Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Back when I was younger and more foolish I would carry a Canon 5D2 + 16-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8 and at times a 300/2.8 in a ThinkTank Airport Antidote but soon realized I had no room for any other essential gear (ie. food, water, extra clothing) and all the camera gear was weighing me down. Because of this, I gave up with DSLRs for hiking and have been using a rangefinder for the last 18 months. It's about the same size as a small consumer DSLR but the lenses are generally smaller and lighter.
When hiking and scrambling, I use the inside padded liner from a ThinkTank Changeup to hold the camera and lenses while they're inside my hiking daypack (Osprey Talon and Hornet packs are amazingly light for their durability and support). The Osprey packs usually includes small pockets in the waist belt that I can stow a lens on each side when I want them readily accessible. When I'm actually hiking/scrambling, the spare lenses are kept in the waist belt and the camera is slung around my neck and shoulder. I find that by having the strap around one shoulder, it keeps the camera from bouncing around when I'm walking quickly or running down scree slopes. The only time I ever put away my camera is if I'm glissading down snow slopes, the rain really comes down hard, or if I'm down climbing steep ledges. One really convenient thing you can do if you want to stow your camera quickly is to put it inside a touque or neck warmer and stuff that into the top pocket of your hiking pack (works well for top loaders).
With this setup, I've done several hundred kilometers and tens of thousands of meters in elevation gain without ever damaging my gear.