For this trip to Tanzania I have many requirements for the perfect bag:
- Can it haul camera gear and personal gear – the 1 carry-on bag allowance problem?
- I don’t want it to scream out “camera bag, camera bag”.
- Can it be used on-location to shoot out of?
- Can it be worn all day long without too much discomfort? There is no place to leave gear back at the hotel or in a vehicle on this trip.
Think Tank Modular Pouch. All the tiny stuff went into the Lowepro pouch. The travel tripod will go into checked baggage. [NOTE: Also shown is the Think Tank Lightning Fast, off to the side. I still haven’t decided if the 50mm is going. If it is, I will move the flash over to this and pack it in with the other lenses. If the 50mm isn’t going, I don’t need this bag. However, it is a great sized bag for holding all sorts of things once there and great to have along. This is obviously something that needs to be sorted out soon.]
Right about now is when you are going to call me either crazy or brilliant, and I figure it is the later. Shown below are several images illustrating where the modular bags are headed and why. Enter the Mammut Nirvana Pro (35L) technical pack. Where do I start on why this is the perfect one bag solution? This is a snow pack. These are a little different than other technical packs and this is why this works for me:
- Camera gear is placed in the back, using the full zippered access and reachable from the top/front of the pack through a different zipper.
- Personal gear like a change of clothes, toiletries, music, phone, glasses, passport, etc. goes in the middle/front section.
- The pack is lightweight, but very durable.
- The pack has a real waist belt and internal frame to help out with the load.
- It has a removable hip belt which could be replaced by the Think Tank Pro Speed Belt. [The existing waist belt has room to accommodate one modular pouch on each side so I can leave the Speed Belt at home if I want and the shoulder straps will help distribute the load.]
- It even has a hydration chamber.
- This thing will even fit under the seat, fully packed, in small Regional Jets.
Do I have to keep going?
For me, this is about as perfect a solution as I can come up with. That however, is all just in theory. We will see as the adventure unfolds. This will be my last post here before the trip. If possible, I will post updates along the way on Twitter. When I return, I will follow up and post info on how it all worked out, exactly what gear I decided on, and what I wish I would have or wouldn’t have taken along!