So... a year later after my first posts, I am back. Last summer, before my travels, I was looking for a DSLR camera and pondering my choices. Eventually, since I was bicycle touring, I decided to get an olympus camera that was built for the outdoors... waterproof to 12ft, resistant to drops, etc etc. It was a point and shoot and after a year of taking photos, I believe I am ready to hop into the realms of DSLRs. I am selling my old Nikon N75 on eBay right now along with some other music gear to finance the purchase. I am leaving for Africa in December and want to get it for their, as I will be there for a good amount of time (a few months)!!! I settled on the D40 due to its size and decency for a starting DSLR. I do however, want to get a body only which is where my questions come in. 1. I want to get one versatile lens to take. I am living out of a backpack there, so space is important. I am assuming a VR lens would do the trick. Any recommendations for a lens that is versatile in all types of light conditions for a first DSLR? Lets say $300 or less... used is better! You guys would recommend staying away from a kit lens, right? 2. How long does a battery last on a D40 generally? I want to get a couple. I am going to a music festival in the desert in Mali and want to be able to take lots of photos... it is far away from civilization and lasts three days. 3. Any other tidbits you would reccomend besides memory? Filters or whatnot?!? I have a camera bag so that is covered. Anything to help keep the desert sand out of my camera or is it gonna happen no matter what I do? Heck... my guitar still has sand from Lake Michigan stuck in places... and I live in Utah now, haha! 4. What is a good price to pay for a used D40 body? I have been looking on eBay and some of the prices seem pretty high to me... I just read a post about people saying a D50 body used were going for X amount of money (can't remember) and that was cheaper than some of the D40 bodies on eBay. Thanks! I will be sure to post up pics from my trip. I am also headed to Kyrgyzstan for a couple weeks before Africa. I hope to have lots to share!!!