2 min read

Part 1: Here's the Gear You Need to Shoot Climbing Photos like a Boss

Curious about a climbing photographer's gear? In this post, I share the bags and equipment I take to the crags. Using a matryoshka doll method, I organize my climbing and photography gear efficiently. Discover the essential camera and climbing gear I rely on for shooting climbing.

Have you ever wondered what kind of gear a climbing photographer brings along to the crags?

In today's post of a two-part series, I'll share what gear I carry on my way to the crags. In the second part, I'll share what I choose to take with me when I'm actually shooting on the ropes.

Carrying Stuff Around

I tend to use a matryoshka doll method when I travel with my gear. What I mean by that is that I take a larger bag, and inside that, I have one or smaller bags that I can use for different uses.

These are the bags I use to shoot climbing and carry my S#&t around.

F-Stop Gear Tilopa BC (Workhorse Bag)

This is the bag that serves as the master. I throw my climbing gear in here, water, food, as well as my smaller bag which containers my camera equipment.

TOPO Designs Minimal Hip Pack

I like to think of this bag as my go anywhere do anything kind of pack.

My camera, lenses, battery pack, and any supporting gear pretty much fits inside this bag. It is also the bag I choose to take with me as I ascend to keep everything organized, light, fast, and awesome.

Note: TOPO Designs has updated this product. You can find the newer improved version here.

{{< figure src="/img/posts/20170211_ajdexter_0001.jpg" class="right" title="Here's the TOPO Designs Hip Pack chilling with climbing gear.">}}

In the Bag

Next, I load out the kit below every time I go out. Sometimes I pare down if I’m not shooting video, or only using a certain focal length. But this is the gear I use whenever I’m shooting climbing.

Camera Gear

  • SD Cards
  • Lens Cloths
  • Lenses
  • Biz Cards
  • Rode VideoMic Go & Deadcat
  • Peak Design Leash Strap
  • Sony A7II
    Note: you can read more about my switch to Sony mirrorless cameras here.


  • Sony 16-35 f/4
  • Sony 70-200 f/4
  • Sony 35mm f/2.8


Climbing Gear

Shot List

  • Create a plan, plan to create yo!
  • Prioritize shots, locations, the who what where.

Parting Thoughts

Shout out to Access Fund (PNW Chapter. For the trail maintenance signs).