Well, I am not going to hike the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu anytime soon, but now that I have a serious tripod, I have been in the market for a serious camera daypack with some room for supplies, other than camera gear. I've been looking at Lowepro and F-Stop and some others, but nothing I saw was really fitting the bill...
The biggest problem for me when hiking with my family on the weekends is that they hate it when in the middle of the hike I spot this amazing scenery and I stop and break out the gear to start taking pictures. They get super annoyed with me, and have been threatening to leave me, or - worse - not to go hiking with me again. For a while I resorted to hanging my camera around my neck for the hike, but when I needed to change lenses, I either had to ask my husband for help to fish it out of my backpack, or I had to set the pack down once again, gear off, gear on, gear off, gear on... You get the picture. Or rather: You don't get any pictures, because by now you're tired of the running behind and of the complaining and you leave the camera in the pack.
And then I heard about the Mindshift Gear Panorama backpack (affiliated link). It's a daypack with a fanny pack with 3 padded compartments hidden in the bottom of a backpack. With one hand you can unhook it and slide around it to the front of your body. Yes. Like a real Fanny Pack. A FANNY PACK?
Yes. Hear me out: You take out the camera, you change lenses, you apply filters, and when you're done, you put the camera back in the fanny pack and slide it back inside. And all that without ever needing to unstrap the backpack or loosening it or anything. It's fast. It's seriously fast.
And I can do it alone. I don't need to set the pack down, and I don't need anyone to help me get to my gear. Same spiel with the tripod. The only time I need to put my pack down is when I want to put it down. For the breaks, to get to the sandwiches! Mmmm, picknick food!
Since the Panorama is for serious day hikes, it comes with a side pocket that fits a hydration pack, and I was able to fit it with a 2.0 L Hydrapak. It does get heavy with the water and the tripod and the camera gear (and I haven't even packed the sandwiches yet!) but everything has its place and everything stores away neatly.
I can't wait to give it a real try. Of course, I look like a overstuffed sausage carrying a backpack with a hip strap, but I figured, in the Canadian wilderness, nobody sees me anyway.
Which reminds me: If you're fat, and in the wilderness, where nobody sees you... are you still fat?