Trip to Alaska

Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
499
Location
Western Washington
Okay...the more and more I keep searching about bags, rain gear and monopods and everything the more I keep getting confused. :(

So I am just going to post in general I guess and see who can help out with what question. Going to alaska in the beginning of july on a cruise. We are going to go off the boat, do excursions and that kind of stuff. I am hoping to take my N75, D70, a 70-300mm lense and a 105mm micro lense. I currently have two cases. One that fits my n75 and its lense and one case that fits my d70 and its lense plus some cables and extra cards and stuff. What will I need as far as protecting my camera from rain, the cold etc? What kind of bag would you recommend? I keep seeing a ton of different bags and I am not sure what would be right for me. I guess in the future I would hope to carry 2 cameras and 3 lenses maybe? If not....2 cameras and 2 lenses then. So for alaska, will there be any specific things i will need to get before going that I am just not aware of? Also it doesn't look like it but I am guessing I will need a tripod or monopod for the 70-300mm lense right? (n00b question maybe? lol sorry)

Okay so thanks!
-gear?
-monopods or tripod?
-anything I should know?

Thank you soo much! I just want to be prepared as possible for this trip so I don't come home disappointed. My main focus on the trip is to eat as much ice cream as I can, take as many good quality photos I can and enjoy a place I have never been!
Thanks!!!!! :D
 
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,288
Location
Wasilla, Alaska
Dry bag essential

As beautiful as we like to claim our state is, I have to admit that rain is a real factor. Also we really like getting out on the water, whether it's on the ocean, lake, or river. So my best recomendation for you is to invest in a dry bag. I prefer the duffle type with a zipper over the roll top kind. It lets access your gear much easier and seems to stay just as water tight. Good luck.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
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Toronto Canada
Avon Skin So Soft Baby Oil - incredibly good bug repellant and no deet so you don't have to worry about gumming up your camera grips.
I second the drybag suggestion. Get a few of them. I've got one for my S3 with the70-200 w/converter and then a shorter one for any spare lens I may drag along. If you head off in a zodiac, make sure you tether everything together, because if you flip, your stuff will invariably float off in all different directions. Those cheapy non-climbing caribiners (sp?) work wonders in clipping stuff together.
Ice cream? Alaska? nawwww, go for the salmon - it'll be incredible!!!
 
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
499
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Western Washington
I don't like seafood....lol. Just my weird tastes.

Do you have a link to this stuff? I really have no clue where to find all the stuff you guys are mentioning. :?
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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Ohio & Florida
We spent three weeks in Alaska last July/August. I have posted information and quite a few photos in the "Places to Shoot" section.
https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=104
https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=246
https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=248
https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=249

All shots were handheld many with the 70-300ED.
I was advised that a mono/tripod does not work that well on a ship since the engine vibrations tend to come up through the legs. A beanbag set on the rail is better since it absorbs the vibrations. Also, not enough room on deck to set up a tripod.

Rain is a problem. We carried our gear in a backpack, but it was not waterproof. We had throw-away plastic ponchos to put on over our rainjackets and also covering the backpack if a sudden shower came up.
In Denali one day it rained fairly hard all day and we hiked without the cameras, just not worth the risk for a few wet, dull photos.

Ask more if you have questions.
It is a neat place to take photos.
Bob
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
52
Location
Alaska
I carry/store my gear in Pelican cases - have never let me down. Even had one floating inside a boat (with gear) as the bow spray was coming in! I use a Lowpro AW teardrop shaped case for day to day walking about with the D70 and kit lens. It fits the 70-200, not sure about the 70-300.
Greetings from Alaska!
Tom (it was pouring at times today)
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
994
Location
Alabama
Elliot,

I don't have personal experience with the dry bags that several folks have recommended, but I will say that if it were me, I'd get a single bag to carry my gear. I have a Lowepro Phototrekker that would hold everything that you have, and it is pretty water resistant. One of these dry bags would probably be an excellent choice also.

I agree with those that say no tripod / monopod. Bob recommended a beanbag, and I think that is good advice, unless you will be spending a lot of time off ship taking pictures.

Remember that all of the best equipment is of no use if it is a pain in the a$$ to carry around, so pick a set-up that you will be comfortable with for 8 hours.

Good luck in setting up your kit, and have a great time. :wink:
 
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
499
Location
Western Washington
Okay I hate pointing this out but its gonna drive me nuts with Flew and Frank mispelling it. Elliott* T*.

Sorry....

Okay......maybe I will look at that Lowepro Phototrekker and put a poncho or something over it? Thanks all!

Bob! Those are some really neat photos and that lense looks like it should serve me well!
 
K

Ken-L

Guest
I'm bookmarking too. Have a great trip!

We're going the last week of August, from Whittier to Vancouver on the Radisson Seven Seas Mariner.

