View Full Version : Protecting an expensive camera!

03-20-2006, 02:43 PM
I am doing a 130mile hike on the AT down in TN & VA this april. I want to take my Nikon D200 plus a 18-200mm lens but need some ideas on how best to protect it. In the past I took a Nikon Coolpix and it was small enough to fit into the Dana Design "Wet Rib" that I have attached to my Gregory Forrester Back Pack. I'm not sure that this camera will fit into the wet rib. I wish they made a wet rib a little larger than the one Dana sells. Does anyone know of a pouch that can be attached to the front straps of your pack much like the web rib does? I can't see using a traditional camera pouch with a strap over the shoulder as it would bounce all over the place. Since I use poles I couldn't hold it in place. Looking for any and all suggestions. Many thanks in advance.

Gordon Ripley
Rindge, NH

Jay H
03-20-2006, 02:51 PM
How waterproof/crushproof do you need?

There are these lexan/hard shell cases that are pretty rugged:


The above is just one but it does have a attachment where you can probably attach webbing so you can strap it to your sternum strap like a camera case. It should be rugged and waterproof, but not exactly ultralite if that is your thing.


03-20-2006, 03:00 PM
I have used a padded holster bag with a shoulder harness to hold the pack in front of me on my chest. It looks like this:


Here's one example by Lowepro:


For waterproofness, I've relied on multiple layers of garbage bags when conditions have gotten really wet--not a fancy solution, but effective. I got my Nikon D70 safely out of the Daks this summer in the torrential aftermath of Hurricane Katrina using a triple garbage bag system. A dry bag with a roll down top would likely be a bit nicer waterproofing system.

Sounds like a great trip. Have fun!

03-20-2006, 03:05 PM
I like the padded holster bag idea along with a harness. How did you attach the bag to the harness? Who makes the bag you use in your picture? My camera measures 7"W x 7"D(the lens) by 4 1/2" high. I'll check out the suggestions. Thanks.

03-20-2006, 03:10 PM
During the summer months I use a D100 in a Lowe Pro Top Loader (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=110242&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) bag.

I attach a caribeener to each of my shoulder straps at the sternum strap, which attaches to the two loops on each side of the bag. MichealJ captured a shot showing how I use it here (http://hiking.saletnik.org/gallery/pierce-nov-2005/CRW_5896)

03-20-2006, 03:14 PM
I got onto B&H and found a top loader WITH HARNESS for $49.95 that weighs 1.1# It might replace my wet rib as it is almost 12 inches deep and I only need 7" deep so could put my other stuff underneath the camera!! This might work out ok. The URL for this is below in case anyone wants to see it and make any comments.


03-20-2006, 03:16 PM
The toploader bags like mine (a Sundog) and bobandgeri's Lowepro usually have D rings at the top and bottom of the pack. The harness clips into these D rings. Carabiners and wide webbing would also make a simple homemade solution if you already have them. Otherwise, the Lowepro harness is pretty cost effective at under $10.

03-20-2006, 03:19 PM
I can't quite tell from the picture (love the picture by the way) but is the pouch attached to the web belt of your back pack to prevent it from swinging away from your body while hiking? The harness you indicated in your first post would certainly prevent that but it doesn't look like you are using a harness?

03-20-2006, 03:24 PM
I can't quite tell from the picture (love the picture by the way) but is the pouch attached to the web belt of your back pack to prevent it from swinging away from your body while hiking? The harness you indicated in your first post would certainly prevent that but it doesn't look like you are using a harness?

It's a bit hard to see the harness, since I wear it underneath my backpack harness and waist belt. The camera bag harness clips to the top of the camera bag, goes over my shoulders, behind my back and clips onto the bottom of my camera bag at waist level. The harness is mostly mesh. So it doesn't feel like anything under the backpack harness. The camera harness has a bit of elastic in it so it gives, but still holds the bag securely to my body.

03-20-2006, 03:47 PM
Did you make your harness or buy it? If you bought it, who made it and where can I get one. I like the word "Mesh" you used to describe the harness as that implies light weight!!! Viva La "Light weight!"!!! Thanks.

03-20-2006, 03:57 PM
I bought it years ago from Sierra Trading Post--one of those really cheap closeout deals I couldn't pass up, but could be hard to replicate. It's made by Sundog. The mesh is light, breathable and sufficient to get the job done.

Did a google search and here it is at the Sundog website:


sleeping bear
03-20-2006, 03:59 PM
I carried my canon powershot in a small nylong padded case on many trips this summer. It was fine until I scrambled up some rocks with in in my hand, tripped, tumbled over some rocks and put out the hand with the camera to break my fall. The impact shattered the screen, although the camera still worked, and I wound up having to replace it.

Now for overnight trips, or really strenuous trips I usually keep my camera in one of those lexan dry boxes described above. I cut out some foam pieces so it fits really snug. That was I don't have to worry about dropping it, getting it wet, dumping the canoe, or falling on it.

03-20-2006, 04:28 PM
Just found a "barely used" Tamrac 515 on E-bay for $18.30 with shipping. My camera /lens will fit perfectly in it! I'll check out the sundog harness - it looks great. Cost $18 though. Thanks for all the help and advice.

03-20-2006, 05:50 PM
This topic is covered in pretty good detail in this thread:


I use a Lowe top load zoom bag, but instead of hanging in on teh front of my chest, I put it off on one side. I just find it to be more comfortable there. The back of the camera bag has a "belt loop" on it that I pass my backpack hip belt through. To keep it from sliding forward or swinging around, I put a 'biner through one of the camera pouch's D rings and attach it to one of the straps on the side of my backpack.

The attached picture is zoomed in so you can sort of see it. You can just see the shiny carabiner going from the camera bag to the backpack.

I keep a couple of plastic trash bags in my camera bag. If it starts raining, I put everything inside the trash bag to keep it dry. If you are worried about extended rain, you can get a waterproof bag like what you would use for canoeing or kayaking.

- darren

03-21-2006, 05:43 AM
Kinesis Photo Gear (http://www.kinesisgear.com/) is a specialty firm that makes great soft cases, pouches, belts, harnesses and packs for carrying photo equipment. One of their C-500 cases riding on my chest/belly (attached to my pack straps) has carried a Nikon F-5 with mounted lens and a flash unit for several years. The camera and lensare well protected from bumps and the elements, and conveniently at hand. The downside is that I feel like Mae West walking down the trail -- canít see my feet! Not the best situation where the footing is iffy.

The Kinesis stuff is not cheap but the quality of design and manufacture is superb. Plenty of variety to suit your particular equipment.