What photography equipment to take on a trek

I’ve received many requests for a video on what kind of photography equipment to take on a trek. The key to choosing the right gear for a trek is to plan your photography out in advance. Deciding whether you want to shoot landscape shots, portraits or wildlife will help you decide what kind of gear to take. That will in turn help you minimise the weight you carry!

Watch the video to understand what kind of gear to take.

Accessories you can take: If you’re a serious photographer and plan to take filters for your lenses, I would recommend neutral density (ND) filters because they are colourless filters. They reduce the amount of light passing through your lens, making it possible to shoot still-shots and videos at wider lens openings. They do that without affecting the shutter speed or colour-rendition of the image.

Here are some tips that you can use for portrait photography on a trek.

Stay posted: Next week I’ll tell you how exactly to pack your camera kit while going on a trek.

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Swathi Chatrapathy is a journalist from Bangalore. She heads the content team at Indiahikes and runs a video show called Trek With Swathi. Writing, reading and trekking are up there on her list of favourite things!

6 thoughts on “What photography equipment to take on a trek

  1. I have had to shift from Har Ki Dun to the Kuari Pass trek due to denial of permission from forest authorites. While I had chosen the lighter, wide-angle lenses for HKD, I will now have to carry the heavier zoom lens for Kuari Pass to capture the various mountain peaks! 🙁

  2. hi swathi
    I am kishore. my trek is on 30 dec(Deoriatal – Chandrashila Peak Trek).

    i have nikond 5200+one nikon battery+2 spare (third party batteries)+50mm prime lens+90mm macro lens+18 to 55 mm kit lens+55 to 300mm lens+one tripod+one amzon camera bag.
    1) which lens should i pack with camera?
    2)how many photos i can take with 3 fully charged batteries?
    3) is there any option to charge my camera batteries in sari location?
    4) Deoriatal – Chandrashila weather will affects my camera?
    5)how to pack my camera and lens?
    6) give some tips to use my camera in Deoriatal – Chandrashila trek.

    1. Hi Kishore

      It’s wonderful that you’re going to Deoriatal in winter! 🙂 I’ve answered your questions below.

      1.Carry Nikon 5200+ with 3 batteries. Take the 50mm and 18-55mm lenses. The tele photo lens (300mm) weighs around 530 g. So only if you really want to do some wildlife photography or shoot pictures of mountain peaks, then take it. If you take the zoom lens, you will likely need the tripod to get steady shots. So really think if you want to trek with all the weight. Otherwise, just go for 50 mm and 18-55.

      2.You should able to click about 500 ±200 shots per battery (original nikon battery).

      3. There is electricity at Sari. So you can charge your camera battery there. After that, there is no electricity though.

      4. As long as you take precautions around moisture, ensure that you have some spare batteries, then you shouldn’t have problems with shooting in the cold. Just expect your battery to drain faster. Keep your batteries in a ziplock and wrap it in something warm.

      5. This video on how to pack your camera gear will help you with this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UHSShcSVd4&t=1s

      6. Deoriatal has lovely forest trails. So far, not many photographers have been able to capture it too well. Do see the best compositions to capture forest trails before you set off on the trek. Apart from that, ensure you save enough battery for your summit climb – maybe keep one battery specifically for this. The views from the summit are outstanding! The sunrise and sunset at the Deoriatal campsite are things to watch out for! Try to capture the alpine glow on the mountains at Deoriatal. 🙂

  3. Hi swati,
    I’m going to Kedarkantha Trek.
    I’ll be carrying a Nikon D5300 along with my 18-55 mm lens and 70-300mm lens and a tripod. I want to make a travel video of the entire trek with my D5300. I’d like to know how many batteries should I carry if I want to shoot for around 2-3hrs video each day.

    Thank You in advance.

    1. I wanted to speak to my cinematographer before I wrote to you.
      He went to Kedarkantha two months ago to shoot some videos.
      Here is what he has to say.

      1. 70-300 lens itself is heavy. If you can, try and take a lighter lens.
      2. A tripod is again added weight. If you’re carrying a tripod, carry a light one.
      3. 4 batteries will last you the whole trek. Reduce the brightness of the screen. Before hitting record, frame your subject so that you reduce bad shots and save battery.
      4. Offload your bag so that you can carry your camera equipment.
      5. Camera bag should be light and portable
      6. Memory card it is small so carry how many you can. I took 100gb card but only used half. So I wanted to keep back up.

      So this is what he has to say. If you’re offloading your backpack, then the camera weight shouldn’t be an issue.
      Just make sure it doesn’t exceed around 5 kilos.

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