THE VAST MAJORITY OF US have simple and yet increasingly powerful “daily carries.” This morning for example, I threw my Acer netbook + usb mouse and keyboard in my bag and was off to work. I can get 90% of my daily responsibilities done with this gear alone, and can do it anywhere with wifi. At present I’m editing this from Battle Cat, my neighborhood cafe.
By contrast, Matador Ambassadors — a collective of adventure athletes, filmmakers, photographers, and musicians — must take much more gear, and often make difficult gear choices with limited space and carrying capacity in the backcountry. Of course, some days are spent at home, on the computer, “geeking out” as Ben Ditto says, “checking the NOAA website” or “on Google Earth, looking at mountains, and dreaming of future adventures.” Ben notes that on these kinds of days, “the best equipment I own is a cast iron skillet and a french press.”
But it’s out in the field where Ben and these Ambassadors earn their living, and “every ounce of photo gear must be balanced out against the importance of having another piece of life-saving climbing gear, a warm jacket, or another thousand calories, and it all must fit into one carry-able load.”
It’s incredible seeing how much these athletes and photographers can take with them into the backcountry, and yet — through continually evolving technology — how little space their equipment actually takes up.
MontBell shoulder bag · Fotofile lens cases attached to my belt when shooting · Fotofile “Backpack AW” · Nikon D7000 · Nikon 35mm 1.8 · Nikon 10-24mm · Nikon 85mm 1.8 · PL filters for all lenses · Nikon SB-700 flash · Foto-pro tripod · GoPro Hero 2 · Asus Netbook · (4) 32GB Transcend SD cards · 1TB external HD · HTC Wildfire phone · Zoom H1 hand recorder · Stereo mic with extension cord · Leatherman Skeletool CX · Brunton 26W folding solar panel
SCARPA climbing shoes · Black Diamond cams, harness, biners · Sterling ropes · Petzl jumars and gri-gri · Canon 5D Mark II · 14mm f2.8 Lens · 24 f1.4 Lens · 24-105 Lens · 70-200 Lens · Small modular camera and lens bags · Clif Bars and Clif Shots · PB & J · 3 liters of water · Patagonia Das Parka
Chest pack with Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105 zoom lens · Skis · Dynafit Bindings · Climbing skins · SCARPA ski boots · Black Diamond poles, whippetts · Black Diamond ski pack, 32 L · Black Diamond avalanche probe and shovel · Pieps avalanche transceiver · Patagonia base layers, soft shell pants, waterproofs · 2-3 pairs of gloves · 2 liters water/tea and thermos · Ziploc bag full of pasta, slices of cheese · Clif Shots
Dynamic Perception Stage 0 Dolly Kit · (2) Manfrotto 3-section carbon fiber tripod · (3) Manfrotto 496RC2 ball head with quick release plates · Canon 5D Mark III · Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 II · Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II · Lee Foundation kit filter holder system · Lee 4×6 ND graduated soft resin filter set (0.45, 0.6, 0.9) · (7) Canon LP-E6 batteries · (4) Sandsisk Extreme 32GB 60MB/s CF cards · (4) Portable 2700mah battery pack · Canon TC80N3 · Giottos Rocket Air Blaster · Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket · Lowepro Versapack
Arc’teryx Atom SL insulated hoody · Patagonia Capilene 1 Crew · Patagonia Capilene 3 Midweight Crew · Patagonia zip-off pants · Heavyweight wool stretch glove · La Sportiva Boulder X · Smartwool socks · Jetboil · Origami plate · Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter · Gregory Palisade 80 Liter · Black Diamond Storm headlamp
Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero SL Parka · Down Phantom 15 degree sleeping bag · Medusa Mitt · Patagonia R1 Pants · Julbo Explorer Glacier Sunglasses · La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX · Mountain Hardwear Ascent Gaiters · Exped sleeping pad · Handwarmers (to keep the lens from fogging up) · MSR Snowshoes
Mammut 9.2 Revelation rope · Togir light harness · Quick draws/cams · Metolius Super Dry chalk · Clothes, shoes, headbands · Books, pens, pencils · Camera · The Dolt Kit · Water Black diamond chaos harness · Sterling rope · Static line or climbing rope · Petzl GriGri · Black Diamond NForce ascender · Metolius 5 step aider · Petzl Elios climbing helmet · Black Diamond ATC-Guide
Cody Forest Doucette
Shon Bollock | Pro Kayaker, Filmmaker | Santa Cruz, CA
Whitewater kayaking is a unique sport to pack for, as you’re trying to prepare for a multitude of disasters / activities. Since paddlers fit all gear inside their kayaks, it’s important for items to not only be light but compact and serve a key purpose in safety, survival, or (my personal favorite) comfort.
Watershed Ocoee · Watershed padded liner · GoPro Hero2 (I typically carry 3-4) · RAIN-X (If you’re using a GoPro I highly suggest treating the lens with Rain-X to optimize clarity.) · Leatherman Juice multi-tool Basic Med Kit · Essentials = Painkillers, latex gloves, wind / waterproof matches, lighter, bandages / gauze, Steri strips / butterfly bandages (for big cuts), Ibuprofen, power bars, spare plastic bags, athletic tape, sutures, allergy medicines, etc. · Gorilla Tape · Zip ties (Kayakers can use zip ties like stitches for a cracked boat and then use Gorilla Tape to finish the patch job.) · $50 USD · Local currency to be utilized for a ride, a bribe, or emergencies · Batteries and memory cards · These numbers can fluctuate depending on the length of expedition, but at least one or two extras for each camera (not having enough batteries or memory is a weak reason to miss the shot). · Manfrotto mono-pod · Mid Land 2-way radios · Katadyn PURE · Petzl headlamp
Liquidlogic Jefe Grande · Werner Carbon Powerhouse · Werner 4 pc. Powerhouse · Five Ten Canyoneers · Immersion Research Double D · The IR Double D dry suit · Astral Greenvest · Shred Ready Carbon Standard Liquidlogic Speedloader (throw rope) · Snapdragon Sprayskirt · Flip line · Pin kit (Pin kits are generally composed of a sling (10-12ft) of 1in tubular webbing, 2 pulleys, 4 locking carabiners, multiple prusiks, belay device, and for us California residents nuts / hexes for rock wedge anchors.)
Sanuk Mason · Sungalsses · Hippy Tree hat · Extra base layer · Vargo Titanium · Super compact stove and cookware combo · Safety kit (You can never be too safe.)
****This post is brought to you in partnership between Matador and our friends at Intel, whose technology enables so much of the lifestyle in which we thrive. Join us in the conversation on Twitter with #IntelAlwaysOn