- Camera body and lenses (wide angle, normal, short tele-zoom)
- Digital memory cards
- Cable release
- Equipment manuals
- Battery chargers and spare batteries
- Polarizing filter; graduated neutral density filters (2 or 3 stop); neutral density filters
- Laptop computer
- Warm sweater or fleece with rain cover (dress in layers)
- Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes
- Rain gear including rain pants
- Insect repellant
- Water bottle
Some thoughts about hiking and photographing in forested and mountainous areas.
Transporting and protecting your gear from foul weather and incidental contact with rocks and trees is essential. There are many ways to do this. Use of a backpack, harness, vest, or belt with pouches can save your equipment and your attitude, making adventures much more enjoyable.
A lot of photographers use the backpack method and huff and puff up steep terrain with that load on their backs and they don't even use 30% of what they carry. Clean it out before hiking. Leave it in the room, in the car, or even at home. Have an idea about what you are going to see before you pack out. You don't generally need a 100-400mm lens and three flashes to shoot a waterfall or much else in the woods. Point being, pack out frugally but fully equipped to the point of actually enjoying yourself. Of course, if you can handle the load, it's yours to carry.
Your tripod can often be the one thing that is the biggest pain to carry. If you think it might help you, install a strap, or, if you're using the backpack, find a way to fasten it to your pack so that it's out of the way. There are many types of harnesses, sacks and straps available.
A walking stick is a good thing to consider. You must be aware that you might have to “scramble” down some fairly steep terrain. A walking stick out ahead of you is a good thing in these circumstances. Me? Personally, I'm scared to death of snakes, so, I've always got something out in front of me when I'm going down steep rocky/uncertain terrain. A walking stick is a good way to determine whether or not you next step is safe from a loose rock and a good way to get some balance or boost when there is nothing to grab.
When rain is forcast, rain gear is a must. Shooting in this type of weather will often yield some of your best work. However, there are challenges. I usually don't care if my feet get wet, depending on the weather, as the rubber boots are a hassle to walk in and heavy to carry. However, I do use an umbrella and a rain suit. Umbrella rigged to my tripod and camera equipped with a rain cover. There are a variety of these available, and they range in price quite a bit. Here's one adequate and economical rain cover. You can also use a plastic bag and rubber bands if you choose. Don't forget a towel. Some say microfiber, but I like cotton best.