dcw wrote:Okay, I think I've got it. The suggestion to get a more compressible down sleeping bag was pure gold. I got a 32F Western Mountaineering bag and it's warmer than my 20F synthetic bag, and about a quarter the packed size and an eighth the weight. That freed up a lot of room at the bottom of the pack. I have decided to strap my tent to the outside, along with the sleeping pad. I know that's cheating a bit, but the tent is pretty light, just bulky. I cut back the clothes by one of everything that I had three or more of. I know my list of electronics is long, but in actuality it's pretty light and small. I tried to cut down on some of that stuff, but never realized any measurable weight or space gain.
The real crux is still the camera. I want to save the space by leaving the DSLR, but even in the Lightroom thumbnails I can tell the difference between those pix and the ones from my P&S. The camera, a lens or two, and the related paraphernalia fit piecemeal into my pack, but not if I bring along a single camera bag. I'm right with you guys on not liking to carry two bags at once, although it may come to that.
Thanks for the tips on light tripods. My current one does really well though, and it's the hefty ballhead that really kills. It's not even that good (Manfrotto). I've thought of switching it out for an 5oz. Bogy ballhead or some such, and just using it for my P&S, but that seems quite backwards. Why bring a stellar SLR and landscape lens, but not a tripod that'll hold them?
My Ireland trip is getting closer. To celebrate I made a Google Earth map of Camping Ireland's campsites, and had a half-glass of Guiness. I'm just about ready, both mentally and equipmentally.
Awesome! I'm glad to read that it's coming together. I have a Western Mountaineering Beothuk, which seems to be the old version of the HighLite, and I absolutely love it. It never feels like it's going to be warm enough, but it hasn't failed me yet for summer and early fall camping.
I'm not a fan of the double bag system either, but I really recommend that you consider a chest bag that holds nothing but your camera. I linked to a Lowepro bag in my earlier post, but with nothing but your dSLR and one lens, it really won't weigh that much, and keeps your camera always at hand. I know a lot of ski/bike photographers who will adjust their pack shoulder straps so that they can simply clip the chest bag in with a few small carabiners. Then you're simply left storing a couple of lenses in your main pack.
It's not quite a tripod, but one option if you'll have your pack with you is to use your pack as a tripod of sorts. Lay it flat, throw down a fleece or wool sweater bunched up, and nestle your camera in there. You probably won't get perfect horizons, but those are easy to fix in post. Again, not perfect, but it's a compromise.