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What’s Really In Chris Burkard’s Bag?

Adventure photographer and filmmaker Chris Burkard travels throughout the year to the farthest expanses of the earth, often braving intense conditions to capture stories that will inspire others. It’s important for the Sony Artisan to have the proper gear when braving such extreme environments, and in this video he gives us an inside look at what’s in his bag when he’s shooting in cold weather. “Obviously wherever I am in the world, what I put into my backpack really changes. But oftentimes, the essentials stay the same and my kit really stays the same.” Keep watching as he shares more on those essentials and why he always includes them in his bag.

In this video, global adventurer and Sony Artisan Chris Burkard takes us through his cameras, lenses and all his other stuff for shooting in cold weather.

Burkard starts off by showing an absolute necessity – his water bottle that he always has with him. He prefers an insulated one because he says on a cold day it’s nice to have hot water or tea. Inside his bag you'll find the Mountainsmith camera cube, a separate smaller bag that stores his main camera equipment for easy access. Inside this bag he has his basic kit with memory cards, extra batteries, one camera and three lenses.

“I have a Sony Alpha 1 with a Peak Design strap," he explains. "This is a 16-35mm. Every time I go out and shoot the 16-35mm is the first lens I have on my camera. It’s just the way I translate the world, it’s what I always see things through and it’s kind of the lens that I most commonly use so it’s nice to start with it at the beginning of the day. On this is a circular polarizer. Also in here I’ve got a little portrait lens, a 35mm, and I also have the big boy, the 24-70mm, which is kind of the all-around, go-getter lens. It’s kind of the thing that works for almost everything you're doing in most situations.” 

In his larger bag he keeps the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master in its own case. He doesn’t always need this lens to be on him, so he keeps it easily accessible in its pouch. "I love having it in its own separate little pouch," he says. "It also has waistbelt strap so if I am shooting and I'm in the field and I have this backpack on, I can strap that around my waist and I'll have access to it all the time."

In addition to his photography gear, Burkard has to have plenty of cold weather gear to protect him from the elements. He brings two pairs of gloves, one pair that’s thin and lightweight so he can function with them. He wears a base layer on top with a puffy jacket, and water resistant pants with thermals underneath. He also wears thick socks and waterproof shoes to keep his feet warm and dry. On top he has a beanie and a balaclava neck and face warmer.

You’ll notice as he goes through the smaller bags within his large gear bag, he likes to replace the zippers with something bigger. “It’s important to me, always. Everything you have has to have a zipper pull that’s long so that you can use it with gloves. Because right now my hands are freezing. If I’m trying to reach and pull strings and grab my bag to put it away, it’s going to be really hard. I need to be able to feel things and have stuff with a long zipper pull.”

Learn more about Burkard’s cold weather gear and his tips for shooting in extreme conditions in the full video here.

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