I put out the request for post ideas and I got one that sounded like a really cool idea. James (aka Disneynorth) submitted the following:
How about a report on the benefits of using a backpack?? I'm always interested in what people carry in their bag. I bring the minimal items with me....Camera and wallet....
Before I upgraded my camera to the Nikon D80, the wife and I used to meander the parks with one backpack. Granted it was the size of your average school backpack, but only one of us got the sweaty back that comes from the extensive exercise that comes from walking the parks.
Now that I'm moving into the world of Digital SLR cameras, I have a backpack for my camera gear and my wife has a backpack for her stuff.
So now I'm going to give you a peek into each of our bags
The Grump's Bag
As I said, I'm now lugging around a dSLR camera. I ended up buying a backpack style camera bag. If you have any interest in this kind of bag for your digital camera, I strongly suggest you go to your local camera store and physically check these things out. There are so many styles and types of backpack camera bags. You have the sling bags that go over one shoulder and can spin around easy and you have the two strap type. Plus, you have varying sizes.
I went with the Tamrac Adventure 7 Model 5547 bag. It actually holds the camera and a few lenses in the bottom half of the bag. The center of the bag unzips and the bag flips open and you can put your camera body and attached lens in there plus it has 4 slots for other lenses or external flash.
Plus, it has a front pocket specifically designed for storing flash cards and extra batteries.
The top half of the bag is actually storage space. So now a look at what I pack in my bag:
- Nikon D80 (mostly carried around my neck but goes in the bag during rides and attractions where it's safety is questionable)
- Tamron 28-300mm lens
- Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens
- 1 spare 2 GB SD Flash Card
- 1 spare 4 GB SD Flash Card
- 1 extra battery for the Nikon D80
- Business Cards....You never know who you'll meet in a line somewhere
- tightly folded rain coat
- Two (2) gallon Ziploc bags (they come in handy when you must make your camera water-resistant)
- a couple plastic grocery bags (you never know when you might need them)
- pack of gum
- granola bars and protein bars for my wife. She suffers from hypoglycemia and when she needs to eat, she needs to eat and these tide her over until we can get some "real" food. If we wait too long, the price she pays will ruin a day quickly.
- My old Canon PowerShot S70 point-and-shoot camera. You never know when you need a backup camera
- Sunglass case for when I need to take my sunglasses off
- Umbrella (well at least next time)
- Guide Maps
- Lens cloth
- Lactaid because I love dairy but dairy doesn't love me back
- Small bags of souvenirs that were purchased and will fit in the backpack
- 2 bottles of water stored in the two side adjustable mesh pockets
Enchanted Rose's Bag
My wife's bag was a sling-style backpack that she was given as a Nurse Appreciation Day gift from the hospital at which she works.
It isn't very large but you'd be amazed on what she can cram in there:
- Lip balm
- 2 bottles of water
- Tightly folded rain coat
- Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickeys Guide
- Lou Mongello's Walt Disney World Trivia Volume 2
- More granola bars and protein bars
- More Lactaid (she has the same love/hate relationship with dairy)
- Small bottle of Tylenol 8 Hour (the only type of headache medicine that works on me)
- Phenegren and Zofran (my wife suffers from Crohn's Disease which can cause nausea. These medications are the "In case of Emergency, Break Glass" solution for an unannounced attack of nausea. This is what will keep me from needing to carry her out if she has a bout of severe nausea. The one downside is that either of these meds can cause extreme fatigue depending on the person taking it. I think Phenegren makes my wife tired while Zofran does not. But I've heard the case flip-flopped for other people. [Ed. Note: These are prescription medications]
- Sunglass Case
- Small bags of souvenirs that were purchased and will fit
- Her hat when not being worn
- Hair scrunchies and hair bands
- Small travel sized container of baby wipes. They aren't just for babies anymore. They are great for staving off, for lack of a better term, Theme Park Butt (TPB). Get inflicted with that early enough in the AM and your day is fun, fun, fun.
- Guide Maps (you can never have too many)
I love having all this stuff with me when I'm in the parks. We have used everything at some point or another, but I really miss the days when you could just walk into the park and not have to subject yourself to the rubber glove treatment. Since those days are long gone, it is often a big annoyance to carry bags into the park.
But, saying that, it only takes one moment of need to make you glad you have your backpack with necessities packed within.