Let's Jil Outdoor

My Travel Photography Gear: What’s in my Backpack?

Laiban-Falls-Travel-Guide
Trail to Laiban Falls | Rizal, Philippines (Image taken with Fujifilm XS10 with 18-55MM Lens)

What makes travel more fun?

It’s when you have photos to reminisce your memories down the lane. Our memories are fallible, whereas photographs capture people, encounters, feelings, and places perfectly. Also, I love the process of documenting experiences in my life thru images.

I take photos so I can remember!

And as someone who’s frequently outdoors, I prefer the minimalist way of capturing my adventures and try to live by the mantra “Just Go.” So, it’s either I pursue lightweight versions of gears or deliberately eliminate stuff.

Mt-Kulis-Tanay-Rizal-Philippines
Rock Formations at Mt. Kulis | Rizal, Philippines(Image taken with Fujifilm XS10 with 18-55MM Kit Lens)

Furthermore, I don’t seek the latest or the most hyped items either as long as what I have is working perfectly fine. And I would instead invest the money towards experiences.

Mt-Kulis-Tanay-Rizal-Philippines
Hanging Bridge in Mt. Kulis | Rizal, Philippines(Image taken with Fujifilm XS10 with 18-55MM Lens)

Everything you see below is my current travel photography gear setup. This list will inevitably change whenever I update a piece of gear, but I will keep you posted whenever that happens.

Hiking-in-Dhampus-Nepal
Hiking in Dhampus, Nepal (Image taken with Nikon D3100)

Also, all the devices listed below are Amazon Affiliate links which means I receive a relatively tiny commission if you purchase when clicking through any of the images listed below, at no additional cost to you. It’s a win-win for both of us!

So, let’s dive in!

Photography and Videography

Mirrorless Camera: Fujifilm XS10 with 18-55 MM Kit Lens

I used to have an old Nikon D3100 DSLR to document all my local and international travels before. But as time went by, the model became a bit laggy.

Not to mention inconvenient when carrying it on long haul trips!

Hiking-Mt.-Gulugod-Baboy-in-Mabini-Batangas-Philippines
Hiking Mt. Gulugod Baboy in Batangas, Philippines (Image taken with Nikon D3100)

So when I had the chance to replace that sentimental piece (the first huge ticket item I bought when I landed my first job out of university), it was a welcomed change.

But, of course, I’ve been curious about mirrorless cameras for quite some time anyway. Enter, Fujifilm XS10.

Fujifilm-X-S10-Mirrorless-Camera-Body

Again, I am not a “technical” photographer; I simply love to take photos of beautiful experiences and places.

Being that, I’ve been delighted with the output of this camera so far. It’s compact and has In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS), two huge factors for me as an outdoor explorer.

Because naturally, you want lightweight and reliable equipment on the road!

Fujifilm-XS10-Mirrorless Digital Camera XF18-55mm Lens Kit - Black

The colors are vivid, and the autofocus capability is commendable. I also love the touch screen feature because that is insanely useful when handing over your camera to strangers or guides.

You can instruct them to “click on my head or face,” and voila, a decent focused photo!

Picking plants in Mt. Kulis | Rizal, Philippines (Image taken with Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF18-55mm Lens)

And the feature that I love the most! The interval timer! I use this for self-portraits on solo travels or whenever I’m with someone who’s not particularly adept with cameras.

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Self Portrait inMt. Batolusong | Rizal, Philippines (Image taken with Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF18-55mm Lens)

This little feature saves me tons of going back and forth to check for the photos since I can customize the number of shots to take at a particular time.

Ah! You should’ve seen me struggle without it for years! The sweat.

Lastly, I’ve done my research before buying this camera, and one of the downsides is the weather sealing. Not a big deal for me YET, but you can equally make sure not to gamble it too much when it’s drizzling.

