The Photography Backpacking List

Who doesn’t love the great American past time of camping? Well, a lot of people don’t like to camp, but sometimes a photographer has to do what a photographer has to do! You can’t always be stuck in a city shooting concrete sidewalks. Sometimes you have to get away from it all and get into the great outdoors!

The expert backpacker or camper knows a thing or two about packing light while packing all of the essentials. Sometimes it can be tough to fit your supplies and camera in the same bag, but I’ve figured out a thing or two over the last few years.

You want to pack light, for sure. You definitely want a tent and sleeping bag that’s durable, light, and one that you can pack in a small package. Some photographers have opted for the portable hammocks made my ENO. Those are great, but I like to sleep on the ground.

Another little trick I learned is to use the main compartment of your backpack for your sleeping supplies, cooking supplies, food, and clothes. Those are the things that take up the most room, so you need larger spaces for them. When you’re packing your camera gear, utilize the smaller pouches and compartments on the sides of your bag. Not only will this give you more room for essential camping gear, but it will also give you easier access to your photo supplies as well. No one wants to dig around in a backpack for a new lens.


You need a list. But not just any list. You need the photography backpacking list!

  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag (or hammock)
  • Boots
  • Clothes
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Travel Pillow
  • Camping Stove
  • Flashlight or Headlamp
  • Food
  • Lighter or Fire Starter
  • Water Filter
  • Bear or Animal Bag
  • Camera (duh)
  • Extra Lenses
  • Memory Cards
  • Extra Batteries
  • Tripod
  • Waterproof/Water Resistant Gear

This is a very basic list to get you started. When it comes to camera gear, I like to keep it very simple. I usually take my camera with a wide angle lens attached, a 70-200 lens, and my tripod. I don’t like to take any filters or fancy add-ons like that because they clutter up my bag. I’ve learned that keeping it simple is the safest way to be.

Lastly, check the weather! If there’s a chance of rainĀ actually… always assume it might rain because it really might. Take along some water resistant or waterproof covers for your gear!

Now, get out there and enjoy the outdoors!