Feature photo by Erica Everhart

The great outdoors — it pulls at our photographer hearts and draws us out, cameras in hand, to try and capture our earth and it’s beauty. We stare at the rich greens and browns of the land and the calming blues of the water and sky, willing our cameras to help us capture all that we see, just as we see it. But without the right equipment, it’s nearly impossible to photograph the movement of clouds, the majesty of stars or the first magical light of dawn.

Lucky for you, we know a lot of landscape, travel and outdoor photographers who were more than happy to help us put together a list of the best travel photography gear. Plus, we’ve added our own must-have wardrobe pieces and can’t-leave-without-it necessities. We’re taking the guesswork out of travel photography gear, so all you need to do is focus on planning your next adventure.

Lowepro camera backpack is great for hiking with photography gear

Lowepro ProRunner 350 AW II

Designed to fit the max amount of gear in the most compact bag possible, this sturdy backpack is great for all-day hikes or overnights. Plus, we love that it was designed with airline carry-on size requirements in mind. $250

Gitzo carbon fiber tripod for travel photography

Gitzo carbon fiber tripod

This sturdy tripod will help you capture star trails, slow shutter images and selfies with ease. It’s compact enough for long hikes, too. $945

Fujifilm X-H1 mirrorless camera, great for travel photography and hiking with your gear

FUJIFILM X-H1 Mirrorless camera

When you’ve got a backpack full of gear and a difficult hike ahead, the last thing you need is more weight around your neck. This Fujifilm mirrorless packs the power to capture details without distracting you from the present moment.

DJI Mavic Air drone for landscape photography

DJI Mavic Air drone

Trying out a new perspective (and, hello, new photography gear) is such a great way to stretch your creativity. Plus, how much fun would it be to capture stunning landscapes as a bird sees them? $799

Tiffen neutral density filter

Tiffen neutral density filters

Save yourself some time in post processing by getting deep, rich colors SOOC, even in full fun. More time shooting and less time in front of your computer equals a happy photographer. Prices vary

Canon 6D Mark II is the perfect compact DSLR

Canon 6D Mark II

When you want a full-frame DSLR but can’t manage the size and weight of a huge camera, the Canon 6D is a great option. It’s light, reliable and, oh yeah, compatible with Canon’s amazing line up of lenses. $1,999

Vello ShutterBoss remote

Vello Bluetooth ShutterBoss Advanced Intervalometer

Capture stunning star trails and ah-mazing time-lapse photos with this intervalometer and shutter release. You’ll avoid camera shake while taking early-morning landscape photos on your tripod, too. $80

Nikon 14-24 wide-angle lens for landscape photography

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

A sharp, fast, ultra wide-angle lens? Yep, that’s just about perfect for a trip to one of America’s beautiful national parks. Because sometimes, more landscape is better! $1,900

Lee Filter system for travel photography

Lee Filter System

The flexibility and freedom to achieve rich colors and creative looks, even in mid-day sun? Yes, please! The Lee system allows you to use a variety of filters, even with ultra wide-angle lenses. Price varies

Sony a7RIII mirrorless camera for travel photography

Sony a7R III

OK, this compact, 42 megapixel mirrorless camera is pretty impressive. It’s small enough to climb a mountain with and powerful enough to capture the images at the top. $3,000

Rapid strap sport for hiking and travel photography

Black Rapid Sport Breathe camera strap

Hike all day without straining your neck! This cross body strap allows you to comfortably carry your camera, even if you’re carrying a kid on your other hip. $74

Fujifilm xf 10-24 lens is great for landscape photography and travel

FUJINON XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens

Capture so much more of the beautiful landscape around you with this super wide-angle lens. Pair it with a Fujifilm mirrorless for the perfect compact hiking kit. $1,000

F-stop camera backpack for hiking

Loka UL II backpack

This ultra-lightweight backpack is ideal for the adventurous soul who doesn’t want to add extra pounds to her gear load. We love that it has top and rear openings, allowing for easy access to your gear. $209

Canon 16-35 lens is great for landscapes

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens

The sky, the earth, the combination of colors and textures in front of you… You’ll definitely want a wide-angle lens, like this versatile option, for your next trip. $2,199

Promaster tripod for landscape photography

ProMaster XC525 tripod

We’re all about traveling light, but sometimes you need a tripod to capture the wonder of the world around you — the movement of clouds, stars moving across the sky, the first hint of sunrise. This one will do the job without breaking the bank. $175

Sony Vario Tessar 24-70

Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS lens

Versatility is the name of the game when you’re backpacking or hiking and trying to keep gear to a minimum. Pair this with a Sony mirrorless and you won’t need much else to keep your photographer heart (and neck) happy. $900

Nikon D850 camera

Nikon D850

Take this powerhouse of a camera when you just can’t live without all the features of a full-frame DSLR, large file sizes and the Nikkor lenses you love. $3,300

Sony G-master telephoto lens

Sony GM 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 telephoto lens

This telephoto lens provides amazing reach for when you want to get up close but can’t actually BE close… because, hello bears. $2,498

B+W Polarizer filter

B+W circular polarizer

This circular polarizing filter gives you the same look of a linear polarizer, but is built to allow for proper metering and exposure. That’s a win in our book. $100

Nikon 70-200 telephoto lens

Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

This versatile zoom lens is capable of razor-sharp details and gorgeous bokeh. Plus, it’s fast and accurate, making it a great lens for wildlife and bird photography. The wide aperture also makes this a great lens for low-light scenarios, like twilight. $2,100

Shine Buddy head lamp for night photography

Shining Buddy headlamp

If you’re heading out on a pre-dawn or night photography shoot, you’ll need a good headlamp to light your way. This one has a red light option, too, which will keep your eyes sharp and your fellow photographers happy. $25

Rokinon 14mm wide-angle lens for travel photography

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 ultra wide angle fixed lens

When you need a large aperture prime lens to capture wide-angle photos, this Rokinon is a great option. We love that it’s a more affordable alternative to some of the other ultra-wide lenses on the market. $329

Travel photography gear helped capture this landscape photo by Kristen Ryan
Photo by Kristen Ryan

Be prepared with an all-weather wardrobe

Marmot Phoenix rain jacket, $175

The North Face Dryzzle waterproof pants,$179

Merrell Moab 2 hiking boots, $130

Bugsaway Sol Cool bug-repellant jacket, $110

Smartwool hiking socks, $18

Extra gloves or mittens and a warm hat for winter hikes

Sunhat, breathable tops and lightweight pants for summer

Travel photography gear used by Erica Everhart to create this landscape photo
Photo by Erica Everhart

Don’t forget these essentials:

  • Extra batteries — Batteries wear out faster in cold weather.
  • Hot Hands hand warmers
  • Extra memory cards
  • Lens cleaning wipes
  • Giotto Rocket air blaster
  • Gallon-sized Ziploc bags and rubber bands — Use them as impromptu rain covers and to store your gear for travel.
  • Water
  • Bug repellant
  • Sunscreen

Now that you have your travel photography gear packing list, you’re probably wondering how the heck you’ll get it all on the plane. We’ve got it covered! Check out this tutorial (with video!) from Alicia Bruce on how to get your gear to your destination in one piece. And if you need a little landscape photography inspiration, we’ve got that, too. Here are a few tips from Jennifer Carr on how to up your landscape game, and here is a tutorial from Nadeen Flynn on night photography. Oh, and don’t miss Click Magazine’s huge feature on national parks photography in the July/August 2018 issue.