2015 – Packing for Yellowstone, Iceland and an Arctic Winter

It really is hard to believe that Christmas and New Year have come and gone and that in a few days time we will already be in February. In less than two weeks time I will be flying out of Australia on my first two workshops of the year – Yellowstone Winter Wonderland Experience and Iceland in Winter. I will also be spending time on a new scouting trip to the Arctic in Winter as well as my Arctic Fox project. It is going to be an exciting couple of months.

It has been nearly ten years since I was last in the United States and I am very much looking forward to returning and photographing in a Yellowstone Winter with a small group of great friends and passionate photographers. The Yellowstone workshop is about both wildlife and landscape opportunities and I am really excited about what we may encounter during our time in the park and surrounding areas. We are also visiting the Grand Tetons and National Elk Refuge at the end of our workshop.

After I finish in Yellowstone I am flying directly to Iceland to co-lead my annual 2015 Winter Aurora workshop with Daniel Bergmann. As I have written before Winter is wonderful in Iceland with snow covered landscapes, partially frozen waterfalls and with a little luck we will see and photograph the Aurora Borealis. We are focusing our efforts during this workshop on the landscapes of Southern Iceland and will be visiting many fantastic locations for photography in these areas including ice caves. The 2016 Winter workshop will focus on the Northern landscapes of Iceland. I opened the 2016 workshop for bookings a couple of days ago and there are now only a few places left before we will be sold out.Ice CaveAt the conclusion of the Winter Iceland workshop I am going to travel to Svalbard for a week long scouting expedition to photograph Polar Bears and Reindeer in winter light. This is a very exciting opportunity and I will have more to say about this expedition in a few weeks time.

After completing the Svalbard trip I will fly back to Iceland and spend a week and a half in the extreme northeast of the country photographing Arctic Foxes for my Arctic Fox Project. I will then fly back to Australia at the end of March.Arctic FoxAs is customary I like to do a packing list of what I am planning to take with me on these workshops and for my time away – it helps me make sure I have not forgotten anything. Unlike my 2014 Iceland Winter Workshop I am not heading to Namibia in Africa directly afterward and so can pack only cold weather clothing, leaving the shorts and sandals at home. In fact, given I am spending time in Yellowstone and the Arctic in Winter I will be packing all of my best cold weather clothing. I am expecting temperatures of -20º celsius and below in Yellowstone and Svalbard – Iceland should be a warm bath by comparison. My Sorell Caribou winter boots are currently in storage in Iceland so I intend to purchase a new pair of winter boots in Bozeman before we start our Yellowstone workshop.

In terms of camera gear I am packing the usual gear for this trip including two long lenses for wildlife. As much as I would also like to take my TSE lenses the reality is I simply do not have enough space and already have considerable weight to manage. On top of the below I am also packing the new Lens Coat 600mm F4 Camera backpack which I can use to store the 600mm when not in use. This clever new bag packs flat and takes up almost no room in my luggage.

– 2 x Canon 1DX bodies
– 1 x Canon 16-35mm F4L IS
– 1 x Canon 24-70mm F2.8L IS MK II
– 1 x Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS MK II
– 1 x Canon 200-400mm F4L IS Lens with inbuilt 1.4X Teleconverter
– 1 x Canon 600mm F4L IS MKII
– 1 x Canon 1.4X MK III Teleconverter
– 1 x LEE Foundation Kit
– 1 x LEE Foundation Kit and Polariser
– 1 x LEE 3 Filter Lens Wrap
– 1 x LEE 3-Stop Soft Graduated ND Filter
– 1 x LEE 3-Stop Hard Graduated Filter
– 1 x LEE 6-Stop Little Stopper Neutral Density Filter
– LEE Adapter Rings for 77mm and 82mm
– 1 x Canon Drop-in Circular Polariser
– 1 x Leica Ultra-vid 10×42 HD Binoculars
Gura Gear Chobe (Carry on Luggage)
– 1 x Apple MacBook Pro 15″ Retina
– 1 x Apple laptop charger
– 1 x Thunderbolt 1 TB external portable hard drive
– 1 x  USB CF card reader
– 1 x Sunglasses and sunglasses case
– 1 x Astell & Kern Hi-Rez Portable Audio Player
– 1 x Astell & Kern Charging Cable
– 1 x Inner Ear Stage Two Driver Headphones
Etcetera Case #1 (Inside Chobe)
– 1 x Canon 1-Series camera charger
– 2 x Power Adapters
– 2 x Canon1DX spare Batteries
North Face Rolling Thunder Duffle (Checked Luggage)
– 1 x Lens Coat 600mm Backpack
– 1 x Arćteryx Atom LT Hoody
– 1 x Arćteryx Atom LT Vest
– 1 x Arćteryx Cerres 850 Down Filled Jacket
– 1 x Arćteryx Kappa Pants
– 1 x Arćteryx Alpha SV Goretex Pro Bibs
– 1 x Arćteryx Alpha SV Goretex Jacket (Because at some point it will rain in Iceland)
– 1 x Arćteryx Gamma Pants
– 1 x Norona Svalbard Pants
– 1 x Devold Expedition Thermal Long Johns
– 2 x Devold Expedition Thermal Tops
– 1 x Scarpa Hiking Boots
– 1 x Shirt
– 2 x T-Shirts
– 1 x Jobu Deluxe Gimbal Head with Dovetail Base
– 1 x Petzl Headlamp
– 1 x Heat Company Heat 3 Cold Weather Gloves
– 1 x Really Right Stuff TVC24L Carbon Fibre Tripod with RRS Levelling Base
– 1 x Really Right Stuff Set Tripod Spikes and fitting Alan-key
– Personal Items
Etcetera Case #2 (Inside North Face Duffle)
– 1 x Arctic Butterfly Sensor Cleaner
– 1 x Filter Wrench
– 1 x Zeiss Cleaning Fluid and Lens Cleaning Tissue
– 1 x Micro Fibre Lens Cloth
– 1 x Rocket Blower with Hepa-Filter
If you are considering purchasing any of the above camera equipment for your own photography please consider doing so by clicking through this B&H Photo Link. This affiliate link helps me pay for some of the the costs of running this website.

12 thoughts on “2015 – Packing for Yellowstone, Iceland and an Arctic Winter

  1. Hey Josh,

    Any chance you have a photo of all your gear packed in each bag, the Bataflae must be larger than it looks I am amazed you can fit all listed in that one bag.

    How did you go getting it all on as carry on as well.



    1. Hi Michael, Actually it fits with quite a bit of space to spare… I don’t have a photo on hand as I am currently travelling in Yellowstone and just got back from a really exhaustive day.. Ill see if I can shoot one in the next day or so. No problems with carry on at all – flew with United. Cheers, J.


      1. No rush at all mate, the bag is extremely deceiving thats for sure, cant believe you got it all on as carry-on at a guess the backpack would have weighed 15kg atleast?

        Really impressive.



  2. Hello Josh, do you know if the chobe can fit under the seat while being expanded with the insert? Thank you.


      1. Oh, that’s perfect, I have a trip to Iceland this october and your packing lists posts have helped me a lot for choosing what kind of bag to use for carry my gear. Also what’s the size of the rolling thunder duffle you’re using? I’ve been seeing the 36″ but looks a little overkill…


      2. I see, well I’m gonna keep searching and see which size fits my tripod the best(TVC-33)… thanks!


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