Thanks to the pandemic, many of us have been stuck indoors for the past months (or year!). And for those of us who live and breathe the outdoors, this can be exceptionally challenging when our views are limited to concrete and our house’s four walls.

But while traveling to far off places may not be possible in the near future, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for your next dream hike or camping trip. One thing’s for sure: you’ll definitely want to document the moment when you can finally explore good old Mother Nature once again. So, you’ll need to bring with you these five photography essentials:

The right camera
You may think that you need the most high-end camera to document your trip as good as possible — but the camera you bring actually depends on how extreme your adventure is. If your trip involves a lot of hiking, climbing, and water activity, it’s wise to choose lightweight and portable cameras that won’t weigh you down. The Insta360 ONE R is both a 360 camera and a 4K 60fps wide-angle shooter, so you always have the right tool to capture the action. On the other hand, action cameras like the GoPro Hero9 are small cameras that can be handheld or attached to helmets and surfboards. They are designed to withstand drops, moisture, and other aggressors, so you can shoot action shots without worrying too much about it.

Weather-proof backpack and camera bag
There are many good camera bags out there, such as the Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 that is known for its weather resistance, style, and lifetime warranties. But as mentioned, adventurers should travel fast and light with regards to their gear. So instead of looking for a weatherproof backpack and camera bag separately, consider bags like the Lowepro Photo Sport. This gives you all the comforts of a hiking backpack while also having an easy access side pocket for your camera. If you already have a hiking backpack, you can consider camera inserts (or packing cubes) instead. You simply need to put your gear inside, then put it in the bag. Don’t worry, they’re padded enough to protect your equipment.

A sturdy tripod
A weak tripod is dangerous for your setup as it can cost you a lot of money if the wind knocks it over — together with your camera and lens. Not to mention, you’ll probably have to deal with poor footing on muddy, sandy, or rocky terrains. Carbon fiber tripods, such as Manfrotto, Gitzo, and Feisel, are better than aluminum as they are the lightest and strongest choices on the market. They are also stiffer and more stable, giving you a more secure setup. Plus, having a sturdy tripod means it will last you, so it’s cheaper in the long run.

Spare batteries
One of the first things you should learn about your camera is the kind of battery it uses, so you know which batteries to look for when buying spares. Regardless of how short your outdoor trip is, it doesn’t hurt to bring spare batteries. Normally, fully charged batteries can take 500 photos at most, but being on video mode will consume the battery life faster. Note that camera batteries die faster in a colder environment, so keep your spares warm. Older batteries also tend to drain faster, so consider labelling your batteries to remind yourself which of them you can expect to last longer.

Remote shutter releases
A remote shutter release is essentially a remote that you can connect to your camera to release the shutter without physically touching your camera’s built-in button. It ensures that you don’t have any unwanted motion blur. Remote shutter releases are especially useful for outdoor photography, as you can use these for certain techniques — such as using telephoto or macro lenses for nature photography, and capturing light painting for light painting photography. Not all remote shutter releases can work with your camera, so do your research and consult with camera experts to get the best match.

Photography essentials should be high-performing and portable, so you can capture the best photos without having to struggle with your equipment. Like we said, investing in the best ones might be costly, but it also ensures that you won’t have to buy new gear for many years to come.