Pacific Crest Trail 2016 with my D800 (aka, here we go again)

Hey y'all, I haven't been very active here on account of things being hectic lately. Lots of work, then less work but lots of hiking, but I'm settling in for a winter in Vermont and getting myself prepared to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail next year. I don't have much to say on this yet, for I am just in the beginning of preparing specifically for this hike. I'm looking over the maps of the PCT and coming up with possible plans for the trail - resupply points, side trails and other diversions I might like to take, etc.

I'm bringing my D800 with me again, and again I am probably going to put most of my thought into what lenses I'll bring with me. My D800 has been broken since November 2013 due to low funds up until recently, with a bent aperture lever that doesn't function with most of my lenses. I'm finally writing to Nikon to see if they may help me with the repair, and one way or another I will get it repaired and ready for the spring of 2016.

The greatest amount of thought goes into what lenses I'll bring with me, as usual. On the Appalachian Trail I carried my camera on a sling on my hip at first, with a lens pouch to hold my extra lens(es). I usually carried my AF-S 16-35mm f/4G VR and AF-S 85mm f/1.8G, though I switched things up occasionally when I had access to the rest of my gear. The camera bouncing on my hip caused bruising eventually and the lens pouch wasn't really meant for the wear of long-distance hiking, so I carried my gear less accessibly in the top of my pack after a while.


Last year I changed my pack system to having Aarn balance pockets on the front of my pack, which can comfortably carry my camera with 70-200/2.8 attached. I am not sure I will bring my 70-200, but having my camera and lenses readily accessible in front of me does encourage me to try different options of lenses. I'm even thinking about going purely with primes, not necessarily for greater apertures but for greater edge-to-edge sharpness at the focal lengths I'll have available. I could easily carry my 20/2.8, 24/1.4, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, and 100/2.8. I'm even thinking about selling my 24/1.4 in favor of one of the newer wide angle f/1.8 primes... I almost always shoot stopped down for landscapes, so the lighter weight of the other primes is more desirable than the f/1.4 aperture. If not primes, and if I can also get my badly-decentered 16-35 fixed, I'll probably have 16-35, normal prime, and 70-200. In either case, my pack is much more trim and much lighter than when I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013 and I am not worried about increasing my camera weight when everything else is so much lighter!
Appalachian Trail class of 2013, Georgia to Maine
Continuing adventures at


  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,300Member
    Great news! I hope this trip goes more smoothly for you. I would not bring a 70-200 lens though for weight reasons. I look forward to some great shots from this great location in 2016 :)
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