Landscape photography brings with it its own special set of challenges and risks. But beyond your filters and spare batteries, you're going to want to carry some extra non-photography gear to make sure you're in tip-top shape to capture those beautiful shots.
1. Bug Repellant
When I reviewed the Pentax K-1, I wanted to test its advanced astrophotography features. Luckily, I live near a dedicated low light pollution park with some of the darkest skies in the United States. As you might imagine, it's in some deep country. When I took the Pentax out there at 2 a.m., I was eaten alive. I was ready to take a cheese grater to my legs by the time I got home. Don't forget your bug spray!
It seems obvious, but a lot of us like to get off the grid for a while. That's fine, but if you're hiking out into the wilderness, it's a good idea to have a phone with you in case you're a complete klutz (like me) and frequently slip and fall. You can always leave the phone off and turn it on if needed.
3. Battery Pack and Charging Cable
However, the often spotty cell coverage of the places landscape photographers frequent means your phone will deplete its battery more quickly in searching for a signal if you leave it on. Grab yourself a battery pack and spare charging cable to bring along. Because of the often poor coverage, you might want to consider a backup: a whistle.
4. Flashlight and Fire Starter
Even if you plan on only going out during the day, stuff happens. I once drove 40 miles in the wrong direction until I saw a sign for a state I was definitely not traveling to. Today's LED flashlights are tiny and light, so it's not a huge burden to toss one in your bag, and you never know when you'll be stuck and need a fire. They even make combination flashlight/fire starters if matches aren't your thing.
5. First Aid Kit
You never know when you might slip and slice your arm or walk straight into a thorn bush (who would do that?!). Bring along a first aid kit. Mine saved me that time I was attacked by that rogue thorn bush.
If there's one thing baling hay has taught me, it's to always wear sunscreen, or else you will get a terrible sunburn. And your terrible friends will constantly slap you on the back and yell, "How's that sunburn doing!?"
7. Map and Compass
Cell phones and GPS are cool and all, but what if your phone dies or doesn't get a signal? You can download offline maps, but as they teach us in aviation: a map's battery never dies.
8. Extra Socks
Wet feet are the worst. You're probably going to step in some puddles or miss that rock sticking out of the creek, so bring a change of socks.
9. Rain Gear and Warm Clothing
Living in Cleveland has taught me to always wear shorts underneath my snowpants, bring an umbrella, and prepare for the occasional tornado. Ok, so you don't have to go to those extremes, but having rain gear and warm clothing is always a good idea, particularly if you're going on an all-day adventure.
10. Food and Water
Bring enough water to cover your estimated time for your trip and then some. Bring snacks (and meals if you'll be out that long). Keeping an emergency filter that will allow you to drink out of streams or rivers handy is never a bad idea.
Do you have any essentials you take in the field with you? Let us know in the comments!