TRAVEL AND PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR

My list of essential travel and photography gear for adventurers on the road.

CRAFTING THE PERFECT TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY KIT

After several years on the road, I'm getting close to perfecting my perfect backpacking and travel setup that accommodates all of my photography needs. I now fit all of my full-frame professional photography equipment, drones, laptops, underwater housings, hiking gear, and life essentials in a 50L camera backpack and a 75L travel backpack.

 

My current gear allows me to travel all over the world, from the Himalayas to remote Indonesian Islands. Of course, extreme weather variations will often force me to change up the pack a little. Sometimes I'll leave the camping gear with family for extended island trips, and I'll pack a down jacket and lightweight fleece for mountain trips. All-in-all, this setup suits my purposes perfectly.

 

Well, here it is. After all of the back-aches and head scratches, I believe that I have finally created the ultimate list of travel essentials for adventure photographers on extended trips or those living out of a backpack.

 

So, if you do decide to purchase one of my gear recommendations, I would appreciate you purchasing them through the links. This gives me a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you! So, if you want to support this blog without spending an extra cent, click away!

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Camera Equipment

CANON 5D MARK IV

This is the camera that I use to capture nearly all of my landscape and travel images. The image quality is unbeatable and in my opinion is well-worth carrying the extra weight.

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

By far my favorite zoom lense. One of Canon's sharpest zoom lenses, wide enough for landscapes and zooms all the way to 70 for closer shots.

EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens

My go-to wide angle lens for anything from mountains to waterfalls. Much cheaper than the 16-35mm lenses with pretty much equal image quality plus an extra 5mm of focal distance.

Canon EF 70-200mm F4L IS II USM

The 70-200mm is surprisingly useful for anything from wildlife to landscape photography. I chose the F4 version because it's half the weight and a quarter of the price of the F2.8 version.

Sony A6500

My secondary camera which Haylea usually has hanging around her neck. Super lightweight and packs a serious performance punch. This is the camera I've been using with my underwater housing for travel.

Sony E 10–18 mm F4 OSS

Wide angle lens for the Sony A6500. The only Sony lens that we use for this camera because it's so compact and offers a super wide focal range with really good image quality.

Metabones Canon EF/EF-S Lens to Sony E Mount T Smart Adapter

Allows me to use all of my Canon EF lenses on my small Sony crop camera. For a couple hundred bucks, I don't have to buy any more lenses for the Sony. Also really useful for using the 70-200mm lens on a crop body for 1.6x extra zoom.

DJI Mavic Pro

My drone of choice for the last few years. Was thinking about upgrading to the Mavic Pro 2 but the original is still impressing me with performance after all this time. A bargain if you want pro-quality aerial photos in a small package.

SeaFrogs A6xxx series SALTED LINE Underwater Housing

At nearly 1/5th of the price of other housings, the SEAFROGS housing has all the features you'd want in a surf or dive housing. Really lightweight for travel and I use this regularly on dives and freediving trips.

Action Cam

GoPro Hero 8

The newest GoPro delivers insane image quality and image stabilization in such a tiny package. I never used to own one, but ever since I bought a GoPro I've been finding myself using it almost every day!

El Grande Long GoPro Pole

You can't own a GoPro without a long "Action Pole" *cough* selfie stick. Seriously though, this badboy from GoPro is one of the best and longest you'll find, which means you can get some pretty awesome and engaging angles.

GoPro Shorty

This thing came with my GoPro and at first I thought I'd never really use it. However, since it's so small and light, I always just throw it in my bag. Surprisingly, it comes in really useful, especially for setting up a quick timelapse

EXTRA PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR

F-Stop TILOPA 50L Camera Backpack with Large Pro ICU

You seriously won't find a better all-round camera backpack than this. Trust me, I've been searching for half a decade. Super durable, weather resistant hiking backpack with customizable camera padding inserts. I use this as my day bag and my camera/electronics bag in transit and on flights. Big enough even for multi-day hikes.

Fotopro X-Aircross 1 Carbon Tripod

This is the lightest carbon tripod that you will find for under $300 that can still hold a full-frame body and pro lens. Incredibly compact and versatile. This tripod weighs pretty much the same as a Gorillapod and packs to the same size.

Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3

Allows me to clip my camera on my backpack shoulder strap. Transfers the weight from around my neck for long hikes and keeps my hands free. One of my favorite camera accessories.

Peak Design Slide V3 Camera Strap

Easily the best camera strap you can buy. What's great about this is you can clip the strap on and off really easily. Well-worth the money for people who carry around cameras everyday.

Extreme Pro 64GB SD Card

I carry three of these 64GB cards. Fast enough for 4K recording and the 64GB card capacity keeps me accountable for dumping files more regularly.

DJI Mavic Filter Professional 6-Pack

To be honest, I really only use the polarizer filters in this pack. However, if you shoot video with your drone you'll want the extra ND filters. These are a must-have for shooting drone photos of water or anything with a harsh reflection.

Hoya 82mm Circular Polarizing Filter

Circular polarizing filters are a must on my lenses when shooting waterfalls, beaches or anything with harsh reflections. Increases natural saturation and reduces glare.

HOYA PROND1000 FILTER

I don't use this as often as my polarizing filter. However, I still carry it if I want to shoot long exposures in the middle of the day. Great for motion blur of waterfalls or sunset coastal shots.

