My son and I like to hike, and I try to carry my DSLR whenever possible. Unfortunately, there are times when its just too heavy for my backpack or not a practical piece of gear. In other cases, like a 2011 hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail, I found out why high-technology electronics don’t always mix with the great outdoors.
We had been out for about a week and I had taken several hundred pictures along the way. Reaching the summit of Springer Mountain, Georgia, I reached for my trusty Nikon only to find it displaying an “ERR” message. This is never a good thing and I shorty realized that my SD card simply wouldn’t communicate with the camera. All of the cleaning, blowing and praying I tried didn’t help and I soon came to the realization that all of my images might be gone for good. In desperation I turned to the next best option in my pack and used my cell phone to take this picture
Smartphones have come a long way as have their built-in cameras. My phone offers a few different shooting options and actually takes pretty good pictures. I snapped the waterfall image during the same trip, while climbing Amicalola Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest. While it probably won’t grace a magazine cover or be made into a calendar, the image is more than good enough to make it into my scrapbook.
The point I’m trying to make is that you can’t always depend on having an expensive camera to help you capture great travel images. You will sometimes have to rely on other technology, such as smartphones or tablet computers. Be ready for this possibility by taking time to learn what options your other mobile devices offer and be ready to use them.