An estimated 7.4 million people will be traveling towards the path of totality this weekend.
Scientists, umbraphiles, and eager first-time viewers are all gearing up to witness the first Total Solar Eclipse to pass over the contiguous United States in the last 38 years (the last one happened February 26, 1979). The phenomenon of totality (when the moon entirely covers the sun) is praised as "unlike anything else", "gobsmacking", and a "...a sort of high without ingesting anything".
So, if like Eric Schuette, you're intent on satisfying that natural high and capturing this Solar Super Bowl, we'd recommend showing up prepared this weekend. Here's what Eric is packing:
Even if you're just heading towards the path of totality as a curious attendee, you need to be prepared to settle into your campsite for the weekend. Travel times this weekend will be doubled - especially around destination locations - so getting back in the car to shop for the gear you left at home is going to be a pain in the ass. Here's what I packed:
- Insect Repellant x2: I HATE mosquitos
- Lightweight Backpacking Tent
- 20-Degree Sleeping Bag
- Jetboil Stove
- Bear Canister: I like bears but I do not want them to like me
- Reliable Backpack
- 3 Nalgene Bottles: with accessories
- Sleeping Pad
- Sea to Summit Pillow
- Mountain Standard Camp Chair: I'll have some time for relaxing this weekend
- Food for 4 days: Some personal favorites...
- Clothes for 4 days of mountain living: Make sure to pack some rain layers. Weather out here can be unpredictable.
- Beer for 6 days: Better safe than sorry.
This is my first total solar eclipse and only second solar eclipse ever. The other was a partial when I was in 4th grade and we watched it through a box on the playground. This time will be a little different as I am trying to photograph it in several ways - both with a super telephoto lens to hopefully get some close-up images of the sun through the eclipse, and a wide angle lens to hopefully catch the eclipse over some mountains.
Since I have never done anything like this I am a bit nervous how it will all go. However, the excitement over getting to experience it at all and the photography potential is getting pretty intense!
- Sony A7rii: a wonderful camera that I will be using to try for some wide angle compositions during the eclipse
- Canon 80d: a great crop-sensor camera I will be using to try to get some close up shots of the sun throughout the eclipse and especially around the totality
- Sigma 150-600 mm lens: combined with the 80d, this lens should provide some nice close up views of the sun
- Canon 24-105 mm lens: this lens will give me a few options for compositions
- Sony 16-35 mm lens: for extra wide-angle shots if needed
- Metabones adapter: for Canon lens on a Sony body
- Lee Filter System x2: to hold the solar filters
- Lee Solar Eclipse Filter (~20 stop nd filter) x2: to photograph the sun during the partial phases of the eclipse
- Tripod x2: Induro and Oben
- Induro Ball Head
- Manfrotto Heavy Telephoto Lens Support: for the big lens, especially during the totality
- 6 Sony Batteries
- 4 Canon Batteries
- 6 SD memory cards (32g or higher): I will be out in the field for a few days and need plenty of space for eclipse images
- 5-pack solar eclipse glasses: to look at the eclipse for all but the totality
Between you and me....
Even if you don't have plans to travel to the path of totality this weekend, you can probably still catch some of the eclipse right in your backyard. Here's a simulation of what the eclipse will look like in:
No matter where you are, try to make a point to witness this extremely rare phenomenon. You may discover that you, too, are an umbraphile.
Power on Compadres! We'll see ya out there.
Words & wisdom from Field Agent, Eric Schuette, an outdoor photographer based in Denver, CO.