This summer I am walking 1400 miles with a small group of people to photograph the historical reenactment of an exodus. This is my first major project as a photographer. My goal is 25,000 photos. This is not a documentary; I want to take beautiful, emotional, artistic photographs. I'm looking at spending ~1,200 (up to 1,500) getting fitted out with an SLR and other equipment. This is my first SLR camera, so sorry if some of my questions are stupid. Here is a list of what I am planning on taking with me and I'm looking for feedback. I don’t know what brands/models/etc I want, so I’d love recommendations on equipment you love. Camera needs: -High resolution and clarity -Durability (This is a hike. I will have to carry this camera on rough trails for 118 days, and if I happen to take a small spill I need my camera to still work) -Speed (when I turn my camera on, I want to be able to snap a picture within one second of flipping the switch) (nice things in order of priority: intuitive controls, soft flash option, long-exposure [I want to be able to hold the shutter open all night], fast burst, customizable shooting modes, great optical zoom, easy/fast ISO access) My friend has a Nikon and I really like the feel and heft of it, but I'm open. Lenses: (ANY advice on lenses is awesome. I know almost nothing about them) -something... normal. I don't know what size that would be... I also want something that will make it easy to adjust my depth of field. Sorry, I know this is vague. I have never had to buy a lens before...) -telephoto -wide angle -non-vignetting lens adapter? -UV filter, maybe stacking polarizing filters? -anything else you recommend? Bag: -very water resistant (We're sleeping in ghetto tents. If it rains, my camera can’t drown.) -toploader with a chest harness option -well cushioned; my camera would have a high probability of surviving an 8 foot fall inside it -durable; zippers and harness connections that outlast the fabric -pockets for an extra lens, batteries, cards and maybe a water bottle -Light and compact as possible (I have to carry this on my person 24/7 for 118 days.) A few I'm looking at:http://www.acmeclimbing.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2090 http://www.ebags.com/product_detail...15&sourceid=COMJ0001&AID=10293324&PID=1726759 http://www.ebags.com/case_logic/sport_slr_camera_backpack/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=121078 Other equipment: I need to go pretty light because I have to carry almost everything I take, but at the same time, I don't want to be under prepared. This is the other equipment I'm planning on... -Secondary camera, Pentax Optio WPi, for rainy days -Memory cards (probably 4 - 4GB cards. Adequate?) -Extra batteries (What last the longest, and will recharge over and over and over? How many should I have?) -My laptop, currently has 47 open GB. Has Gimp open source editing program on it. (laptop will NOT be in the camera bag) -Chargers for laptop and batteries (will go in the laptop bag) -Lens cleaner (how much will I need? There will be a lot of dust) -Assorted plastic bags -A list of photo-opp ideas -Pad of paper (and pens) for collecting email addresses of people I photograph I'm not planning on taking a tripod, except maybe for taking star photos… I’ll be in a very low-pollution area, which would make it really fun to do. I just don’t want to carry it... Misc information that might be useful: I don't know yet what my access to technical connections will look like, but someone is doing a video documentary of the trip. There will be a few sporadic news reporters. The director of the program is incredibly nice and wanted me to let him know if I needed anything (so if you have suggestions for things you would want if you were in my place, throw them out there). There will be 350-400 people on the road at any given time, excluding a few crew members. We’re traveling across the Great Plains (Iowa City to Salt Lake). We leave on April 27th, I'll be in Iowa a day or two early. Here is the website: Mormon Trail Handcart Trek 2009 Any thoughts/suggestions? Thank you for your time!