Hiking is a fun outdoor activity that involves some level of preparation. Preparing for a hike puts you at an advantage in case there is a spontaneous occurrence both positive and negative. If you plan to take a lot of photos during your hike, then making preparations for that is also paramount. Taking pictures during a hike is fun because you are bound to see lots of beautiful views and angles to take great shots, you, however, need to be prepared by having the right equipment and knowing how to carry them/take care of them during your hike. Let’s talk about the things you’ll need and how you can prepare in general.

The Camera

Yes, I’m “Captain Obvious” in mentioning a camera. But not just any camera will do if you intend on taking lots of photos on a hike. Especially if it’s an intense hike. You need to have the right camera. If you are going on a tough hike in rugged terrains like a mountain or the deep woods then you would need a tough and rugged camera that can withstand the jungle. A fragile cosmetic camera will not do in this instance as it will likely break or at least restrict you as you won't have peace of mind and will constantly worry about the camera. Get you a camera that can take the heat!  Rugged cameras are great for activities with serious exposure to the elements such as surfing, rafting, skiing, or rock climbing. For hiking, it’s better to carry a higher-performance, lower-cost camera and protect it inside a small dry sack like a Ziplock bag.

If you do want a rugged camera for hiking and other outdoor pursuits, a nice option is the Olympus Tough TG-5 (8.8 oz.). This camera is waterproof down to 50 feet, dustproof, and can withstand cold temperatures. More, it has a nice 25-100mm zoom range, which goes wider than other tough cameras that generally are 28mm at the wide end, along with a very respectable f/2.0 maximum aperture for low light and underwater photos. On the flip side, the weaknesses of the TG-5 are its small image sensor and high price tag. You can find better performance and value with the point-and-shoots below, but rugged cameras do afford you the luxury of not having to worry about your gear in the outdoors.

Irrespective of if you get a hiking camera or not, during your hike or outdoor activity, always keep your camera away from the sand. Use care when cleaning dirt particles and sand from your digital camera. Do not use canned or pressurized air to clean the sand, as you might just drive the particles into the camera case.  Some camera cases might not be sealed perfectly, making it easier for dirt and sand to penetrate the case and cause damage. Gently blow out the grit and sand to avoid this problem. Use care when shooting photos on a windy day at the beach, too, where sand can blow with excessive force. Also, avoid opening the battery compartment when you’re in such situations. Make sure you’re in a dry and clean place before you open your lenses to change it.  It is unlikely that you will always have a choice when you’re switching between lenses in the field; however, it might be necessary to move a little bit to minimize your exposure.If you are shooting on a farm where there is a lot of dirt and dust flying, move to a quieter place before removing your lens. Also, avoid using an excessive amount of cleaning liquid with your camera. In fact, other than stubborn smudges, you should be able to clean the camera with a dry microfiber cloth. If a liquid is needed, place a few drops of the liquid on the cloth, rather than directly on the camera. Water can be used in place of cleaning liquid as well. Always remember to clean your camera bag too.

Camera Bag: it is very important to have a camera bag built specifically for cameras and if possible made, specifically for your camera. But during a hike make sure the bag can withstand touch terrain and temperatures. Camera bags have special paddings and protection layers to protect your camera from the possibility of damage and breakage. During your hike it’s going to be handled quite often and having a bag for it gives you some peace of mind.However, make sure the bag is easy to open so you can easily take out your camera and put it back in. Some hiking backpacks come with camera compatibility. It’s very convenient to have the backpack that has compartments for your camera, lenses, computer, tablets and other electronics you might have.


Camera Strap: A camera strap is something that’s often overlooked by amateur photographers but professional photographers and those who have been in the game long enough understand how very important this item is. In this situation, a camera strap is a nice alternative to a camera bag if you intend to have your camera across your neck all shoulder all the time. Get a specific strap that fits your needs. For example, A Vintage Camera Strap will serve you well as they are usually strong and can last through tough terrain and weather conditions. After walking for hours taking great photos or hiking up a mountain to get a good view with your camera strapped across your shoulder or your neck, it begins to matter what camera strap you have. It’s important to get one with good quality.

Hopefully, these tips help prepare you for your next hiking/nature photography trip.

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