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UfD: 10 Non Photography Items That I Find Essential for Excursions

Sometimes I think we get so bogged down with the gear that we don’t always think about the other things we like to take on our excursions and that have become essential. I thought today it might be fun to take a look at the things that I think are just as important to take with me when taking photos.

1 – Good Shoes

I recently got a pair of Merrell Moab hiking boots and I have to say they are the best shoes I’ve ever had for taking photos. I know I can wear them anywhere. They are waterproof, which has proved to be a lucky save on more than one occasion. I can remember going to look at gate in Marysville, putting my foot down, only to discover I marysville-waterfalls-rainforest-2-1028had put it into a large hole full of water. My foot stayed dry, but my new shoe didn’t look so new anymore.

Merrell have also said they will help sponsor me for my trip to the US and will be supplying me with a pair of shoes, so I will be wearing the Moab hiking shoes when I am walking around the USA in September.  Thank you Merrell.

2 – Hiking or Walking Stick

At first I think my friends thought I was crazy when I said I wanted one, then after I got one, they all started wanting them. The stick has stopped me from falling over so many times. Walking through wet slippery rainforests can be treacherous, but the stick has actually helped to stop me from falling. It is also great for balance when walking on rocks.

I got the Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking poles by Black Diamond. You do buy them in pairs, but I wasn’t sure if I would want a pair, so I asked a friend if she was interested and then we went halves. So we got one each. Mine has been used a lot. It is also good for taking the weight off your knees and ankles when walking up and down as well.

3 – Company

When I was doing this list I was heading down the coast with a friend and she reminded me that I like to have IMG_20150123_202311company when I go out and take photos. I couldn’t say that she was wrong. I will go out on my own, but it is so boring that way, and she is right I really do like to have someone with me. Makes the trip a whole lot more enjoyable.

4 – Phone

I could say my phone for safety reasons, but really I like to take my phone so I can take some photos with it for Social Media. I like putting up shots of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. I love using Instagram for that too. I think it’s fun.

One thing that these modern phones are also good for is helping or preventing you from getting lost. I love Google Maps, and it has saved me on more than one occasion.

5 – Comfortable Clothes

I guess this goes without saying, but comfortable clothes are a must. I hate being uncomfortable and I don’t think you point-lonsdale-pier-lighthouse-ocean-116can take good photos if you aren’t comfortable. Fashion goes out the window. I like jeans, and vests really. Also, this time of year clothes to keep me warm. In summer short and tops.

6 – Hat and Sunscreen

This one is partly for summer as the sun here is so hot and damaging that a good hat and suncreen are essential. Getting sunburned is not my idea of fun, and help my skin get cancer is not either. I try and wear clothes that will cover me as much as possible and then I put on sunscreen, making sure to note the time so I know when to reapply. The hat is always with me. I need a new one I think for this summer, the one I have now is looking very faded. Still, might get some more summer out of it.

I have a knitted hat for winter. It is one that covers my ears as well. I don’t like the wind blowing around my ears as it point-lonsdale-pier-lighthouse-ocean-117makes me feel dizzy, more so if the wind is really cold. So my hat and gloves are always with me in the winter.

7 – Insect Repellent

Not a big one for winter here, but in summer everywhere you go there is something. Flies, mosquitoes, march flies, etc. I’ve learned the hard way that you have to have good insect repellent, especially for Marsh flies. They hurt when they bite and then they itch, and itch, and itch. It can take a couple of weeks for the itchiness to go away.

8 – Water

I try to always remember water, but at this time of the year I’m not good at it. In the summer absolutely. I have to have water with me. It is hot here in summer and you need to keep yourself hydrated for the heat.point-addis-beach-victoria-australia

9 – Snacks

This is another one I try to remember. So many times when I’m out taking photos I get hungry. Especially if we have hiked to get to where we are. There is nothing worse than having to leave somewhere early because you forgot to pack a snack. It doesn’t have to be much, but it has to be something.

10 – Coffee

My friend also contributed this one. She thinks I always have to have a coffee, and well, let’s face it she was right. I do 20150511_100123_007like to have a coffee at some point. I think stopping for a coffee is a great way of collecting your thoughts. Though, I must say I am very careful about how much I drink. There aren’t always rest stops where we are going, so I always have that in mind too.

So the last few might not have been absolutely necessary, but it was meant to be a fun post. I like doing posts like these and I hope you do too.

What are you essentional non photographic items that you like to take with you? Is your list similar to mine?

The photos for today are all ones you’ve seen before, but they all came to mind when I was writing this post.

