As a backpacker and plein air painter, I've learned the hard way that size and weight of materials really matter when hiking in to paint. In this blog post, I'll share my essential materials and tips for backpackers who want to paint en plein air.
The Importance of Size and Weight
When it comes to backpacking and painting, every ounce counts. That's why it's essential to carefully consider the size and weight of your materials. After some trial and error, I've found that the lightest way to hike in for plein air painting is to bring a limited number of brushes, 1-2 panels, and only the paint squeezed on my palette, rather than carrying tubes. I also leave the tripod at home and find a place to sit and put my paint box in my lap.
Essential Materials for Plein Air Painting
-Small jar with gamsol turp
-rags or paper towels
-guerilla paint box with palette & paint
-bug spray and bug net (more on pest control while traveling here)
-wet panel carrier (unless you can use the pocket box for your panel)
Optional Materials for Backpackers:
If weight is less of an issue, you may want to consider bringing additional materials like:
-pencil and eraser
-wet panel carrier
Investing in a painter's umbrella can also provide more sun protection on hot days.
Storing Gamsol Turp
In the van, I have a small airtight box for "chemicals" where I store my gamsol turp. When I bring it on a hike, I keep the jar in a ziploc bag and place it in a top pocket of the backpack standing up. So far, it seems to work well.
I'm always looking for more ways to make backpacking and plein air painting more efficient. If you have any tips or ideas, feel free to message me!
To read more about hiking to paint, check out this first hike at Mt Agamenticus, which taught me to go back and really decide what I absolutely need and what I can skip.
To see more recent notes from this journey, check out my art notes blog here. You can also follow along more regularly on instagram here.