How can I best protect my dSLR camera during a rugged hiking trip, while still keeping it accessible for shooting?
Later this summer I'll be doing a backpacking trip through Mahoosuc Notch
in Maine. This will involve a mile of going over, under, through, and around giant, house-sized boulders. I'll be crawling on my belly on rocks, climbing up rock faces, occasionally passing my backpack through ahead or behind me, and generally beating the shit out of myself and my gear. I would still like to be able to take pictures during this mile.
How can I:
a) Protect my camera from the rocks?
b) Protect myself from my camera, like when I'm crawling?
c) Keep my camera ready to pull out and take a picture?
d) Not have the camera flopping around, but secured tight to my body?
Some relevant info:
- I'll already be carrying a full backpack, so I won't be able to carry a separate camera bag.
- I currently clip my camera to my backpack strap with a Capture Clip. This works well until I have to remove my pack. I also worry that the camera will be rather exposed sticking out in front of me like that.
- I have a Canon T3i dSLR.
- I don't mind spending money, especially on something that works well. I'll be using this on future trips.
Things I need:
1) Padding for the camera and lens.
2) A way to secure the camera to my body in a way that doesn't interfere with the backpack.
3) A way to quickly remove the camera to take a picture.
4) All this while minimizing bulk and weight.
I don't mind passing my pack through a tough area, it's sort of accepted on this hike, but I don't want to have to pass my camera and I don't want to leave the camera attached to the pack strap, since it will flop around.
I'll probably be taking the lightest lens I can find, possibly even a small prime lens*, so I won't have to worry about a very long lens sticking out.
Yes, I could bring my point-and-shoot, and I still might, but I'd much prefer to bring the dSLR. I hike and kayak with it and I am willing to accept the risk that I might destroy it. I'd prefer to minimize those risks.
*This is another AskMe, but in the event anyone knows of a small, light, fast, Canon lens that would work well in a low-light area, please let me know.