Mt-Kulis-Cuyambay-Tanay-Rizal
Early morning in Mt. Kulis | Rizal, Philippines (Image taken with Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF18-55mm Lens Kit)
Recommended Hikes For Beginners
Mt Kulis in Tanay, Rizal (Ultimate Travel Guide)
Laiban Falls Travel Guide
Hiking Mt. Manalmon in San Miguel, Bulacan

Phone Camera: Apple iPhone XS Max (256 GB)

This old (by Apple’s standard) bad boy still does a killer job of capturing crisp photos and videos.

It’s convenient to use and a reliable piece of a device on its own, from planning to documenting your adventures outdoor.

Apple-iPhone-XS-Max-US-Version-256GB-Gold

I’m confident the newer models have better camera quality, but this model is just a superb start for anyone.

Check out these trips! 
I took most  of these photos with a phone only:
Trekking to Mt. Pinatubo
Revisiting Tinipak River in Tanay, Rizal 
Climbing Mt. Espadang Bato

Stabilizer: DJI OM 4 Handheld 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal

It’s a foldable stabilizer to equip your smartphones while capturing videos. This gadget is just a recent addition to my creative tool kit.

I didn’t pay much attention to shaky footage before, but it became one of my pet peeves since I started dabbling on reels.

Also, documenting outdoor adventures thru videos seems natural and genuinely captures the emotions behinds the scenes.

DJI-OM-4-Handheld-3-Axis-Smartphone-Gimbal-Stabilizer

Filter: K&F Concept ND2-400 Neutral Density Fader Variable ND Filters

Being outdoors is a constant love and hate relationship with the sun. When taking photos, nothing ruins a good landscape image more than harsh light and other annoying reflections. This filter will fix that situation. 

K&F-Concept-58mm-ND-Fader-Variable-Neutral-Density-Adjustable-ND-Filter ND2 to ND400

I keep it on my camera lens all the time and twist it according to the lighting conditions outside. It made my greens and blues more alive!

Batteries: Fujifilm Batteries

For a 1-2 day travel, I always bring two (2) batteries. It depends on how trigger-happy you are at a place, but one battery should suit you for a day’s travel. For multi-days, 3-4 batteries will keep you at peace.

These are lightweight anyway, so try to stock up to avoid hassle when there are no convenient charging ports.

Fujifilm NP-W126S Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery

External Battery: Anker Powerbank

I used to bring the Romoss 20,000 MAH power bank, but it’s a bit of an overkill for a short trip considering its weight too. So this year, I only settled with Anker 10000 MAH model. Lightweight and more compact as it fits perfectly into standard travel cases.

Camera Remote Shutter: Apple Watch

You can frame your shot and view it on your Apple watch screen. A fantastic method when you want to take a photo with your phone when you’re traveling alone. But this watch is only suitable for day travel.

Apple-Watch-Series-3

Even then, I wouldn’t put too much trust in it to last you the whole day. It’s the battery. What a bane! It still is a reliable device to keep you active, especially when you’re an Apple person, because it will seamlessly sync to your lifestyle. But if you can afford it, get yourself a Garmin.

After camping in Treasure Mountain | Rizal, Philippines ((Image taken with Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF18-55mm Lens with K&F Concept ND2-400 Neutral Density Fader Variable ND Filters)

Tripod: Benro T-600EX Tripod

Since I take a lot of self-portraits, I need an excellent reliable tripod with me. This model is dirt cheap but does a decent job of keeping my camera in a stable position and height when doing interval shoots.

Benro-T-600EX-Tripod

The word is “decent” because I’m still a bundle of nerves whenever the wind slightly changes speed or when the soil is too loose. As if bidding my camera a half-goodbye when mounted on this tripod. It’s still a good tripod for beginners, though.

The Peak Design Travel Tripod is what I found best in the market (still saving up for this!). The pro-level stability, the convenient setup/takedown, compactness, and the weather and impact-resistant materials sealed the deal for me and the rest of the adventure photographers I follow.

