I’ve had some requests to show how I film my trail videos, so I figured I’d give a little rundown of my setup. I’ve worked hard to find a lightweight,  space efficient, and trail-proof method with which to film, and this is the end result of that process.

Check out my video on the subject here:

The basic setup uses an iPhone (mine was an iPhone 5 which weighs 4.0oz (113.4g)) as the primary video camera, picture camera, photo editor, video editor, and youtube uploader. This keeps everything extremely simple and requires no computers or outside devices. Everything can be done onboard the phone, and surprisingly well I might add. I’ve found that, though the iPhone may not be quite on par with larger cameras, its video and picture quality is more than acceptable, especially considering its size and weight. Lets not forget that it can also function as a: GPS, map, phone, etc. Though a documentary may be out of the question with this setup, it’s HD video works quite well for documenting a journey one step at a time. One minor drawback is the lack of any real zoom, which does take some getting used to.

In addition to the iPhone, I used these hardware accessories to expand my shooting capabilities:

  • Lifeproof Nuud Case (iPhone 5): http://amzn.to/1yrG88E – This kept the phone safe and working in all conditions. Dust is a major threat to electronics on trail and I’m not sure if my phone would have survived if not for this case. It also allowed me to shoot some scenes in the rain, where most cameras would be at risk. (Weight: 01.3oz (36.9g))
  • Stickpic: http://www.thestickpic.com – A stickpic allows you to attach your camera to an extended trekking pole. This gave me the capability to shoot video with myself in the shot. Essential for showing scale, talking to the camera, capturing a crazy ridge, getting shots of my feet, etc. I highly recommend picking one of these up if you shoot video in the backcountry. It will vastly expand your shooting capabilities, especially if you’re alone most of the time. (Weight: 0.4oz (11.3g))
  • Tripod/Phone Mount: http://amzn.to/1tis2lq – In order to mount a smartphone to the stickpic, you’ll need an adapter to grip the phone. This one is one of the lightest and happens to come with a decent and lightweight tripod. (Weight without tripod: 0.7oz (19.9g) add an additional 1.6oz(45.4g) for the tripod)
  • Anker 6000mah Battery: http://amzn.to/1BP3pHk – This battery pack assured that my phone stayed charged at all times. I never ran out of battery on trail thanks to this device. (Weight: 4.7oz (133.2g))

Total weight: 11.1oz (314.7g).

Now for the apps I used:

Filmic App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/filmic-pro/id436577167?mt=8 – For advanced video shooting, this app gives you a wide array of settings and adjustments to make your videos look as good as possible.

Camera + App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camera+/id329670577?mt=8 – This app gives you some advanced features (found on most cameras) that the stock iPhone camera lacks. It also features a great in-app photo editor to touch up your photos before uploading them.

iMovie App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imovie/id377298193?mt=8 – An extremely simple video editor that works flawlessly. I used this to compile my videos, add in transitions, and create photo slideshows within the videos.


Hope this helps, now get out there and get to filming!


Joe B.

Joe is a triple crown thru hiker that lives for anything outdoor adventure related. He loves delving into a complex DIY project, testing out the latest and greatest backpacking gear, rock climbing, hiking, and much more.


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