Adventure Photography Camera Bags by Clik Elite

Light Packing for Summer Photo Shoots

With summer upon us, now is the time most people are traveling and wanting to take photos of the scenic places they are visiting. Lets face it camera gear can get heavy, and before you know it you have a camera body a tripod and 2 lenses because of that just in case scenario you’ll end up needing the 70-200 but you most likely will just keep shooting with the 50mm. So before you head out the door for your summer photo shoots in 90 degree weather with a 40 pound pack on your back we asked our Elite Immortals to give their tips on packing light for summer photo shoots. Here are their responses

MATT-TRAPPEMatt Trappe – Sports/Landscape photographer always with camera in tow he accompanies elite athletes over the most rugged mountain ranges to shoot races, expeditions, advertising campaigns and video documentaries.

“For me the heaviest portion of my pack can be water. A 2L bladder is heavy!! I’ve found an awesome little product called LifeStraw that allows me to safely drink right from a river or stream in the backcountry while saving lots of weight in my Escape pack.

Photography wise, I like to carry crop sensor bodies from Nikon (D7100). The image quality is indistinguishable and it saves a couple pounds in my pack vs. carrying two larger bodies. A monopod also doubles as a hiking stick and can take the place of a tripod when shooting video also saving weight from my pack.”

FRED-MARMASTERFredrik Marmsater –  an outdoor adventure photographer specializing in shooting in remote locations, and capturing athletes pushing their limits.

“Packing super light – add one small body (D800 or D7000), only the lenses you need, a spare battery and cards, one lens cloth, and that’s it. wrap it in houdini jacket or other layer that might go anyways and head out. Often I use the clik wraps in whatever sport specific backpacks.

I used the new prototype clik running pack with a D800, 16-35 f4 and 70-200 f4 a fair bit at hardrock. and have some images here as well. For other stuff (light but not trial running light) I often use the Contrejour 40 UL…”


David Thompson -a landscape photographer who’s goal is to capture an intimate moment and bring the viewer into the scene as if he or she were standing right beside him and experiencing the grandeur as if first hand.

“For summer shooting I like to pack as light as possible.  Typically I pack my Venture 35 with as much gear and accessories as I can.  This includes a fleece jacket, a beanie,  2-3 pairs of gloves, towels, a headlamp, and other items.  During the summer I’ll eliminate my fleece jacket and beanie for a light rain coat and bucket hat/fisherman’s hat. I like to carry more towels to wipe away sweat.  Depending on where I’m going I may take a canteen instead of a water bladder to cut back some weight.  Sometimes I’ll even switch out my tripods and go with a lighter tripod set up to lighten up my carry load.  Anything that I can do to shed some weight during the hot summer months, I try to take advantage of.”

LIAM-DORAN---142023233-WEB_MEDIUMLiam Doran – mixes his passion for the outdoors with his talent for photography. His images may be found published in a variety of outdoor magazines and major ad campaigns.

“Use a small body pro level DSLR like the Canon 5DMKIII or Nikon D800…they produce premium quality images at high ISO’s (think 3200-6400) and coupled with an image stabilized lens like the Sigma 24-105 f4 OS you can seriously think about leaving the tripod behind for many shoots giving you ample weight savings.

Use Prime lenses…they are much lighter than their zoom counterparts.

Use a smaller lighter pack like the Probody Sport.  I tend to fill up whatever pack I use so if I go small on the pack I naturally bring less gear!”


Dallas Hyland – freelance photojournalist and adventure photographer capturing the stories and photos that surround the Southern Utah Red Cliffs.

“These days, everyone in the outdoor adventure world is lauding the “light and fast” slogan as though it were a mantra. While I maintain that efficiency in the backcountry or on a trip to the beach is something to aspire to, it should always take a distant second to the quality of the trip.
Summertime travel gives way to lighter travel by default as the heavier warm weather gear can be left behind but integrating photo and video equipment with necessary gear is still a challenge because of its awkward shape and natural resistance to being compressed or exposed to water.
My approach is pretty simple. I carry a Clik Elite designated combo pack like the Hiker or the Pro Body Sport. Allows ample protective storage for the gear and separate and designated space for the rest of the trip. On heavier outings where climbing gear and such is needed, I switch it up by carrying my typical pack, (Arcteryx RT 45 or Celo Gear 60L Work Sack) and counter my load by carrying a Clik Elite Chest Pack. It really does balance me out with gear and also allows rapid access to my camera.
At the end if the day it is about efficiency and being ready to get the shot when it happens. I pack for any outing well on advance then review the gear, add what was forgotten and remove the excess. Repeat that three times at least and I am good to go.”

4 greats tips from M&M photo tours pro Mike Gulbraa

1) know your location and which lenses you’ll need

2) zoom lenses are a great option

3) energy bars, water & flashlight a must, and

4) clothes that wick and dry quickly but also provide SPF


For more tips see our Photography Tutorials and blog posts from other Sponsored Photographers or as we like to call them our Elite Immortals.


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