In 2019 I traveled to the Nepal side of the Himalayan Mountains to trek to Lobuche East and Everest Basecamp treks. The purpose of this trip was to document the entire trip for Northeast Mountaineering to use for promotional material. They wanted me to capture both stills and motion which means I had my work cut out for me being a one-man band through the entire trip. Luckily the porters carried a lot of the extra gear that I didn’t need for the day trip. The success of this trip couldn’t have been done without the help of the all-star Sherpas and Porters from Himalayan Hikers Expedition PVT LTD!
While trekking I paired down my kit to what was necessary for the day’s itinerary. I used the F-Stop Loka UL 37 L pack with a small ICU and the Navin. The Medium ICU was stashed in the porter bags that I wouldn’t see until the evening. I kept my backup body separated from me in case my main body broke while trekking. This also allowed me to change lens or gear from day to day.
Other things the porters carried most of the time was my carbon fiber tripod, the carbon fiber slider, occasionally the Ronin-S, goal zero batteries + solar panels. All of the tea houses where we spent each night and stopped for every meal along the trek (they are primitive hotels – similar to the AMC huts of the White Mountains) had electricity and wifi, but for a fee. The further into the trek you got the more expensive everything became and I used my solar panel as much as possible and the goal zero battery as well. Keeping everything fully charged was probably one of the hardest things to manage on the trip. I was always weighing what I needed for the next day or two and tried to use all my batteries conservatively. Questions I repeatedly ask: Am I using the Ronin, the slider tomorrow? Does my phone need charging? How am I doing on camera batteries, the headlamp, and water purifier?
Below is the final equipment list I pack on this trip. Feel free to ask any questions on the comments section below or email us!
The main workhorse was the Nikon D850 with the Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 and the Nikon D810 with the 50 F1.8 was the backup setup during the trek. Both cameras were setup to record all files onto two cards creating a built-in backup.
Video Equipment + Support
Using a combination of the Nikon D850 on the Ronin S, the DJI Osmo Pocket + the iPhone Xr, worked seamlessly together when editing. Depending on the day’s itinerary and what I was hoping to capture I used the right tool for the job. When I wasn’t using the Ronin for the day or certain sections of the trek, I disassembled the top and the legs and stored it safely in the pack or in the water bottle holder compartment on my F-Stop Loka with the compression straps. I taped all the points of contact on the gimbal so it wouldn’t rub and wear and tear the gimbal while hiking.
Pro Tip #1: Buy an universal L bracket to give another place to rest my hand on the gimbal and I attached two Peak Anchor Links on the L-Bracket to attach my Peak Camera Strap which I could use opposing force to help stabilize the gimbal even more and keep it safe from falling.
Pro Tip #2: Create a go-to guide for balancing the Ronin-S to make setup super fast and simple. I print this guide out before a project and balance the setup, then fill out the numbers when I’m balancing the gimbal for any setup I will use. Ronin-S Guide Printout
Backpack + Camera Protection
Probably one of the most important things while trekking is a comfortable backpack and good camera protection. Before this trip I had 2 F-Stop Backpacks the Tilopa and the Sukha which I love both of them but were overkill for since I only needed a lightweight daypack. This was one of the best pre-trip purchases I made, this pack is light comfortable and doesn’t look like a camera bag. The biggest draw to the F-Stop Packs is how you can access the pack from the top or the back panel creating a workspace to change lenses and keeping the elements out of the backpack while changing lenses. All of their packs are laid out very similarly and you can interchange them without getting lost.
It’s all the little things that add up to make a big difference. Everday I tracked my trip with both the Suunto and the Gaia GPS tracker, it was overkill but to create the Relive animation in the video the GAIA GPS tracks was the key to its success.
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi lineup is unmatched in my opinion, I have had the same jacket and pants for over 4 years and they have been everywhere. They dry super fast and take anything I can throw at them. Also the Inov-8 trail running shoes I have had for over 3 years and they are my go to outdoor shoe. There was a lot more gear I brought, but these are the staples I used for the trip.
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hooded Jacket
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants
Outdoor Research Optimizer Hard Shell
Patagonia Down Sweater
Outdoor Research Radar Pocket Hat
Buff Neck Gaiter x3
Outdoor Research Beanie
Mechanix Leather Gloves
Patagonia Caplene Baselayers (Top + Bottoms)
Darn Tough Socks
Inov-8 Trail Runners
Please note this is the majority of what I used on the day-to-day of the trip. Personal items like food, electorate mixes, and personal hygiene weren’t included. We are not endorsed by any companies and make no money on all these links. Feel free to ask questions and I will add to this page.