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Trek Pack v1 Shooting

How to capture tours, useful checklists...

The Trek Pack v2 is now available (June 2020). Click here for more information.


Before You Leave the House

This part is written from bitter experience -- turning up, excited to start filming, and realising I’ve forgotten something.

Now I perform the following checks before leaving home:

  • Are the batteries fully charged and is one in the camera? Have you packed a spare?
  • Do the MicroSD cards have enough free space for everything you plan to shoot? Are they both in the camera?
  • Is the monopod in/on the pack (including GoPro mounts and screws)?
  • Have you enabled GPS mode? Is the time correct for your location?
  • Is time-lapse mode on the correct interval for the type of transport you will use to shoot?
  • What is the weather like? Have you checked the best source of weather information available for the location?

You should also consider safety. Have you got the right gear for the environment? Are you prepared for changes in the weather? Are you going out with a friend? Does someone at home know your plans? Have you packed water and food?

Choosing timelapse interval speed

At present we use still imagery to create panoramic tours (versus video).

The GoPro Fusion’s time-lapse photo mode allows can be used to create tours capturing photos at either 0.5sec, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 second intervals.

This means you can start the time-lapse and let the camera capture photos at the designated intervals automatically.

Ideally to create a tour that’s easy to navigate virtually, you want to capture photos no more than 5 metre apart.

Below are recommendations, based on our experience, for the best timelapse setting for the mode of transport you’ll be using.

Timelapse setting (secs) Sport
0.5 Downhill sports (skiing, MTB, etc)
1 Bi-cyling (flat), kayaking (downstream)
2 Hiking (downhill)
5 Hiking (uphill), walking, paddleboarding

You can modify the timelapse setting under the Settings > Timelapse.

High-speed timelapses (0.5 seconds): A word of warning

Travelling at over 30 km/h (8.333 metres /s) is about the recommended top end speed for the 0.5 second timelapse mode. You can still use it for tour photography (and the shutter speed will support it) but your photos will be more than 5 metres apart (above the recommended Street View distance).

Capturing a Tour

Put on the pack, set the mode to time-lapse (ensuring the settings are correct), make sure that the GPS is locked on (the GPS pin icon is a solid colour), and start press the red button.

You don’t need any more instructions -- you’re now an expert on the Trek Pack. Though here are some recommendations based on personal experience:

  • When shooting, try not to move your torso around too much, but remember to enjoy the environment around you too.
  • The only other thing I would recommend is, when shooting in timelapse capture a series of photos in batches. Stop/start the time-lapse every 10 or 15 minutes. This means photos can processed in batches, rather than one single series, which can be useful for reasons I’ll describe in part 4 (hint: software crashes).
  • Be prepared for questions. Many people will be intrigued by your Trek Pack. We encourage Trekkers to share what they’re doing with others, and why. Many people will, rightly, be concerned about their privacy. Be prepared to tell them how your photos will be used.
  • Make sure you comply with local laws around public photography too. Generally don’t shoot on private property or around children, but make sure you know what is and isn’t allowed beforehand.