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Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
 

Photo backpack ideas - anyone?


I currently use a Tamrac Adventure 7 bag for carrying my gear into the field. Its okay, but really not large enough to fit everything. Id like a bag that would have a holder for my tripod not just a strap. Ive got some shoulder issues, so the bags that swing around are probably not going to work. Anyone have a bag they really like? BTW: This is for hiking and other excursions, not for in town use. Thanks folks!

Irene


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11/8/2007 4:07:34 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Hi ya Kiddo !!! Hope you're doing great.

Take a look at the accessories and packs at my buddy Richard Stum's site Kinesis Photo gear: http://www.kgear.com/ Great stuff. Reliable, durable, always professional grade, strong like bull and made in his own family owned business. Pack and also belt systems (with or without suspenders) that might work for you and really cool stuff for wilderness shooting like you do. [Pardon my punctuation and grammar ]
Take it light ;>)
M.


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11/8/2007 8:53:13 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Irene,

You may want to think about the belt system if you can find one that will work for you since you have shoulder problems. Much like the "Alice" gear we used in the Marines, it will take the weight off your shoulders and put it on your waist. It may also make it easier to access your equipment since you don't have to take the pack off and put it back on every tiime you need to access your equipment.


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11/9/2007 6:03:52 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Not that most people would know the difference; but, I told you wrong. The "Alice" gear was the pack system. Our "Web" gear was similar to the belt system Mark's friend sells. I'll be getting some of that soon. Looks like good stuff.


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11/9/2007 9:54:59 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Hi Mark Yes, Im doing great working hard and enjoying it well, at least for the most part. At the moment Im back up in far Northern Minnesota and Southern Ontario, working on that project I told you about some time ago. Quite cold with some snow, but also really beautiful. Working on this job is what got me thinking that I needed a better way to carry gear into the field. I dont want a huge setup Ill keep my laptop in its own case but need something that can carry at least 3 or 4 lenses, accessories, CF cards, etc. plus room for the standard useful items such as water, snacks and first aid kit.

Much of the work I have been doing for the past couple of years allows me to drive my own car thus making it much easier to haul the gear, my personal stuff, my German Shepherd and her gear and all the miscellaneous debris one needs for an extended time on the road. However, I am looking for a system that would allow me to carry at least some of this gear on a flight if need arises. A couple of years ago I took a look at the Kinesis gear, but it did not fit my needs at that time. Frankly, I had forgotten all about their system. Thanks for the info and I will take a better look at their web site.

Hi Todd thanks for your ideas, I like what you mention about taking the weight and distributing it across the waist and balancing things so that you use more than your shoulders to lug gear. One question: does having your gear around your waist encumber you when trying to move around overgrown trails or through thick woods? That is about the only draw back I can see for the systems that you and Mark mention.

Thanks guys for the input!

Irene


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11/9/2007 1:32:43 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Irene,

From my hunting & Marine Corps experience and lugging a camera back pack through the woods, I think it is better to have it around your waist due to the fact that the gear is spread out over a bigger area and sits closer to the body making it less easy to get tangled up in the underbrush. Your profile will be somewhat smaller.

The back pack in my experience, when going through the places I go, sometimes makes it difficult to trek through the underbrush. The pack is more of an extension of your back and if you turn sideways, tends to get caught on branches, etc. Not to mention the noise it creates. When trying to sneak up on deer you have to be quiet.

When I carry my hunting gear it is carried on something similar to the system these guys have and similar to my web gear.

The pack I carry now is 10" thick, 16" tall, and 12" wide. Have a tripod fixed to it and it's even taller and thicker. I am constantly having to back up, get free of branches etc. and start walking again.

From what I see with their system, not only will it be easier carrying my equipment, it will make for easier access, be quieter, and better on my body. Not to mention make me a little more compact.

Hope this makes sense and sorry to get so long winded.


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11/9/2007 1:49:07 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Howdy ! Irene, first you ought to put your Shepherd to work carrying a small pack, maybe with film, water, cookies...ok, the cookies BAAAD idea. Or does [s]he wait in the car while you shoot?

Kinesis makes a large bag has a padded laptop pouch. Or you can remove the padding and use it for storing rain gear or a jacket. The divider system is fully adjustable and it's so deep, you can pack clothes in the bottom and equipment on top of them.

