Best Ways to Carry a Camera While Hiking

Cameras can be quite expensive. They can be bulky or heavy as well. That is why, though they take excellent nature shots, you need to be careful when bringing the devices out hiking. Luckily, there are many ways to carry your camera that are both comfortable and secure.

I have an avid love for photography, as well as a deep appreciation for the great outdoors. As such, I know just about every way to carry a camera while hiking. From bags to backpacks to straps, if there’s a way to bring your device into the wilderness, I’ve tried it at some point in time.

Below, I’ll analyze what I’ve learned over the years and break down the best carrying methods by explaining what makes them so great.

1. Use a Dry Bag

Dry bags are a great way to keep your camera secure and dry in wet or unstable environments. 

One such item is the Earth Pak, a handy bag that excellently keeps moisture from reaching your items. It’s waterproof and has a strap that makes it easy to carry over rough terrain.

This is ideal for smaller cameras and offers a lot of versatility thanks to the various size options. It’s light, easy to pack, and seals up in just a few easy steps. 

The design makes it a great choice for hikers who don’t want to spend a ton of time fussing with their gear.

2. Wear a Camera Strap

When it comes to carrying your camera across deserts, coasts, and forests, many avid nature photographers favor a strap like this one Peak Design Slide Lite, a durable aluminum model that lets you store your camera on your body without putting too much stress or fatigue on your person.

You can wear this kind of strap in multiple ways, including on your neck or shoulder. It’s easy to switch and can be readjusted in a matter of seconds. 

The smooth/grip construction is also quite nice for functionality. Perfect for people who need to quickly and easily access their device.

3. Get a Waist Bag

Waist bags, especially ones with ample padding, work well too. 

The carrying cases come with the big upside of being roomy and comfortable, which is where the Shangri-La Tactical Range Outdoor Bag excels. This model is extremely tough thanks to the 1000D nylon construction and high-density materials.

As with many other great carrying bags, this is a perfect way to bring your camera hiking because it’s fully adjustable. You can use it with a handle, a concealable waist band, or as a padded shoulder strap. 

No matter how you want to carry your camera, you’ll be able to.

4. Use a Shoulder Harness

If you want to carry your camera above your waist without adding too much pressure, a shoulder harness is a good way to go. 

The Cotton Carrier Skout Sling, which utilizes a twist and lock system is an excellent way to securely hold a single camera. It goes on quickly and is easy to operate.

This model has a webbing design, but is also perfect for hiking across different environments thanks to the excellent G3 weather cover that’s dust and waterproof. 

You also get a safety tether, as well as exceptional materials for an added layer of toughness.

5. Wear a Camera Backup

Of course, you can always go with a more traditional backpack!

There are several items that work perfectly with cameras, but the Mountainsmith Tanuk is an excellent choice for those who want to access and protect their camera at the same time. It’s durable, strong, and incredibly well made.

It comes with a range of compartments, which helps you store many extra items or accessories you might want to use with your device. 

On top of that, the padding and shoulder strap offer a lot of extra versatility. The side compression straps are comfortable as well.

6. Attach the Camera to Your Bag

This handy model like Cotton Carrier Holster Attachment, unlike many of the above options, attaches to your bag or pack rather than standing on its own. 

It holds multiple camera types and has a ton of versatility through how you can clip it on just about anywhere through the stable twist and lock system.

Not only that, but it can be freely used with many kinds of cameras, ranging from DSLR to compact. That means you can use it regardless of how you like to capture your outdoor shots. The construction, anodized aluminum, and rubber washer are also extremely reliable.

Final Words

Carrying a camera while hiking is not as simple as it first may seem. There are plenty of obstacles that can ruin your gear. On top of that, cameras add weight and can cause some real discomfort on longer walks.

The above options give you both protection and additional comfort when you’re on the trail. Understand what you want from your carrying system, how you like to hike, and then get the one that best works for you.

If you have any questions about the carrying methods, leave a comment about it below!

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  • Luc

    Great article. I was on holidays but always ended up putting the camera back in the bag because the default sling was killing my neck. Eventually got a waist bag but it barely fits so I can’t put anything else with it in.