In this post I'll give a run down of how I pack my bag when heading out for an overnight or multiple night walk with my camera. In total I carry 9Kg of camera gear including the tripod which is essential for taking good sunrise and sunset photos so take it with you. Most of the camping gear I have is designed for light weight setup and so the cost of these is higher than heavier gear because you pay for less weight often a lot for just a few hundred grams but if you have ever walked long distance you'll know that everything counts.
The biggest tip I can give for bag comfort is BALANCE if you have an off center balance to the bag ie. a tent strapped to the outside right of the bag and nothing to counter on the left side of the bag you'll be off balance. When the bag is unbalanced it will pull down unevenly on the shoulder straps and will eventually cause one side of your body to become fatigued more than the other. It wont just make your shoulder fatigued it will make everything fatigued including your lower back which is danger country. So when ever you pack make sure it is balanced, I counter balance the tent with my tripod strapped to the other side because they are around the same weight.
The bag that I currently use for overnight walks in not a dedicated camera bag it is just a common brand of backpack that you can get everywhere its a Burghaus 65Lt backpack. I do carry a LowePro camera bag which is just a small over the shoulder bag that I bought years ago this bag fits perfectly into the lower compartment of the lager Berghaus backpack. It was such an easy solution to the set of problems that I had to work with that I bought the Berghaus bag straight away.
The lower compartment of the bag is only about 1/3 of the total space which leaves more than enough room for all my cloths, sleeping bag, thermarest mat, cooker and food. The only miss-match is that the 70-200 f/2.8 has to go into the upper compartment as well making it difficult to get out and setup, I missed plenty of wildlife shots in Europe because to this. A solution was to attach the lens case to my waist strap but this was an uncomfortable way to carry the lens, it does weigh 1.5Kg.
On the outside left and right sides of the bag I carry my tent and tripod which are both evenly matched for weight at around 2Kg each. Like I said before balance is key when carrying a lot of weight so when I'm using my tripod I will move the tent to the top of the bag to keep the whole thing in balance. In total the whole lot weights about 25Kg +/- 3Kg for water and this probably sounds like a lot but when it is balanced and you use the waist straps on the backpack properly it can be a comfortable setup.
This setup was the end result of trial and error and when error results in pain you learn pretty quickly so you can trust me about this setup. I'll write a post when we get back from the trek about how it all went but it should be pretty uneventful as far as the backpack is concerned finger crossed.