Check his specials page. I have to say Kinesis gear, all of it made in Utah btw, nothing from outside the U.S., is really high end stuff that really wears well, even using it on a nearly daily basis. I've become a huge fan of exclusively U.S. made goods. A lot of photojournalists wear the belt system with suspenders and just toss the whole rig inside one large bag because everything is already in its own padded case on the belt and on to the next assignment. Very cool and very quick.

BUT Rich has really done his homework and if you look on the site, you'll find the airline baggage template-size survey. His biggest bag is made to fit the conveyor template for all the screening gear in the U.S. and that, of course, gets your equipment to fit underneath your seat (or orange crate depending on which airline you're on).

Glad to hear your project is underway Irene. Nice to see you too Todd !!!
Be well guys and be safe.
M.


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11/9/2007 5:55:40 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  This guy has some good stuff from what I see on his site. I'll be making a big purchase in the not too distant future. Glad I saw the link you posted. Thanks! Irene and I have a date for a drink if I ever make it to Mass. and if I ever make it back to the bay area I'll treat you to the same. Buy the way bud, if your pic is any indication to your age; you haven't aged a bit in what, 6 months, a year? LOL.


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11/9/2007 6:28:28 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com
  Thanks for the link Mark. I have been looking for something workable for my short hikes where my shoulder bag is a little clumsy & wears me down a bit but I dont like carrying my Tamrac backpack unless its a long haul. Looks like Kinesis has a nice setup with a harness & belt that is just what I am looking for. Guess I'll go spend some more $$ now :)


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11/9/2007 11:33:04 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Me...age? Hey, I'm like the portrait of Dorian Gray !!! LOL !!!

Hey Carlton, if you buy the belt system, get a bit larger one for comfort purposes. If you're like me, you want the belt at times to ride a bit lower on your hips to help carry the weight a little better, instead of your waist.

As for the link, glad to gang.
M.
===========================
"Turn on the blue light, the man wants a blue suit." Maury the taylor.


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11/10/2007 9:16:40 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Hello Irene,
You may want to consider a standard hikers pack over the traditional photo-packs.
They lack the handy compartments designed for photographers but they are roomy enough to handle your gear, snacks and other necessities and they usually sport a waist strap to help distribute the weight of the load so it's not your back and shoulders that feel the pain after a long hike to a distant shooting location.

This self portrait shows the pack I've been using for several years. It handles my arsenal well, except for a tripod which has its own case and gets slung over my shoulder.

This former discussion on the topic may also help.

Bob


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11/10/2007 5:05:01 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Hi Mark, Carlton, Todd and Bob thank you for the detailed info and ideas! I plan to take a very good luck at the Kinesis belt system as soon as I get back to what passes as civilization. It sounds as if this may be at least some of the solution to my needs.

Mark of-course my Shepherd comes with me on my shoots and yes, she does wear a doggie pack containing non-fragile stuff such as water and snacks and other stuff. Two years ago she literally saved my life (along with another persons) so now she is my constant companion. Shes usually very good and knows that she needs to stay away from my tripod when I am working. But, I still wouldnt put my lenses or other delicate gear into her backpack just a risk I am unwilling to take!

Todd thanks for the info on wearing the belt system. I do know exactly what you mean about back packs being in the way in close territory. Ive had mine get snagged on low branches and other brush and it can be a pain. At the same time I will probably still use a pack for storing and carrying gear when not in the field. I like Marks idea of having everything on the belt and then tossing all of it into a pack.

Bob Before getting my current Tamrac pack I did use a standard daypack sold by L.L. Bean and it worked very well for many situations. The Tamrac pack also works great and does a good job at protecting my gear. Its just a little small and the next size up still does not have room for my longer lenses. It is also not that comfortable or adjustable for long hauls. I suspect that eventually I will get a combination of the belt system for use most of the time and a daypack into which the whole rig will fit. This may be the best of both worlds.

Thanks to all of you for the ideas and input. Tomorrow I head back to Duluth where I hope to find a good camera shop and perhaps will take a look at the various options.

Irene


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11/11/2007 6:38:09 AM

 
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