Carrying Camera Gear on a Hike

As we continue the quest to get the best possible hiking photos and footage, I wanted to talk about some of the ultralight options for storing and quickly accessing your camera gear on trail.

There’s nothing more maddening than a camera bouncing around your neck as you’re scrambling up a mountain. It might be a 1st world problem but, finding the perfect set up for your style can be a struggle.

Thankfully we live in a world of choices, sleek ultralight choices that once adopted will transform you into an icon of culture and class…. or at least make it easier to get to your camera.


Forget digging around in a bag for your camera. Just throw that bad boy on a strap clip and have your camera ready to go at a moment’s notice. You’ll feel like Quick Draw McGraw as you sling around your camera shooting on the fly.

Clearly this is my personal preference, and the reasons are obvious. Not only do strap clips make your camera accessible, but they’re also secure and stop your camera from bouncing around while moving.

There are only a couple downsides to having your camera clipped to you like this:

  1. The camera protrudes out and can be knocked around if you’re not careful (like me)
  2. Your camera is directly exposed to the elements. This issue can be mitigated in the rain by throwing on a cheap rain cover.

To get this set up I’d recommend going with the Peak Designs Capture Clip. It’s light, strong (can hold up to 200lbs), and reliable. You can attach a variety of cameras to the Capture Clip using your camera’s tripod mount.


A great option for storing all kinds of gear, having exterior pouches work as dedicated camera bags is a no brainer.

You can have them around your chest, your belt, or your waist for quick access that also offers some protection against the elements. This approach is more modular than the strap clip, and naturally, you can store other items in the bag as needed.

We carry a few accessories that work perfectly for carrying cameras during a hike. A popular choice is the Multi-pack in the chest configuration. I’ve known some hikers that carry larger D-SLRs in theirs’.

Another great pouch for a mirrorless camera or smaller would be a fanny pack like our F.U.P.A. With its multiple compartments you can store your camera, accessories, and a phone.

For mobile phone photographers/vloggers the shoulder pouch is a perfect solution for quickly storing and accessing your phone.

While doing research for writing this article I was chatting with my ol’ pal, Chris Smead, for some tips and he recommends picking up some Reflectix.


(you can find this at most local hardware stores)
He uses it to line his multi-pack to give it shape and some padding. He also stores his extra lenses in Ziploc bags lined with Reflectix.



If you carry camera equipment you don’t intend to access all the time, internal storage is the way to go. This is the most secure approach in regards to protection from the elements and accidental spills. But you will miss shots.

There are a lot of options out there, but I would recommend going with a lightweight packing cube lined with Reflectix for extra padding/shape. You could opt for a heavy-duty camera cube, but…. why?


I know I focused mostly on being quick and accessible, which is important for capturing the moment, but I think one of the biggest advantages of having your camera front and center (preferably on a strap clip), is the increased likelihood of using the camera.

It’s just like that old guitar in your closet, it’s hidden away and you never use it. Out of sight, out of mind. (You could’ve been great.)

So strap that camera to you or throw it in a waist pack next time you’re out for a hike and revel in the joys of outdoors photography & videography


Zpacks Adam

About the Author : Adam "Huckleberry" Lee

Adam is just a photographer and would prefer to not get credit for writing this blog, even though he did.

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