The ultimate river trip photo kit.

Are you going on a white water adventure river trip and want to take a camera? What camera should you take and how can you protect it from the water while rafting?

I was a river guide for a few years. Running rivers became an addiction. I still try to work a few trips a summer on the Middle Fork of the Salmon river in Idaho. In my opinion it is the best 6 day trip in the U.S.A.

I prefer pelican cases to protect and transport my cameras on the river. They are solid, affordable and while I don’t believe there is such a thing as waterproof they are very water resistent. They are not bulletproof and require maintenance and common sense. Pelican recommends that you replace the “o” ring every year. The pressure it exerts against the lid is what creates the seal and keeps the contents dry. Like an old sleeping bag it becomes compressed over time and needs to be replaced. Of course sand, hair or a camera strap hanging out of the case will allow water to enter. Some people like the Watershed bags with the padded liners for their camera gear. I use Watershed bags for my clothing and non crushable items on the river. They really are the only DRY bag, as opposed to the semi wet bags with the traditional roll down top. I used to throw a tripod, wrapped in soft goods, in my dry bag. It usually settles towards the outside of the bag risking damage to the tripod and abrasion of the bag from the hard tripod rubbing it. That problem was solved when I got a Gitzo Traveller (5 section) tripod. It is sturdy and supper lightweight, not to mention almost pocket sized.

The kit ready to grab and scout a rapid or go on a hike.

The Gitzo will fit in a Pelican 1450 case along all the Fuji X series gear and a bad ass SureFire headlamp.

Lately I have been enjoying the Fuji X series cameras. They are small, light and offer superb image quality. I started with an X100 and lately have been using the X-Pro 1 and it’s three prime Fujinon lenses (18,35 and 60mm). Im not sure what will get left behind to make room for the Samyang X Mount compatible 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens. I’m excited to see some third party manufactures making gear for the X mount and can’t wait to try out this lens. I am wondering what else is in store for the X series. X-Pro 2?

Here are some images from my time on the Middle Fork of the Salmon this season working with my friends at Idaho River Adventures.

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