Photography is an excellent way to share experiences with family and friends. I have had many cameras over the years and while I am not a “Camera Buff”, I do enjoy when I get good results! My latest camera, purchased last year is the Sony RX100 m2. This is a Pro-Level point-n-shoot with more features than even I can appreciate: Large sensor for low light, RAW mode, hot shoe, etc. All this in a fairly compact, 10oz package.
And I am not taking it with me on my PCT trip.
While it does indeed take amazing photos, there are two major drawbacks.
- There are no simple or lightweight ways to dust and waterproof the camera.
- It does only one thing: Take pictures. (Well, videos too)
My iPhone 6+ has my Maps, GPS, Books, Music, Internet access, APPs, Text Messaging, Calls and, oh yeah, takes reasonably good photos. While not in the same class as the Sony, (No phone is) it is “Good Enough”.
I can also get a Dust and Waterproof case for the iPhone fairly cheap. ($80 for a Lifeproof case) I will be 6 months in the “Wild”, and the first 700 miles are in the arid sections of California where dust is everywhere and it does occasionally rain. From the Sierras northwards I have to cross or ford 100’s of streams, some of which are deep. If anyone can slip and fall in, I can guarantee I likely will at some point. 😛
There is no Tripod. Instead I will be taking “Selfies” with the phone stuck on the end of my hiking pole. This is accomplished with a nifty gadget called the StickPic which provides a camera thread and slips onto the end of a hiking pole, which I always have with me anyway. Couple that with a Phone holder and a tiny Bluetooth remote and I have a complete system. For once I will actually BE IN many of the photos I’ll be taking. 😀
For safety I am also taking a Personal Locator Beacon. (PLB) This sends an SOS to a Satellite network to come pick my butt up if I’m injured. A little piece of mind for the cost of the monthly fee and Helicopter Insurance. (Yes, there is such a thing) The model I choose, inReach SE, has many optional features like two-way messaging and a “Bread-Crumb” feature where it sends out a message every xx-hours with my location. This is a fun feature I will be making use of to keep the people updated on where I am, although it might get annoying with several pings a day to this Blog. I’ll have to see how that pans out. The inReach is already Water and Dust Proof, so that is taken care of.
Both the iPhone and inReach are rechargeable and with care run 3-4 days on a charge. However, I will frequently be 4-8 days on the trail between towns, so I will be taking an external battery to recharge things with. The Anker 10,000 maH battery should handle two recharges each for the devices. It also sources up to 3 amps so can charge them faster when needed.
When I do reach a town or civilization with AC power, I have a 50watt quad USB charger to charge everything at once. Add in the pile of cords and the waterproof bag and that completes the package.
Total weight: 2lb, 2.1oz. (ouch)