No, not camera gear, but it's just as important to landscape photography as the camera itself. It seems fitting that I'm writing this post after the first winter storm of the year, I finally caved and went on a shopping spree and got the winter clothing I've had my eye on. I've been putting off getting new winter gear for ages, but last year the winter landscapes tried to best me so this year, I'm ready.
My "Sessions" winter jacket is designed for snowboarders and skiiers, I really enjoy these jackets because they have a lot of internal pocket space for cell phones/ipods and spare camera batteries. They usually have zippered vents to cool you down and prevent you from sweating which is very important when you need to stay warm.
It also has a RECCO reflector which I have never heard about until today. If you are caught in an avalanche many organizations have RECCO detectors (including the majority of search and rescue organizations in my favourite landscape photography areas) From what I understand the reflector has a diode that generates a harmonic when it is hit by the radar signal from the search equipment. Obviously, it doesn't make up for using common sense while out in the wilderness, but it's nice to know that if I get buried in an avalanche my body could be located.
The next item I splurged on is a pair of thermal socks. I put them on the moment I got home and went to shovel snow in some thin shoes, what a difference these socks make, I'm actually quite surprised and now I'm excited to put them to the test out in the mountains.
Speaking of feet, I also picked up a set of ice cleats that strap onto your regular boots. This year when I venture on to Abraham Lake I'll be better prepared for the ice, now I'll have to find a set of camera backpack cleats so the wind doesn't blow it away from me again.
The last set of items are a pair of gloves that will work with touch screens, no more taking my gloves off to use the phone, they are also thin enough to operate my camera gear. I also picked up a pair of electric warming mittens that run on batteries. They were relatively cheap so time will tell how effective they are but it's worth a shot. It seems no matter how much I try, I can not keep my fingers warm and I've had to miss out on great light in the past because I had some mildly frostbitten fingers and could not stay outside any longer.
So, bring it on winter, I'm ready for you this year.