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10 Pieces of Gear Every Backcountry Photographer Should Own

Featured Contributor: Nate Luebbe, The Outbound Collective

Multi-day treks through the backcountry require much more planning than your average outdoor photoshoot. Keeping you (and your camera) warm, dry, and functioning at your peak is paramount to a successful photo-adventure. I've had my share of close calls and uncomfortable nights in the wilderness, so I've put together a list of the gear I never leave home without.

I've decided to forgo mentioning the traditional photography gear such as tripods and filters because I assume those are a given and everyone has their own preferences (I'm a Sony man, myself). Obviously this list could be nearly endless if I included every little bit of equipment that I found helpful outdoors, so this list is dedicated to the equipment that I've found really go that extra mile for helping me have a successful overnight photoshoot.

MiiR 23oz Vacuum Insulated Bottle

Reusable water bottles are better for the environment, insulated bottles are better for your drinks, and Miir donates a substantial portion of their revenues to charities across the globe which is better for everyone, and everything.

DripDrop ORS Hydration

Many great backcountry views are many miles from civilization and after many hours of hiking, dehydration can become a serious concern. Of course, water is a great start, but for truly grueling hikes an electrolyte solution can be a literal lifesaver. Drip Drop ORS is so finely tuned that a single packet carries the same rehydration potential as an IV! Plus, they're very involved in philanthropic projects around the world, taking your money and helping turn the world into a better place.

Rab Latok Alpine Jacket - Men's

I've worn this shell in weather conditions that would violate the Geneva convention and came out the other side warm and dry. It's made for the days where you have to chisel the ice off your carabiners, and the snow is blowing so hard you can't even see your last anchor. It's not the lightest shell on the market but it's as close to Iron Man's armor as you can buy.


It's never a good idea to have your valuable photos stored in just one place. Backup in the most remote locations with the new Gnarbox SSD. The integrated professional editing software allows you to edit photos using your cell phone. As an added bonus, it features a large battery for emergency charging your camera, emergency beacon or anything else you may need.

Sierra Designs Convert 2 Tent 2-Person 4-Season

Lightweight and nearly indestructible, I took this tent out for a night in the backcountry and it withstood some of the most hellacious weather I've ever been in. The phrase “tried and trusted” doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.

LifeStraw Go with 2-Stage Filtration

After accidentally breaking my UV steri-pen on day 3 of a 5 day backpacking trip, the Lifestraw I threw in my backpack as an afterthought ended up literally saving my life. I can't stress enough the importance of good water filtration, and Lifestraw is leading the charge for innovative, effective, and affordable drinking matter where you are. Lifestraw also has dedicated itself to environmental missions of reducing our plastic dependency as well as humanitarian charities for providing clean drinking water to impoverished communities. Make your dollars do good, yo.

Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX Mountaineering Boot - Men's

Brutally tough, yet nimble and comfortable enough for long days on the trail. Indestructible uppers made of silicone-impregnated suede, integrated gaiters to keep water and gravel out, and crampon compatible. There isn't a trail in the United States that these aren't suited for.

LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger

As if a solar-powered, inflatable lantern wasn't already a cool addition for photos, the USB port can be used as a charging station for your other electronics. I think it goes without saying that a Luminaid lantern is in every backpack I take, no matter the trip. Additionally, they're a major supporter of philanthropic projects for communities in need. You'll notice this tends to be a theme for companies I support.

Smartwool PhD Hunt Heavy Crew Sock

Listen, I consider myself to be a pretty tough guy when it comes to being outdoors, but wet feet and blisters make me sour faster than anything. Treat your feet right, because without them you're not going anywhere.

Sawyer Insect Repellent

Sawyer does it all: bug repellent, sunscreen, and blister protection are my recommendations. If you can't see why those are important for a backcountry trip then I don't think you're quite ready for a backcountry trip. Sawyers innovative design allows you to apply bug repellent that lasts for up to 5 washes, so you don't have to worry about accidentally getting eaten alive if you forget to reapply every morning.


Bold Variety Pack