It doesn’t always make sense to take a bunch of camera hardware with you on the trail. After all, when you’re hiking, usually you’re spending more time putting one foot in front of the other than you are stopping for photo opportunities. That said, many times I carry a compact Sony telephoto or other lenses in neoprene lens pouches just in case there’s a great opportunity to capture wildlife or geological features from afar.
Packing a lens can be tough. I struggled a lot trying to find the right backpack that would be rugged enough for the trail, and highly accommodating to my camera kit. It doesn’t seem to exist. At least not with all the qualities I want in a pack.
Stop trying to find the perfect camera hiking pack
I decided to stop making the bag do all the work, and instead created a way to adapt my bag for camera equipment. Enter one of my favorite photo accessories, the Altura neoprene lens pouches. There are a bunch of companies selling these types of pouches online, but these are the ones I use, and they’re truly awesome.
Inside the pouch is a silky soft fake fur lining (it’s a super fun purple color, too). These neoprene lens pouches have a rugged black exterior with a small handle, clip, and heavy-duty drawstring clasp. I know it might seem odd to get so excited about a pouch, but they’re really useful.
The set of neoprene lens pouches I got from Altura came with three pouches (linked below), each a different size. The first two I use for my prime and telephoto lenses. The last pouch fits the Sony Alpha 6000 perfectly with the kit lens attached.
Most of the time I keep the neoprene lens pouches in my pack. However, if I’m frequently changing lenses in the field, I’ll clip the pouch (remember there’s a handy clip on the top of the pouch near the enclosure) to a belt buckle or carabiner, and I’m off to the races.
Oh, one more thing… and then you can stop listening to me rave about these things. If you find debris inside the pouch, they’re completely invertible, so turning the pouch inside out and brushing or shaking debris from the fake fur is an easy way to clean these pouches.
That’s it. Check ’em out for yourself…