Adventure Photography Gear I Always Have in My Camera Bag

Adventure Photography Gear I Always Have in My Camera Bag

Adventure photography is a broad genre. But whether it's kayaking, skiing, hiking, climbing, trail running, or mountain biking, I always am sure to carry this gear with me.

Photographing adventure sports and activities can be stressful, but extremely rewarding. There's no better feeling than being able to capture candid lifestyle moments on a trail or the moment a climber reaches the crux of a problem. More often than not, photography isn't about the gear or camera someone is using, but about the brain and person behind the lens. That being said, there is some equipment that makes our lives that much easier and the process of capturing adventure sports much more seamless.

1. Peak Design Capture Clip

No matter what I'm doing when I head outside, I always have the Peak Design Capture Clip strapped to my backpack. As a photographer, it's important that you always have your camera at the ready. By keeping your camera in your bag, it's almost guaranteed that you'll miss a great shot. By using the Capture Clip (which allows a camera to hang from your backpack strap), you'll always be ready to capture beautiful moments. 

2. A Durable Backpack

A rugged and durable backpack is extremely important for the adventure photographer. Most camera bags won't hold up to the elements. Personally, I use the Mammut Trio Tour 35+7 backpack. I love using this bag because I'm able to strap skis or climbing gear on the outside, while still fitting my F-stop Pro ICU - small insert inside. With the insert, I'm able to carry two camera bodies, two lenses, and a drone, while I'm able to carry my outdoor gear as well as extra layers, food, and water inside. I also usually have enough room for a tripod that can strap to the outside, all with a 42-liter backpack that holds up to the elements. 

3. A Tripod 

Many of my adventure photographs are shot handheld. But there are some moments that require a slower shutter speed and slower process. Bringing a tripod on adventure photography shoots can help slow down an often adventure-packed sequence of events and can help you get more creative with your shots or by creating time-lapses of athletes in their zone. 

These are just a few things that I always am sure to bring with me when shooting adventure photography. What gear do you never leave at home when heading into the field? 

Lead image by Kevin McAvey, used with permission.

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26 Comments

I have to ask: was Mr. Behuniak compensated by any of the companies who make the gear he is touting in this piece?

Simon Patterson's picture

Fstoppers used to hide the fact an article was an ad in the tags at the bottom of the article. This article looks remarkably like an ad, but the only tag they show is "Fstoppers Originals". Maybe this one is a side deal solely between the author and Peak Design?

Tim Behuniak's picture

I was not compensated by any of these companies who make the gear I mentioned. If I was, it would've been mentioned in the article. It's simply a list of gear that I never leave the house without regarding adventure photography.

So, uh, what was the point of this article? Have a backpack, carry a tripod, and keep your camera accessible are now "Adventure Photography Gear" Last I checked that was basic photography "gear."

Johnny Rico's picture

My take away was "Peak Design Capture Clip" ad

Chris DeAntonio's picture

This was hardly an article and more of a gear promo. C'mon...

Mark Guinn's picture

But, but, but.... Tim didn't tell us what brand tripod he uses! And if it's not in the article, then there's no link so we can buy more stuff!!! I've ordered the Capture Clip and Mammut bag, but I can't go without the right tripod!

Seriously, this ad wasn't even on topic with the title.

Ed Sanford's picture

Regarding the use of the capture clip with an RRS L-bracket, you would have remove the capture clip in order to fit it onto the tripod. While it's great if you do a lot of handheld shooting, it defeats the purpose of having a tripod which is needed most of the time for early morning or late evening low light landscape photography.

Tim Behuniak's picture

The capture clip base plate does work with some tripod mounts, I believe you can find which its compatible with through their website.

Ed Sanford's picture

Yes, though it appears that I have to remove it before it can clip into the ball head on the tripod.

David Medeiros's picture

This reads like a draft article that got accidentally published. Three items suggested to always keep in your bag for adventure photography, one of them is... a bag! the other is a tripod!!! and the third is an ad, I mean a clip.

Ansel Spear's picture

'Gear I always have in my camera bag'...

Of course, I always keep a durable backpack inside my camera bag - along with a tripod.