102 Comments
  1. I agree with all of your suggestions, Leanne. I haven’t used the walking stick yet, but it sounds like a good idea. I am so happy to see a fellow coffee aficionado. Coffee is essential to every motorcycle trip I take, and anytime I go anywhere! It’s so great to catch up with friends over a coffee, too, at any time! 🙂

    June 26, 2015
    • I love my walking stick, one of the best things I’ve bought really. Oh yes, I feel exactly the same way about coffee, in fact might have to go and have another cup. 🙂 Thank you.

      June 26, 2015
  2. Yes, some food & water is always a good idea if your hiking. Insect repellent too. Sunscreen we don’t need so often around my parts of the world.

    June 26, 2015
    • Yeah, can’t really go anywhere here without the sunscreen, it is annoying, but necessary. I don’t like sunburn, it hurts. 😦

      June 26, 2015
  3. Leanne your photography is breathtaking. I agree on all counts, great article… however wanted to just reaffirm your comment about your Merrell shoes… I have a 7-year-old pair of high boots that haven’t even popped a seam yet and I have beat the living daylights out of them. I live in Washington state where my toes are always cold so they’re perfect to wear every day, and can take me into the forest on a whim. God bless Merrell 🙂 Now to shop their site for all their other cool shoes and bags and luggage, amazing company.

    June 26, 2015
    • Thank you Stacey. That’s great to hear about the shoes, I love mine and my feet have stayed very dry in them whereas my old ones would have got my feet wet. You have to love shoes that you forget you are wearing, I forgot I still had mine on. I feel the same way, they are a great company, and some great shoes too, I might have to check out some of their summer shoes. 🙂

      June 26, 2015
  4. Yea, all the above are the most important list of must for trekking, I remembered a few times when I went for my walk without mobile phone. Twisted my legs and have to drag my swollen leg all the way home.
    Thanks for sharing and have a nice day, Leanne.

    June 26, 2015
    • It is an important thing to remember, as some friends have said to me, have your phone in case something happens to you.I hope your leg was okay.
      You have a good day too Cattan. 🙂

      June 26, 2015
      • Yes, it slightly twisted and it took about a few to heal and yes, I learn my lesson. Never go out on a walk or trek without my phone and the preparation lists of things to bring with me.

        June 26, 2015
      • The Scout’s motto always be prepared,yes, I always take my phone as well.

        June 26, 2015
  5. I love water and the way she clearly emerge from pictures. Water is the most important vital element… we are made of it… we can not stay without it more than three days… and her song is so beautiful and powerful that can modify our senses perceptions and mood.
    Thank you for sharing… :-)c

    June 26, 2015
    • What a moving tribute to water. It is important.
      You’re welcome, thank you.

      June 26, 2015
  6. Johann Briffa #

    Nice fun post 🙂 My list is rather similar to yours, at least the first few items. I tend to do without the company when I’m off to take photos. Though I don’t mind when I do have company. I also have a small first aid kit, Swiss army knife, whistle, and compass that live in my bag. Oh and don’t forget the bag of course!

    June 26, 2015
    • Thanks Johann, I like company someone to get lost with, things never seem bad when you have a friend with you.I don’t have those other things, but I don’t tend to do really serious hiking. The bag, oh mine is a photography one so I tend to think of that as part of the photography kit. 🙂

      June 26, 2015
  7. gtonthenet #

    I don’t think my list differs from yours too much, apart from two things – substitute tea for coffee, and waterproofs are mandatory. After all, I live in England 🙂

    June 26, 2015
    • Well of course, tea is very important in England, doesn’t it solve everything. We used to be the same here, but there cappuccinos and lattes took over. 😉 Waterproofs can be important here too, especially in Melbourne, but I usually just take an umbrella with me. Thanks for sharing that. 🙂

      June 26, 2015
  8. Superb photoset Leanne. Looks a beautiful place 🙂

    June 26, 2015
    • Thanks James, there are lots of great places around here, 🙂

      June 26, 2015
  9. Love that black and white water!

    June 26, 2015
  10. RockstarVanity #

    This makes so much sense! I always snap a few pictures with my phone in between dSLR shots. And coffee is essential. Always. For everything.

    June 26, 2015
    • That’s great to hear. I agree, I like snapping things with my phone, I just wish it didn’t run the battery out so quickly. Coffee, yes, a great way to start the beginning of a photography trip too. Thank you.

      June 26, 2015
  11. A fine list indeed. If you are in the neighborhood, Leanne, I will be glad to walk with you. There is one item, actually a couple of them, that I like to have along: Large, plastic garbage bags. I have used them as rain protection for myself and my gear.