Storage Device: Western Digital My Passport 2TB USB 3.2 Gen 1 Portable External Hard Drive

This device is your treasure trove for images worth reminiscing down the lane. Some folks prefer SSD, but I am more comfortable using a hard drive. The more you love the outdoors, the more you’ll see the need to have a storage or backup device such as this.

WD-2TB-My-Passport-Portable-External-Hard-Drive-HDD

Alternatively, you can also use cloud sharing apps or platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive. You can easily access it anywhere as it’s uploaded on the cloud, and you may also opt to save offline. Downside? It depends on how fast your internet connection is.

Memory Cards:SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-I &Transcend SD Card Class 10

I own the SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-I cards in 128GB and the Transcend SD Card Class 10 in 32GB (a freebie from when I bought the Fujifilm XS10).

Both worked perfectly fine for me during trips. So I keep the latter as a backup.

And unless you’re shooting tons of videos, both are ample enough for storage.

Organizer: Ugreen External Storage Hard Case Organizer Bag

This case will protect and organize your cables, earphones, memory cards, power bank, and hard disk drives while on the road.

As a result, your gadgets are now more accessible and protected from drops, scratches, and water. And it’s lightweight, which is always a plus point for me when nailing functionality.

Ugreen-External-Storage Hard-Case-Organizer-Bag

Post Processing

Adobe Creative Cloud

I always shoot in Raw and post-process either in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.

The staff at Fujifilm told me that Luminar ( an AI-driven software) works best for Fujifilm cameras, but I stick with Adobe out of habit and seamlessness (phone and laptop).

Old habits die hard.

MacBook Air M1 2020

I use this for photo editing, planning trips, and other miscellaneous tasks you could think of; my second brain!

It’s lightweight, efficient, and more compatible with Adobe products. Overall, a powerful piece of a device for your various workflows as a creative and traveler.

2020-Apple-MacBook-Air-Laptop-Apple-M1-Chip

Accessories:

Ugreen USB Type C HUB Dual USB-C to Multi USB 3.0 HDMI Adapter Thunderbolt 3

A multi-port adapter is a necessary accessory for MBA M1, allowing you to multitask because the laptop isn’t compatible with USB C type of devices and has limited ports.

Transferring data while charging? Sure!

WIWU Leather Ultra Slim Sleeve

This lightweight protector is high-quality leather and has a soft lining. Whether you’re traveling or just staying put, you need to protect your laptop against dust, shocks, water, and scratches.

The Backpack!

Osprey 20L Daylite Plus

I’ve gone through many backpacks through the years. And there’s always an issue with weight, comfortability, and accessibility.

However, the Osprey Daylite bag seems to check all of the boxes for me favorably. It has a lot of compartments and ultralight.

As expected, they designed the aerodynamics of this bag with hikers or day travelers in mind.

Osprey 20L Daylite Plus

The backpacks I’ve had in the past were opposites of the comfortability offered by this bag. It has a fantastic suspension system that will distribute the weight while you score big miles.

It also has a mesh-covered die-cut foam back panel which will provide you comfort and ventilation.

Rappelling in Laiban | Rizal, Philippines
Rappelling in Laiban | Rizal, Philippines | (Image taken with Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF18-55mm Lens)

I came off a little salesy there, but I honestly love this bag, and it has summited a good number of mountains with me. Crossed rivers and rappelled with it too!

Brand Unknown: Camera Bag

I spent a ludicrous amount of money on camera bags before that were too inconvenient when tested outdoors.

This insanely cheap bag from Shopee, however, has been working pretty well for me though. I brought it with me through all of my 2021 travels and held up conveniently good.


That’s it! These gears will change over time as I gain more courage, experience, and of course, resources! I hope this humble list helps you kickstart documenting your adventures.

Hiking-in-Dhampus-Nepal
Self Portrait in Dhampus, Nepal | (Image taken with Nikon D3100 and 18-55mm Lens)

If you have any gear recommendations, I’d love to hear your thoughts through the comments section below or email me at [email protected].

Lastly, enjoy life! You owe it to yourself!

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