I forgo the inconvenience of carrying spare batteries, lens cloths, filters, my multi tool, flash gels and micro clamps etc.

It's really sad where this website is heading. I still check it out daily, but this is clearly heading downhill fast..

Ansel Spear's picture

I agree. It started out with such good intentions and quality articles. Seems it's struggling to remember what its target market is. Lee Morris had his video epiphany along the way and everything went haywire.

Tim Behuniak's picture

I'm honestly surprised when looking at all of the negative comments. The article is not meant to be an ad, and I wasn't paid by, nor was I supplied gear by, any of the companies mentioned. This is all gear that I always bring with me when shooting adventure photography. When I first began this genre of photography, I was pretty lost and didn't know the best systems that would facilitate a seamless process and solid photographs. Hopefully this article helps those who are just beginning to forge their own path in this genre of photography. I'm sorry for all who disagreed with what was written, but I honestly wish I read something like this when I was first starting out. Cheers.

David Medeiros's picture

Tim, I think a lot of it is tongue in cheek but the sarcasm aside I don't see how this could be of much value to a budding photographer in terms of practical advice. It's only three items, one of which is the bag itself, another the tripod, both presumably fairly obvious tools for adventure/outdoor photography.

Why not talk about rain hoods (or ziplocks) for keeping camera dry in fog or mist; extra lens cloths; extra batts; filters or filter pouch; L bracket; trekking poles; special tripods like the Gorillapod; water and a snack! None of these are required (well water), but might be things new photogs actually haven't already thought about.

Tim Behuniak's picture

These are basic items, maybe I'll make a second article containing things you mentioned. Many people have mentioned that the bag is an obvious thing, but it took me at least two years to narrow down a bag / insert system that works best for me. Same with the tripod: it wasn't used immediately, but when I began bringing it with me, my shooting style changed. I thought this was all helpful information.

William Howell's picture

You wrote a fantastic article, some of these comments are hilarious!

Great advice for people starting out Tim!

Missing far too many photo ops led me (expensively) to a system that closely mirrors yours.

In place of the capture clip I use a small chest pack (maxpedition) for me to grab a camera quickly (pack also allows me quick access to my bear bangers and pepper spray).

Tim Behuniak's picture

I totally agree. Things like a bag and tripod seem obvious to people who are into adventure photography, but for those just starting out, knowing of a specific system that works for one person may be helpful to others rather than taking months to cycle through a bag system. I've heard of people using chest packs like that before, including one LowePro makes. Glad that works for you - plus I'm assuming that it provides more protection from the elements, which a CaptureClip doesn't.

Ansel Spear's picture

I think that the fstoppers team has realised how difficult it is to create interesting daily content. As such its taken its editorial eye off the ball. I mean, come on. Fstoppers wouldn’t have published a pointless naive article such as this a few years ago. It really does take the proverbial you-know-what out of its established readers. I think a new editor is required.

Tim Behuniak's picture

How is this a pointless article?? I'm still very confused and don't understand this sentiment.

Ansel Spear's picture

I apologise if this article is a supreme piece of irony that went over my head. I'm usually quite good at picking up on articles intending to be tongue-in-cheek.

However, if not, then to answer your question, (i) the headline 'Adventure gear I always have in my camera bag' is a complete misnomer, as none of the three items you mention actually live in your bag, and one of them is the bag itself, (ii), non of the items are adventure gear items. They're ordinary, bog-standard pieces of kit that any 8th grader wannabee photographer will carry as a matter of course and (iii), adventure gear surely includes compass, GPS, mini clamps, PL/ND filters, etc, etc.

You know, now that I've written this, I've come to the conclusion that your article is poking fun. In which case, very funny, well done. It got me going didn't it?

People are so negative on this site it's unreal! As someone who has just come back from a week hiking in the Lake District, I found these insights useful. I like to read about what people have tried, tested and refined. Sure, there are a million other gadgets that could be added to the list but getting the essentials right so that you can get into the thick of it is where my priorities lie.

John Green's picture

This is such a poor quality article, well below what we have come to expect from Fstoppers.