Monday, November 10, 2008

Hiking in Autumn... better not!

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

Last weekend I went hiking with a few friends. We went to a particular area in the Peneda-Gerês National Park that is remarkable for the immense granite rock formations. A great chance to take some nice photos and test my brand new Tamrac Adventure 9 photo backpack, I thought.

Well... let's just say it was not exactly a pleasant experience. It started as a moderate hike in a mild overcast day. It ended as a strenuous undertaking, involving walking for 17 km and 10 hours in heavy fog, under freezing wind, through dense wet vegetation, over slippery rocks (I'm not even exaggerating!). The last 1,5 hours were done in the dark, using flash lights to find the trail. We had slightly miscalculated the time necessary to complete the path and were a bit too optimistic about the weather forecast...

Now, back in the warmth of my living room, I can say that it was a lot of fun. However, it was a failure as a photographic expedition. The only photos I took were during the first stretch, before we started ascending. The fog then became so dense that my glasses were dripping, so I thought it would be better to keep the camera in the backpack. There would not be much to photograph, anyway, considering the almost null visibility.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

And how did the Tamrac backpack do? It was remarkably comfortable to carry, despite being quite loaded. The lower compartment has several dividers, attached with Velcro, and pockets, providing plenty of space for the camera, 3-4 lenses and cards. The top compartment is not divided, and that's where I put the food. There are two side pockets for medium sized water bottles. There is also a back compartment for a laptop, which I used for the battery charger and a few other slim items (mobile phone, for instance). In terms of weather resistance, the extreme conditions of our little adventure were a bit too much for the exterior fabric and some humidity passed through. Not much though, and it didn't even touch the camera or lenses.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

Now I'm going to get up slowly and go to bed. Does any one know a good anti-inflammatory for muscle pain?...


luke said...

tamrac sure make some good bags. i have the tamrac aero 80 which is similar but slightly smaller (i think) compared to the adventure 9. did you fit a long telephoto into the adventure 9? my sigma 70-210mm f4.5-5.6 attached to a k200d just fits into the aero80, so i dont think it'll fit the more pro lenses.

Frank M. said...

Luke: The lower compartment is 22 cm (8½ in) high, so it can fit quite a lot of telephotos, as long as they are not attached to the camera body... The Adventure 10 may be a good choice if you wan to keep the telephoto mounted, since the photo compartment is 28 cm (11 in) high.

Andrew said...

tamrac bags are incredible. I have the adventure 9 and it gets used and abused on a daily basis.