    June 26, 2015
    • I would like that too Ludwig and same for you if you are in my neck of the woods. I hadn’t thought of that, garbage bags, I usually get wet and my camera bags have rain protection, so that’s good. Thanks Ludwig.

      June 26, 2015
  12. Great list of essentials; and what a beautiful collection of photographs to go with it. I will definitely be checking out those Merrell Hiking boots. 🙂

    June 26, 2015
    • Thank you Dora, please do, I don’t think you can go wrong with Merrell hiking shoes. 🙂

      June 26, 2015
  13. Coffee!! The flies you mention sound like what we call Deer Flies back north in Michigan. They are very aggressive and will make you bleed if not knocked off quickly. They also itch like heck for days after. They have ruined outdoor trips for me as a kid in Northern Michigan.

    June 26, 2015
    • I know, coffee. I don’t know John, they could be. I’ve only seen the flies here on the coast around the water. Nasty buggers. I haven’t had the blood when you knock them off, have with mozzies, but not the march flies.That’s a shame. I’m learning to wear long pants to the beach now. Thanks John.

      June 26, 2015
  14. I’ve had several pairs of Merrell trekking sandals and they are the best!

    June 26, 2015
    • I haven’t tried them, but they are definitely on my list for summer. Thanks Gypsy.

      June 26, 2015
  15. Wow, what a great pictures!

    June 26, 2015
  16. Sound advice. Fantastic photos!!

    June 26, 2015
  17. lensaddiction #

    I will swap your walking stick for MY CAR!!!! My car is the most important tool in my kit because it gets me to all the places I want to go to and it carries all my kit with me too 🙂

    June 26, 2015
    • I didn’t think of the car, think that’s because I tend to get picked up, haha. My car has been taken over by two daughters and I don’t like driving it anymore. When I get my new one, I’m sure it will be the same. Thanks Stacey. 🙂

      June 26, 2015
      • lensaddiction #

        Still you need some kind of vehicle, either yours or someone elses, esp in Aussie cos its so damn big!

        June 26, 2015
      • True, but not something I thought, guess I took it as a given, like money, have to have money with you as well.

        June 26, 2015
      • lensaddiction #

        Well you have to have money to fund the addiction of course, thats another thing on the list 🙂

        June 26, 2015
      • Yes, I never seem to have enough, haha. The list could be endless, maybe I should do a wishlist list.

        June 26, 2015
  18. Like your advice. Don’t forget a watchful and discerning eye as well as a mind that open to new and interesting interpretations.

    June 26, 2015
    • Yes, I suppose I think that is just what you do when you are going out to take photos, though many don’t look beyond the obvious. Thanks for that.

      June 26, 2015
  19. I’m assuming that should be “sunscreen” . . . and you left out machete, knife, and gun.

    June 26, 2015
    • Yeah yeah, fixed it now,lol. Why would you need those?

      June 26, 2015
    • Because it’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

      June 26, 2015
      • In Australia you would get arrested if you had them, especially the gun, and the machete, I think. There’s really not a lot of danger here, besides the odd snake.

        June 26, 2015
      • Are you telling me there are no people there? Yes, kidding.

        But, truthfully, it’s why I don’t live there, and sorry; I made an attempt at humor and don’t want this to devolve into a different discussion.

        June 26, 2015
      • It is surprising, but you know in all my 50 years of living here I have never felt unsafe and never felt the need to arm myself. People don’t think like that here. It is hard to explain, but it is relatively safe. Most places you go hiking you are often alone and if you do come across people they are doing the same as you.

        Countries that don’t allow weapons are often very safe countries. Hard to believe but true. I am so glad that guns are illegal here, and so are many others.

        June 26, 2015
      • Like I said, not the place to discuss this, but . . . please understand Australia is not immune to crime. Where one lives, one’s economic level, the size city one lives in, all greatly affect both one’s perception of crime and their chances of coming into contact with violent crime.

        Suffice it to say the US has 13 times the number of people that Australia has, and vastly different social, economic, and cultural conditions.

        I’ll repeat, as ill-advised as it now seems to me, my comment was only an attempt at humor. And for the record, I don’t worry about going about my business, be it in the city or out hiking.

        That said, also understand that “relatively” safe is not the same as “safe”. The statistical chance of me encountering violent crime in my lifetime is very small because of where I choose to live, how I live, and my socio-economic status, but that was not always the case.

        Still, the chance going forward is not zero. If you are trying to understand why I carry a gun, you will not be able to because you have not gone through the same experiences I have, nor have you had your life threatened (and been told by the police they can’t help until ‘something happens’).

