When most of us go out into the wild and try to capture the experience on camera, we come home with photos that come up just short — and sometimes one fewer piece of working gear. When California-based photographer Chris Burkard does it, he comes back with epic images that go pound-for-pound with Mother Nature’s own brush. This is the gear he used (and descriptions of why he used it) while shooting photos in the Oregon wilderness, where he encountered harsh Pacific Northwest weather en route to Crater Lake, Smith Rock and Columbia River Gorge.
Mizu M8 Water Bottle
It’s a shame to constantly buy bottled water. I like to have a durable water bottle on the road. These stainless steel ones by Mizu come in a ton of colors, too.
This carbon fiber tripod packs tiny, is super light, yet can stand at eye level. It’s nice to have something that can easily stuff on the side of a pack.
Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Recharger
I use it to charge my phone as well as my camera while on the road. Both items are my lifeline — it’s clutch to have them constantly charged. It’s hard to beat something this size.
Zeal Brewer Sunglasses
You’ve gotta protect your eyes, and I like these polarized shades for everyday use. They’re feather light and durable.
F-Stop Loka Ultralight Pack
This is a quality pack for everyday use. You want something that makes sense for camera gear and is also comfortable for long days hiking around. This does both.
Scosche strikeLINE pro
This retractable cable charges my phone and doesn’t get into a tangled mess.
The A7 is the most compact of the full-frame cameras, and its image quality is nothing short of remarkable. I use it on all my trips for shooting landscapes and lifestyles. It is a great travel camera that allows me to keep my travel kit light without sacrificing image quality. Also pictured is a 24-70mm f/4 Zeiss lens ($1,200) and a 55mm prime f/1.8 Zeiss lens ($1,000).
Peak Design Camera Leash
Peak’s anchors make their straps super easy to detach, an ability that can reduce tangles in tight spaces and urgent moments.
Clif Bar Mojo
You never know when a few hours of adventure can turn into a full day. It’s always a good idea to have some snacks on hand. I enjoy the Wild Blueberry Almond flavor.
Marmot Super Mica Jacket
It can double as a camera cover and you never know when bad weather can make an appearance.
Gerber Remix Knife
I find myself constantly using knives while camping, and they’re a great item for convenience and safety. Whether it’s rigging my gear or cutting something as we build camp, the uses are endless.
Western Digital Portable Hard Drive and Nomad Case
Portable hard drives are crucial for backing up images on the road. I rely on Western Digital hard drives, and they make a great case that protects my stored images from any damage. It’s important to keep all of my work as safe and secure as possible while on the go.
Olloclip 4-in-1 Lenses for iPhone
They always say the best camera is the one that you always have. In that case, my best camera has to be my iPhone. Olloclips make attachments for the iPhone so you can shoot wide angle, telephoto, polarized, and many more options. They’ve taken my mobile phone to another level of photography.
Gerber Curve Knife
It’s small and it packs a punch with multiple tools.
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp
After trying out tons of headlamps, I’ve found this to be the best. It has a super easy on/off button, which is more important than you’d think.
I use them for camera notes, to-dos, inspiration, or anything else I want to remember.
Worst Case Personal Survival Kit
A waterproof box and a few essentials like bandaids and fire-starters. Be prepared.