I'll watch for info on your trips before mine to learn as much as I can from yours.

Our ship has electric motors so vibration is not supposed to be an issue, and we'll have our own balcony so I can use my tripod with no problem.
 
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
2,288
Location
Wasilla, Alaska
dry bags

dry bags should be available at any outdoors store. They are not much more than plastic bag with a top that seals tight. Some come with straps to carry as a backpack. Also I believe Lowepro (or maybe tamrac)makes a waterproof backpack that holds a body and several lenses. Check bhphoto.com and rei.com as places to start. enjoy your trip.
 
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Feb 2, 2005
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Arizona
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Chris
confused said:
Okay I hate pointing this out but its gonna drive me nuts with Flew and Frank mispelling it. Elliott* T*.

Sorry....
Heh. Don't worry Elliott, We're very sincere but I suspect I'm not the only one here with spelling and name remembering issues. ;) I get called Craig, Chuck and even Bob once. Heck - folks like Steven Colbert are trying to get rid of a t*.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
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Macon, Ga.
My suggestion for the bag would be to take only one and use the poncho idea or even one of the larger plastic trash bags, that can be folded small and kept in the bag, for those rainy areas you'll travel through. That's what I did when we were on the Princess and it worked just fine.
I'd also suggest forgetting the tripod (maybe.. just maybe, a monopod) because of the bulk, the weight and time factor of setting it up etc. On many of the excursions you won't have the luxury of time and space to use it.
There will be areas that are rainy..
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but plenty of places with no cloud in sight, where pictures like the one below are just off the bow..
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It is a simply awesome, overwhelming place and one day I'd love to go back.
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You're going to have a ball considering the equipment you're taking. All of the above were made with a 5700.
Jarrell
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
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San Jose, CA
confused said:
Okay I hate pointing this out but its gonna drive me nuts with Flew and Frank mispelling it. Elliott* T*.
You're going to have to excuse Flew, and the other old guys around here, if we make a few spelling errors, Elliott. As we age, there is accompanying brain-shrinkage, which leads to Senior Moments, and at some point, we forget how to spell our own names :shock:.

Elliott is a proud name, derived from Jehovah is God, and if we accidentally leave off an "l" or a "t", it's certainly not meant out of disrespect.

How about we just call you Kid? 8)
 
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
461
Location
Tampa, FL
July Trip

I am going on cruise to Alaska this July so I appreciate the info. For those that have been on cruise and the associated excursions - is a backpack feasable with the amount of room available on a bus, canoe, plane, helicopter or whatever?

Also is the rain so bad that the D70 has to have a raincoat?
 
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
285
Location
Ohio
Re: July Trip

TheKO said:
I am going on cruise to Alaska this July so I appreciate the info. For those that have been on cruise and the associated excursions - is a backpack feasable with the amount of room available on a bus, canoe, plane, helicopter or whatever?

Also is the rain so bad that the D70 has to have a raincoat?
That depends. I went last July 4th. I know this will be hard for the rest to believe, but it did not rain once the entire trip. I too was told to take rain gear. It never left the suitcase. In fact, accept for the dog sled excursion, I wore a light jacket most of the trip. I was told that the week before it rained everyday.

You will have room for your backpack on most of the excursions. The helicopter flights differ. Depending on its size. You should be given instructions and details, just like what is permitted on a plane.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
1,709
Location
Macon, Ga.
Re: July Trip

TheKO said:
I am going on cruise to Alaska this July so I appreciate the info. For those that have been on cruise and the associated excursions - is a backpack feasable with the amount of room available on a bus, canoe, plane, helicopter or whatever?

Also is the rain so bad that the D70 has to have a raincoat?
A friend of mine went the year before I did. It didn't rain a drop when he was there. Most of the rain we encountered was around the Ketchecan (sp?) area. If I remember right, that area is a huge rain forest.
I think the backpack is a great idea, especially if you go on any of the foot excursions.
At the time I only had the 5700 and I kept it dry under my raincoat.
Have fun!
Jarrell
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
134
Location
FLORIDA
I leave for an Alaskan cruise in two days. This discussion makes me wish I knew more about Photography. I will have a day in Vancouver before I board the ship. I will now make it my mission to buy a dry bag in Vancouver. Thanks for the advice.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
52
Location
Alaska
One can be very lucky and not encounter rain but do not count on it! The coastal rainforest extends to Prince William Sound. There are a few small bits also on the very south end of the Kenai penninsula.
Cheers from Alaska!
Tom
 
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
499
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Western Washington
So...I was thinking. I won't have access to anything to take my pictures of my cards. I have 2 cards that hold about 286 pictures on one and 293 on another one....(I don't know why this differs since they are 1 gb I think..both of them) Will I have enough space with that many pictures? I know sometimes I tend to go overboard on the shooting but will that suffice for a week long cruise or would another card be the way to go?
 

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