Photographers such as Galen Rowell famously traveled light and bounded up mountains with nothing but a camera and lens. He camped in high-alpine environments for days on end, and while he had the gear he needed, space and weight were at a premium so that gear was selected very carefully. You may shoot the same way, but chances are, you’re not a pro and your time shooting needs to be carved out of a 9-to-5 job, which necessitates a different style of getting into scenic backcountry. You probably rely on your car to get you pretty close and to serve as your mobile base camp. That’s not a bad way to work at all. In fact, many top pro nature shooters do exactly the same thing. Your car provides an efficient way to get around, obviously, and to get the most out of it as a photo vehicle, you can add some accessories that improve its utility.
Using designated fire roads, you can get yourself into some remote backcountry locales. Having the right gear will let you get your best photos and keep you safe. Power
If you’re considering work away from your home and you’re not going to be in hotels or motels at night, having an auxiliary power source is a good idea. Digital technology and electronics have made photographers particularly heavy users of electricity. It’s not like the film days when your camera might be limited in its capability, but if the battery ran out you could still do some shooting. Today, a camera without a battery is a paperweight. And it’s not just batteries. We tend to carry a lot of other gear into the field, like tablets, laptops, hard drives, cell phones, GPS and more.
If you’re plugging in every night, that’s one thing, but if you’re planning on spending several enjoyable days and nights car camping, you’re going to need power. You can carry a grip of spare batteries, but buying a lot of special camera or laptop batteries gets expensive and you can still run out. Goal Zero Escape 150 Explorer and Adventure Kits are well suited to our needs as photographers. Each kit consists of a solar panel and power pack. The solar panel charges the pack by day and you can plug your devices directly into the pack by night.
Goal Zero Escape 150 Explorer Kit The Escape 150 Explorer Kit retails for $499 and includes the Escape 30 Solar Briefcase, which fully charges the power pack in about six to eight hours. The Escape 150 Adventure Kit retails for $359 and comes with the Boulder 15 Solar Panel, which fully charges the power pack in about 10 hours. For more demanding use, the Goal Zero Extreme 350 Adventure Kit costs $769 and comes with the powerful Extreme 350 Power Pack and the Boulder 30 Solar Panel. The Boulder 30 fully charges the Extreme 250 pack in 12 to 24 hours. For more information and to find the perfect kit for your power needs, go to www.goalzero.com.