        Experiences are also why I cannot understand people who do not take the responsibility for their personal safety, trusting instead that someone else will be there at the appropriate time.

        Believe me when I say I am not trying to defend my choices nor condemn yours, and I will refrain from such humor in the future.

        P. S. Another consideration is that, although relatively rare, bear and cougar attacks are not unknown in the area where we live and hike. For that matter, last August I had a bear in my back yard

        listen to the conversation (Boulder’s geography is roughly similar to ours):

        June 26, 2015
      • Hey Disperser it is all good fun, but you knocked my country I have to defend, yes, LOL

        June 26, 2015
  20. Amy #

    I saw many, many young hikers (l20s, 30s) using hiking sticks in Grand Canyon. Very practical list. Thank you, Leanne!

    June 26, 2015
    • They are fantastic Amy, I’m thinking if getting another one so I have two. YOu’re welcome.

      June 26, 2015
  21. You. You’re good. (Like Billy Crystal said to DeNiro)

    All so great, and so varied.

    June 26, 2015
    • (I was speaking of the pictures, not the tips)

      June 26, 2015
    • Thank you Joel,

      June 26, 2015
  22. Wonderful images Leanne. I need to get out with my camera more! 😊

    June 26, 2015
    • You do Julie, into your garden you go. Thank you.

      June 26, 2015
  23. Alarm clock. There’s nothing like the early morning light. Love the shot of the pier.

    June 26, 2015
    • I hadn’t thought of that, I tend to wake up very early anyway. But I think lots could relate to that.

      June 26, 2015
  24. Great list, I use all the same items, But I must agree with Stacy……..I’m lost without my car (actually I am more often than not lost in my car, but that’s another story) also a rain poncho, just the cheap plastic ones, I have been caught before without my rain coat, and they are so easy to throw in your bag, carrying a big heavy rain coat can be such a pain

    June 26, 2015
  25. Car GPS.

    I have had trips where I have pre-programmed it with not only the places I was staying at but also the photographic points of interest, including off-road ones. So when I came to leave a place, the GPS would tell me where next to go. Sometimes I’d have difficulty remembering why.

    And wandering around Kyoto on foot, where there are few street signs and they are in Japanese, it was useful to be able to ask the GPS “OK, How do I get back to the accommodation?”.

    Excel spreadsheet.

    For generating a check list of everything I need to take with me, plus their weights filtered by wearing, carryon and baggage, to assess potential compliance with airline regulations.

    June 26, 2015
    • I use the GPS on my phone, which is really good.
      I don’t think my Tom Tom will do that.
      Sounds like it has been invaluable for you Murray and thank you for sharing it with us.

      June 26, 2015
      • I have a Garmin so I don’t know anything about Tom Tom. If you can create routes you may be able to do it but it may take some working out. I use the free Dutch utility Tyre to create the routes, save as Garmin files and use Garmin utility BaseCamp to transfer the routes to the GPS.

        June 27, 2015
      • I don’t know Murray, not something I’ve tried to do, I actually have a good sense of direction, I think. I almost bought a Garmin but in the end went for the Tom Tom.

        June 27, 2015
  26. I just charge out there all willy nilly Leanne! And you got to see how well that worked when I left my charger in Sydney! I learned from you to keep all my camera equipment in a backpack. That works great because I just grab it. I love your list. Makes sense. I am so happy for you getting sponsored by Merrell for your US trip. Awesome.

    June 26, 2015
    • It is a good practice to get into keeping it all together, maybe a check list. Thank you, I was so excited that they said yes, a great company.

      June 26, 2015
  27. Leanne, these photos are beautiful!! Thanks so much for the Like. I’m looking forward to reading some more on your blog.

    June 26, 2015
  28. poppytump #

    My list just gets longer Leanne ! I’m surprised I ever get out of the door and on my way sometimes 🙂 Flask of tea for me… and one of those lightweight gardening kneeling pads fits nicely in the back pack *lap top compartment for all those awkward low down shots 😀
    Must look into those Merrells . Nice to know they’ve come up trumps with some sponsorship !

    June 26, 2015
    • OOh I like the idea of the gardening kneeling pads, you will have to send me a photo so I can see what it looks like, getting down and then getting back up is getting harder and harder. I’m not at all surprised by the tea, we are going to start taking coffee with us.
      Yes, I was so happy and also so surprised, it was great of them to do that. They are very good shoes and were recommended to me by more than one person.
      Thanks Poppytump. 😀

      June 27, 2015
  29. All items are necessary if they help you to enjoy your photo excursions. Glad to hear you are still on for your trip to the States – hope we can meet up in September.

