hey Jason,sounds like you will be up in my winter playground....In other words YES something like this has been done. Only in winter with an additional 30 pounds or so for Splitboard(a backcountry snowboard),shovel,avalanche transiever..yaday..yada.
I use an Osprey Cerres 50 which is a medium size backpack. I have carried my camera ( HVR-V1U) with a Gitzo tripod and a couple of Batteries up to about 13,000 in snow.
Pick a sturdy pack (Osprey,mountain Hardware,BlackDiamond,ect) that feels good with the weight you plan to carry. Weigh your gear,tent,food ect and your camera and proceed to the nearest REI or any other camping store and let someone size you ,then try out a few packs. They will put weights in the pack and let you walk around to see how it feels. pick the one that you can live with for about 12 hours on your back.
As far as carring the camera I started with a pelican Hard Case because I do run the risk of a high speed fall, but I now I use a Kata soft bag inside the big pack.

Here is a video of what I do and you get the picture.


http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=98700
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Old July 11th, 2007, 04:28 PM   #5
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I always keep my camera attached to the tripod and shoulder it, simply because you never know when some animal or act of nature may happen and you are ready at all times to get the shot. I carry everything else in a backpack made by a company named Crooked Horn Outfitters model name is Non Typical. Very rugged comfortable pack.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 04:49 AM   #6
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This is great... thanks for all of the good advice!

I think I will try the shouldered tripod approach. For carrying purposes it will be a little higher off of the ground than if I used a shoulder strap. This might lessen exposure to trail dust. Also, I do want quick access to shoot unexpected wildlife encounters. Although sometimes even that might not be quick enough...

Recently I was shooting footage in the woods, with my camera in hand. About 5 seconds after I paused the tape, I saw a large cinnamon-colored black bear about 150' in front of me. I raised my camera, but before I could hit record, the bear bolted down the side of the mountain into the trees. He wanted no part of that. If I listen carefully to the audio I can hear the sound of him crashing through the forest, but no video. Oh well, it could have been worse I suppose, he could have came in for a close-up.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 06:25 PM   #7
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You probably already know this but it took me couple hiking trips to realize there is a nice balance point on tripods. That is, if I'm not bushwhacking I keep the legs extended to a sharpie marked height for balanced carrying. With the metal resting against my shoulder straps you hardly feel it.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #8
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Jason, I always use a photo vest while in the field. You can pack a lot of gear in it. battaries, tape, head cleaner, filters, note book, poncho, food/water bottle in back pocket, hat etc., and, I always hook my XL-2 to the vests metal eye-ring. Also, if your tripod does not have padded legs you can go to your local hardware store and buy a couple of lengths of circular foam that they use to insulate water pipes. These are pre-split and will slide right onto your sticks' upper legs. It really makes a difference on your shoulders at the end of the day. Oh, another item I always carry in my vest....large trash bags. They are great for covering your gear in case of sudden rain/dust, Bob
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Old July 17th, 2007, 06:16 AM   #9
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How many days/weeks are you going for? The longer the trek the less camera equipment I would carry. For really long trips you can cut down on weight by shipping caches of food ahead to high country camps.

If you need to clean multi-coated filters out in the field nothing, in my experience, works better than baby wipes - seriously. I always carry some in my camera bag.

It's a dry year, so bring enough water bottles. Some streams that usually have water in them were dry when I was there in June, so depending on the locale you might have to hike a bit extra to find water. At least there were fewer mosquitoes than usual. I would still bring some repellent, though.

I'm sure it's superfluous to say this, but since you are going solo make sure someone knows your route and when you are expected back. Have fun!

Best wishes,
Peter
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Old July 29th, 2007, 03:57 AM   #10
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Well so far so good. I'm trekking on a circular route, relatively close to home, so I can have a friend pick me up every few days or so. This allows me to carry less food etc., and recharge my batteries, literally and figuratively. Having a tri-band ham radio in my pack brings some peace of mind. (Yes… licensed.)

I went with a Manfrotto 745/503HDV, which I shoulder most of the time. So far my biggest "problems" have been trying to avoid hitting fellow hikers with my gear on narrow sections of trail, and then explaining the gear once we've safely passed. It's a good conversation piece, but I've been asked to diagnose some other's camera problems. (Usually low batteries!)

The dry winter has lowered the mosquito count, but surprisingly there are still plenty of flowers in bloom in the high country.

Over all, it's been fun. Each time, I get a little bit better organized for the next leg of the journey. Once I get some editing done, I'll post some footage.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 08:02 PM   #11
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carry gear

I am trying out a rifle sling to carry the tripod this year on a long hike coming up next month.
I got this idea as I the sling for my deer rifle -- it's soft rubber the rifle stays hands free on the shoulder, yet allows a quick dismount despite hiking miles into heavy bush.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...=cat20776&rid=

I also don't think you can have too many ziplock bags.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 08:23 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=Peter Rhalter;713153]
If you need to clean multi-coated filters out in the field nothing, in my experience, works better than baby wipes - seriously. I always carry some in my camera bag.

.............Peter, Would you use baby wipes on lenses for cams & binocs, lcd's, viewfinders as well as filters?

At least there were fewer mosquitoes than usual. I would still bring some repellent, though.

........... Any particular repellent for mosquitos?
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Old August 4th, 2007, 02:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Harring View Post
I am trying out a rifle sling to carry the tripod this year on a long hike coming up next month.
I got this idea as I the sling for my deer rifle -- it's soft rubber the rifle stays hands free on the shoulder, yet allows a quick dismount despite hiking miles into heavy bush.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...=cat20776&rid=

I also don't think you can have too many ziplock bags.
I'll have to look into that. (We're getting a Cabellas outlet here soon.) I've been shouldering my tripod, but even with padding, after 6 or 7 hours my shoulders and arms are really sore.

Today I hiked up to a peak, taking only my monopod. I was planning to do wide shots, and for that it works fine. On my way down the mountain, I discovered a colony of Pika. Or I should say they discovered me. I got some footage, but they're really small, and fast. Tracking them on tight shots is difficult. So I'll have to go back with my tripod and setup shop for a few hours so I'll have enough footage to make a decent clip of these funny little guys. Just when I thought I was done with an area...
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Old August 9th, 2007, 09:49 PM   #14
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slinging a tripod

as stated, i think this will work but have yet to try it in the real world. I do know my 8 lb deer rifle w/ scope stays put - hands free, which is huge benefit in the bush.

I can't recall if I mentione this, but I added a quick release to the sling too. The intent is to be able to take it off if it is windy so it won't create unwanted audio by flapping in the wind. The other perceived benefit is it leaves room for a backpack. It's funny, all the photo packs really have no room for camping gear, nor do backpacks protect equipment as well as one would want.
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