My Camera Gear for Hiking & Backpacking

my hiking camera gear

One of the main reasons I backpack is to spend time in scenic locations in the wilderness. In order to capture some of that beauty, camera gear is one of the few items that I’m willing to carry extra weight for. I use a Sony full frame mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses that I can choose according to what I plan to photograph.

My camera gear

camera: Sony a7RII Mirrorless Digital Camera Body (22 oz)
This is a full frame mirrorless camera with a 42 megapixel sensor, so it capable of taking high quality images in varying conditions.

camera lens:
Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens (7 oz) This wide angle lens is what I take on most of my trips.

camera strap: PeakDesign Slide Lite Camera Strap (2 oz)
This strap is more comfortable than standard camera straps and is easily adjustable with quick-adjustor handles. After dropping my previous camera in a creek on a backpacking trip, now I make a habit of keeping the strap around my neck while I’m hiking, even when it’s clipped into the cameral clip on my backpack strap.

extra camera batteries: Sony NP-FW50 battery (2 oz)
I always take at least one extra camera battery with me.

camera attachment: PeakDesign Capture 3.0 Camera Clip (3 oz)
This camera clip attaches to the straps on a backpack to keep your camera easily accessible.

waterproof camera cover: PeakDesign Shell, small (2.4 oz)
This cover can be used on the camera while you carry it on a backpack strap. I also use it for protecting the camera when storing it in my tent.

tripod: Pedco Ultrapod II with an Arca plate (4.2 oz)
This tripod is easy to use, ultralight and supports the weight of my camera.

Additional lenses

prime camera lenses

Samyang AF/FE 18mm f/2.8 lens (5 oz) A super wide lens that is useful for star photography, I only take this on trips where I’ll get the most use out of it.

Sony FE 85 mm f/1.8 lens (16 oz) This slight telephoto lens is good for capture details on subjects that are far away.

Carrying a camera while hiking

Peak Design camera clip

I’ve gone through several methods for carrying my camera while I’m hiking, including using a neck strap while carrying the camera in one hand, to trying out a couple of different styles of camera bags strapped onto my hip belt. My preferred method is a camera clip that attaches to a backpack strap so my camera is always accessible.

Using an ultralight tripod

Ultrapod II camera tripod

Most of my photos are taken hand held since I’m usually hiking when I’m taking photos. However, a tripod is nice to have for shooting in low light conditions, and is required for shooting star photography. Instead of a full-size tripod, which is too heavy to carry, I use an ultralight tripod that only weighs 4 ounces. The downside is that it’s only about 6″ high, so you have to be creative with setting up compositions. I try to find downed trees or rocks to place it on so it’s up higher than the ground. The tripod includes a velcro strap for attaching to an object like a tree limb. In my experience, it’s not sturdy enough to hold the camera in position so I removed it from the tripod.


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