    June 26, 2015
    • I agree Robert, and yes, it is definitely on, and I really do hope we can meet, looking forward to it. Thanks Robert.

      June 27, 2015
      • I will do my best to make it happen 🙂

        June 27, 2015
      • Did you get the dates, I’ll be in New York from the 15th of September until the 25th.

        June 27, 2015
      • Good – I’m open for whatever works for you – I’ll email you my phone number…I’m very close by bus or train (to the city proper) or by car anywhere…have camera, will travel…

        June 27, 2015
      • Sounds fantastic, I will have company with me, but I’m sure that will be fine, can’t wait.

        June 27, 2015
  30. Reblogged this on A mirage passes by… and commented:
    Cool. 🙂

    June 26, 2015
  31. And don’t forget the coffeee! Love the pictures.

    June 26, 2015
  32. warrenjwalker #

    Amazing images!

    – Jake

    June 26, 2015
  33. Nelson #

    The cie Manfrotto does have hiking poles that can be used as a monopod, something very convenient for someone who goes on photo excursion with poles.
    http://www.manfrotto.ca/product/24329.1108711.76909.29903.0/MMOFFROADG/_/OFF_ROAD_WALKING_STICKS__GREEN

    June 26, 2015
    • I’ve seen those, I was thinking if I want two sticks I might get those, but I don’t know, usually where I go I want the tripod, but I can see how they might be good. Thanks for that.

      June 27, 2015
  34. You are sensible and a great photographer, Leanne. 😊 Good tips, although I don’t think I can add a walking stick to my arsenal of things to carry, even though I know they help! I love Australia and think about the months we lived there with fondness.

    June 27, 2015
    • Thank you Jane, I have a bag that allows me to attach my tripod to it, so my hands are free, the stick is carbon fibre so very light, and fantastic for the legs,which is where I really notice it. That’s wonderful to hear Jane, I love living here, most of the time, and do think I’m very lucky.

      June 27, 2015
  35. Hi Leanne! Yours are all good creature comforts. I don’t like to be cold so I always take an extra layer that I probably won’t need. It often ends up as padding for lenses.

    June 27, 2015
    • I don’t like to be cold either getting better at the cold thing these days, though when I’m out hiking I hate being too hot more. Cold gets you moving. Thanks Pam.

      June 27, 2015
  36. I agree about the walking shoes. There is nothing worse than having wet or sore feet from the wrong shoes. All you can think about is how uncomfortable you are instead of what is around you. I have a bearskin hat from Russia which I picked up in Berlin – the Russian soldiers hadn’t been paid so they were selling their uniform. That is super warm when it is a big frost – I won’t comment on the ethics of it – but I have had the hat for over 20 years and it is still good. Another thing I have is a long woolen trench coat that I made – it is like wearing a blanket. So I do look rather dodgy but at least I am warm and cosy.
    I usually go out on my own but am finding that I am enjoying going out with my social snappers group. It is fun with like minded people.

    June 27, 2015
    • Sore feet because the shoes are killing you are the worse. Exactly and you can’t take good photos when you feel like that. I think buying fur second hand is okay, you aren’t encouraging the production of them, and you’ve had it for so long, so I think you are okay. I am going to have to come and see you one day. I have to say I love going out with other people, it is so much more friendly and when you come with me it has to be fun. I like to laugh, and I just got told to tease, but I you can do that back to me as well. Thanks Raewyn.

      June 27, 2015
  37. One item I like to slip in my pack is a small trekking umbrella. Handy for keeping the rain off the camera in light showers (indispensable really for North Wales 😉 )

    June 28, 2015
    • Yes,I got one of those, very small and compact for both me and the camera and fits in my bag really well. Great idea, thanks for sharing that Graham.

      June 28, 2015
  38. I know everyone else has said this, but I really have to echo the Merrell shoes. I have some Merrell hiking boots that I swear by when I am doing any type of hiking excursion. When I bought them, i had no idea i would use them as much as I do! One other thing I would recommend is Biofreeze (my chosen brand) of cold therapy pain reliever. It is a topical spray (or gel) that helps me power thru when i need it.

    July 4, 2015
    • Wonderful, they are such good shoes,I can’t believe it took me so long to find them. I’ve never heard of the other stuff, I wonder if we can get it here, might have to look for it, thanks for the tip.

      July 4, 2015
  39. Great list, though! (Meant to say that first)

    July 4, 2015

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