04 Oct

Ferrino Alfa 45+5L

This time I will give a review on a backpack I'm going out with for a few days for photography trips, and why is that? Because no one seems to think about it. There are a lot of nature photographers who go out to the field for a few days of photographing and I am among them

Field photography do not take a few minutes, but a few hours. Sometimes I have to wait for the right moment and I prefer to take pictures from sunrise to sunset and more than once to enter in to the night. To do this, I need a large, easy-to-use backpack to go into the field, including holding a respectable backpack as part of the photographic equipment I need

Let's begin with the question: What kind of photographic gear do I go with for a few days? Since all the equipment sits on my back or neck I try to take only what is essential. It's important to remember that during a whole day walk every 100 grams feels like a kilo, because on my back I have a backpack with a tent, food, sleeping bag, water and more. That's why the photographic gear I have to carry on my neck and here really every gram determines. otherwise the neck actually breaks off the weight throughout the days

The gear I take with me

Nikon D3X

Zeiss Milvuss 18mm f/2.8

Zeiss Apo sonnar 135mm f/2

Nikon SB700

Extra battery’s, filters and Tripod

 My bag: LowePro- Magnum 1200 AW

I use this backpack for a long day out in the desert when it is necessary to carry a large amount of water or in the winter when it is necessary to carry a lot of warm clothing and rain resistant gear and gear to keep the photographic gear from moisture. The backpack is also good for going out for up to three days in places where I can filter out drinking water and cooking in the field. When I leave for snowy places or when I need more days, I come out with a larger backpack

What is important to me in my backpack is space for three days. I need a backpack that will allow me to carry a tent, a light sleeping bag, an inflatable sleeping mat and food with cooking gear, a water filter and water for drinking and cooking of course. In the same breath, I need it to fit into the area for a long day without being too large to use. It is very important for me that it will not break my back for several days. Of course, one of the important things is that I can easily connect a tripod to it because I use it all the time over and over again

It is possible to connect a tripod to every backpack but in some of the backpacks it is difficult to connect and disconnect the tripod. Another thing that matters to me about connecting the tripod to a backpack is that the tripod will not fall or move during walking. Imagine that you walk for hours and climb rocks or pass through trees and all the time you have to stop arranging the tripod because it is out of place or swinging. It happened to me more than one backpack

The durability of the backpack is also very important. Twenty years ago, when I started out, I used cheap bags more than once as I walked through trees or close to rocks - they were torn. In such cases, I dealt with it and it never seemed so bad to me. Until that one day I found myself with a rucksack torn at the seams all the way down. I walk for hours to get to the point of a nearby road and all that when I barely hold things in a bag with two straps

The gear in my backpack

Light tent

Small sleeping bug

inflatable sleeping mat

Food with cooking gear

Water filter and water for drinking and cooking

Clothing for the winter


What should be considered when choosing a backpack for field photography of up to three days

Before you buy a backpack for a few days of space there are a few things that need for three days

A backpack for two to three days also needs to be adjusted for a long day. There is no reason to have twenty different backpacks at home. A good 45 liter backpack will be comfortable to use for a long day when you need plenty of water or warm clothing and food. And it good for more then one day

It is important that the backpack have a good back system that can take weighs of up to 18 kl at its maximum. Measure your backpack in a store with a large enough weight inside. There is a tendency for stores to put low weight in a backpack that will feel comfortable but that way each backpack will feel comfortable. You will insist on a 10 kl+ weight, which you can really know if it is comfortable for you. The backpack should be made of strong fabrics. A torn backpack with lifetime warranty will not help you in the middle of the desert. Remember that you rub it on rocks, trees and more. It should have enough loops to connect the tripod outside the backpack so that it will be well connected but at the same time will be easily removed when you want to take a photo

Easy access: here there are two approaches. The first; A division into many cells to separate the different things. The second; a “sack-Backpack”. I prefer a sack bag in which there are no separate cells but only a "hat" of the backpack where the cell phone, snacks, headlamp and things like a wool hat or gloves for the winter. The reason I prefer a “sack bag” is that it's easier to distribute the weight of the gear more conveniently and more accurately in the backpack and that's the right thing to do when you go with gear for a few days of field photography

In conclusion
At the first moment it may seem strange to talk about what backpack to take for field photography. But I come across occasional photographers who are not willing to go too far because the backpack is not comfortable for them, and that's a shame. There is no reason for you to limit your talent and ability to photography just because you have a bad experience with backpacks that destroyed your back. A good backpack will allow you to go further and more interesting places to take pictures

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