PHLEARN MagazinePacking for Deep Wilderness Landscape Shoots: Josh Cripps’ Preferred Gear

Packing for Deep Wilderness Landscape Shoots: Josh Cripps’ Preferred Gear

It’s no secret that California’s mountains and coastlines offer photographers amazing scenery like no other place on Earth all year round. And, for wilderness landscape photographer Josh Cripps, there couldn’t be a better place to live and shoot than in the magnificent Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Josh has spent years exploring the mountain wilderness, as well as the expansive California coastlines. He’s also traveled to many countries, where he’s photographed remote locations and led tours. As a seasoned landscape photographer and hiker, Josh knows exactly what’s needed to capture the perfect shot – even in the most unexpected conditions.

Since he can’t lug around a lot of equipment and the weather is often unpredictable, he has had to figure out what works for him when he’s far from home and needs to get the shot.

Can you tell us what equipment is essential to your work?


As a wilderness landscape photographer I do a lot of hiking. That means I need cameras and lenses that offer as much dynamic range and detail as possible without being overly large or heavy.


Nikon D850

45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor, 3.2″ 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD

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Nikon Z7

45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor, 493-Point Phase-Detect AF System, 3.2″ Tilting Touchscreen LCD

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My primary camera is the Nikon D850. Overall, it’s the most perfect camera I’ve ever used. It offers incredible dynamic range, insane details, beautiful handling and responsiveness, great low-light performance, and tons of fantastic features.

I’ve also started shooting with the Nikon Z7, which offers similar image performance to the D850 but in a smaller, lighter body. As more native lenses are announced for the Z-mount, it becomes a more and more intriguing proposition for backcountry excursions.


Nikon 14-24mm F/2.8

Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22, Silent Wave Motor AF System, Nano Crystal Coat

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Nikon AF-S 70-200mm

Aperture Range: f/4 to f/32, Three Extra-Low Dispersion Elements, Silent Wave Motor AF System

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My two favorite lenses for landscape are the NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8 and the NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4 lens. Both have outstanding optical quality and allow for photography at my two favorite ends of the spectrum: the grand landscapes and the intimate vignettes.


Mother nature is all the lighting kit I need!


My day-to-day camera bag is the MindShift Rotation 180º Pro. It’s very comfortable, tough and well designed, and holds a metric assload of camera equipment. I can get two bodies, five lenses, accessories, a tripod, filters, a water bottle and snacks, a jacket, and a headlamp in there without issue. And carry it all comfortably for the day. Plus, I love the convenience of the rotation waist pack.

For my backpacking missions I use a Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider pack. It weighs nothing and is crazy comfy, tough, and waterproof.


I love the Peak Design Capture Pro clip for keeping my camera handy at all times while I’m hiking.

To find out more about Josh, his latest projects and his photography tours and classes, visit his website and follow him on Instagram. Also, check out our interview with Josh, where we talk about minimizing environmental impacts while exploring and photographing incredible landscapes.

Jennifer Berube

Jen is the Editor-in-Chief of PHLEARN Magazine, where she helps shape inspiring stories and handy tips for aspiring and seasoned photographers. She has worked as a photography writer for many years, contributing to numerous industry-leading publications. Proudly Canadian, sometimes globetrotter, self-taught photographer, Jen is temporarily settled in Spain.

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