The Lowepro "Mini Trekker"
By Gary W. Stanley
My wife and I had just landed in Salt Lake City, Utah and were changing planes on the final leg of our trip up to Jackson, Wyoming. We were heading up to Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Park. The flight to Salt Lake was uneventful and I didn't expect anything to be different as we boarded the small twin-engine prop plane for the hour and a half flight to Jackson.
If you are an outdoor photographer and travel around this country as we do, you probably can relate to this: "I'll check my clothes and all my personal effects, but not my camera equipment." I take it as a carry-on and never let it out of my sight. Now Pam and I are boarding a plane that is nowhere near the size of the one we'd just left. The photo pack I'm carrying weighs about 40 lbs, has all my equipment in it and doesn't fit above or in front of where I'm sitting. I was able to get Pam's bag on the floor in front where our legs and feet go, but my bag, no way!
Looking out the window of the plane I realized they were storing the bigger bags loose in a compartment under the plane. Now what? Fortunately the gentleman sitting across from me let me put the camera bag on the floor under the seat in front of him, and he graciously sacrificed his legroom for my camera bag.
Now if I had used all the stuff that I brought it that bag it would be one thing. But I'll bet that next time I could get everything I'll really use in a Lowepro Mini Trekker. I had owned one before but had given it away when I purchased my larger Hakuba backpack.
So when I returned home I purchased a Mini Trekker, transferred most of my camera equipment over to that bag and I love it. This is a bag that is comfortable, lightweight, and easy to carry just about anywhere. Do I still use my big pack? Sure, but for those special travel situations and for my day-to-day shooting, I love the smaller Mini Trekker.
With the addition of today's lightweight carbon fiber tripods and compact zoom lenses, traveling light, yet well equipped, is easier than ever. The Mini Trekker allows me to carry the Nikon F100 and D100 bodies, my 24-200,18-35, and 80-400VR lenses with no problem. I still have room for converters, filters, batteries, film and compact flash cards and I can easily carry a carbon fiber tripod in the front tripod holder as well.
The big bags are impressive and may be able to carry everything including the kitchen sink, but to me, the Mini Trekker is ideal for everything else. With the Mini Trekker I can take what I need without feeling like I've had to leave something behind.