CHEAP STEP-UP RINGS

This is the camera filter photo-hack of the century. These cheap metal step up rings allows me to use my biggest filters on all of my lenses, no matter the filter diameter. Just buy filters for your largest lens and use these adapters to screw them onto lenses with smaller threads.

BACKPACKING TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

OSPREY FARPOINT TREK PACK 75L BACKPACK

I recently switched to this hiking/travel hybrid backpack. Really lightweight, super comfortable mount and a huge middle zipper opening. Best of both worlds for long distance trekking and for living out of. Comes in a 55L version as well if you don't carry as much stuff as me.

Grayl Geopress Water Purifier

My favorite travel essential. Unlike most filters, this one filters out viruses and parasites as well as bacteria and other nasties in the water. Saves a ton of plastic as I can drink the tap water in any country in the world, including India and Africa.

CHEAP PACKING CUBES

Saves the cringey backpack mess. In my opinion a necessity if you live out of a backpack. Keeps clothes organized so you don't have to pull your entire bag apart to find a t-shirt.

Lightweight Microfibre Towel

Lightweight, packs small, and works well. Great for the beach, waterfalls or hostel showers.

Pacsafe Retractasafe Padlock

Another really useful travel hack is this retractable padlock. I use this to lock my backpacks to poles or furniture if I leave it at the hostel. Similar functionality as a large bike lock but small and lightweight and durable.

Collapsable Food Storage Container

Packs up small and is great for travel and hiking. I use this to store leftovers or pack a lunch for hikes. More sustainable than single-use plastic containers. The pack comes with four but I only use one.

Hiking Gear

Lowa Renegade GTX Hiking Boots

I've had these same boots for years and I'm probably going to buy the same ones again. One of the most popular hiking boots in the world due to their affordability and comfort. Also has Goretex to keep your feet dry. I've used these in Australian summer and at 5500M in the Himalayas.

Brooks Cascadia 14 Trail Running Shoes

Trail running shoes for running on the roads or in the mountains. Also a great shoe for one-day hikes and as an all-round travel shoe. Really comfortable and durable.

Hardshell Jacket

I've had a North Face hard shell jacket now for over 5 years. I don't believe they make the model I have anymore, but any good quality water-resistant jacket will do the trick. Look for a lightweight one like this.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

The best weight for comfort balance of any sleeping pad on the market. Really durable and made by a reputable brand. I take this on multi-day hiking and trekking trips and I use it for travel camping too.

BIG AGNES COPPER SPUR HV UL2 Tent

The best lightweight 3-season hiking tent on the market. Lighter than the Hubba Hubba NX with the same space and a smaller packing size. Strong, durable and weather-proof. Good for the mountains or on the coast.

Lightweight Sleeping Bag

I've got a -5C hiking sleeping bag as well as a -15C bag that I used in the Himalayas. The one I use will depend on the weather and altitude.

MSR PocketRocket 2

Very small and does the trick. Made by one of the best outdoor brands in the world. I think that the larger stove cooksets are overkill when you can just buy a tiny foldable one like this to do the same job.

Titanium Cooking Pot

My priority is image quality. Hence I carry a ton of camera gear. As a result, I want to shave off as many grams as I can with my other hiking and camping gear. A ttitanium pot is a bit more expensive but it will last a lifetime and is really light.

BlackDiamond Headlamp

300 lumen headlamp that packs away to a small package. Easily enough for any backpacking, trekking or hiking need.

Electronics

MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar

I use a 2018 edition with 500GB SSD, 3.1 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 16GB of DDR4 Ram. Really fast for image and video processing and overkill for just writing.

SanDisk Extreme 500GB Portable SSD

I store my recent Lightroom catalog on an external SSD for faster speeds than a HDD and as to not fill up my internal laptop storage. I back this up weekly to my larger hard drive.

Universal Travel Adapter With USB C

Small and allows me to charge all of my electronics anywhere in the world. Also has USB C for fast charging my phone, as well as more USB ports for drone controllers and camera batteries.

RAVPower 26800 Portable Charger With USB C PD

Right now the most powerful portable charger that will fast charge my Macbook Pro on the go. Lighter and more powerful than the Anker one I used to use.

Anker USB C Hub Adapter

Really cheap for such a reputable brand and does the trick. Allows me to read SD cards, hard drives and other devices on my Macbook.

Kindle Paperwhite

Not a necessity but shaves weight off carrying heavy books. I store hundreds of books on here and carry it while traveling and hiking.

As an adventure photographer, it's impossible to escape the need to carry a bunch of camera equipment, electronics, accessories, chargers and not to mention all the other travel and life necessities.
Being able to carry all of these belongings on my back is an incredibly difficult ask that has taken years of culling and replacing to achieve. I still carry much more than the typical backpacker, but it certainly doesn't hinder my travels.

 

People are often surprised with the amount of equipment and gear that I carry. In saying that, my main priority as a content creator and photographer is producing the best possible images and content for my readers. In order to do this, I prioritize function and weight, shaving off grams in every possible opportunity I get, besides camera equipment. Living a minimalist lifestyle with only a few changes of clothes means that I can carry all of the essentials I need to continue to create content that I am proud of.
 

Honestly, I wish that i had found a comprehensive travel gear guide like this years ago. I hope that you find this useful.
I have spend a lot of time researching the best prices online for all of these items. I am also continuously checking for price drops to guarantee you the best price possible.
 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

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