For the last few years I have been perplexed by how to easily combine two of my favourite activities – hiking and landscape photography – without expensive bags that I can’t justify buying or having to take my daysack off regularly.
Most photo-rucksacks only have room inside for the cameras, some that have a top compartment for stuff will barely contain a lightweight raincoat and a packet of crisps, and even top of the range bags with larger top compartments still have to be taken off your back to get at your camera.
I admit to being a Lowepro fan and their new Photo Hatchback AW range bags are good looking and practical, with the ability to swing the whole bag round to the front and access your gear from an opening in what is the back of the bag while it hangs in front of you. They’re a bit out of my price range however as I wouldn’t get the use out of them to justify it.
So I wondered what I could achieve using what I have right now. Last year I attached a couple of holster cases to my large rucksack’s waist belt but this was a bit unwieldy, with two bags in front of me as well as the fact that I kept knocking one of them off the belt so had to occasionally chase an escaping 40-150 zoom lens down a mountainside in it’s case.
This year I’ve downsized to a smaller Karrimor daysack and when I noticed that it was higher up my back I had an idea. Inspired by the Lowepro bags mentioned above and a webbing belt I use on my jeans I thought what if I had another belt round my waist to hold the holster case, I could then slide it out of the way when I wasn’t using the camera. I bought a webbing belt with a clasp and found that my Toploader Zoom AW could be slid right round the back to sit below my daysack and pulled back round when I wanted my camera. Perfect.