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Video of my backpack trip on the Palmetto Trail

I recently spent 3 days on the Palmetto Trail which traverses my state of South Carolina. It is 2/3 complete with 290 miles open for hikers.

You can go to the Palmetto Trail's official site here.

I have a trip report here with photos and stuff.

I also shot some video of my time in camp the second day and third day. I uploaded part of the video last week in the trip report.

Well I finally got the rest of my video uploaded to YouTube and I decided to embed the 2 videos in a new thread separate from my trip report just to make things simpler.

I am a complete novice with video, and the editing leaves a bit to be desired as well as the audio; the second video turned out better. I would love to get any advise or feedback you guys have to offer so I can learn.

I am using a Sony HDR -CX160 that records in HD (AVCHD) or SD (MPEG4). The videos below were both shot in SD 16:9.

I have UV & PL filters on the camera, do I need the PL in the woods?

I would love to shoot in HD but I need a computer with a lot more processing power it seems. Quad core?

Any feedback would be appreciated as I would like to continue shooting video....but with better results.


I'm not sure what your target audience would be but let's say it was someone who wanted to know something about the area and how to go about safe camping etc:

I think the audio was good, except for the changes in volume. For the second half of video 2, I had volume on full on my computer and still had to get closer to the speakers.

As for editing, only you would really know what was essential or what the message was. Some was a bit long, some ok in duration: I learned something about washing off any poison ivy and not touching your face etc, but for me it would have been better to have you switch to voiceover and a shorter clip for that. Whereas, if I had never used a liquid fuel stove before, the entire clip was ok, as it was necessary to see exactly how long it is going to take for a prime of the stove before letting the gas go on to full. (I have never seen that stick-used-to-light trick before - neat.)

One of the ways to keep people with short attention spans interested is to use different camera angles and chop them up and pair it with a continuous audio or voiceover. That takes time in the field however. The other way is 'soundbites' but I question whether or not there would be much learning in that method.

Generally, I would like the camera closer whenever you are doing/demonstrating stuff. Pulling back for 'nature' representations, or when you are walking out of the fixed frame. Have you tried walking towards and away from the tripod, especially on any path sections, to make it look like a journey? (Go forward, drop off camera, go back then walk to camera and away from camera, then go back and retrieve camera.) That often helps set the scene (and takes up time!).

I hope that helps. Personally, I find video really time consuming to make and stressful to edit, simply because to keep people happy, most of it has to end up on the 'cutting room floor', especially these days with shorter attention spans.


I think polarising filters are best for either cutting off reflections (wet leaves after rain etc) or making colours look more saturated under certain conditions?I thought UV filters became unnecessary a while back, as film became less sensitive and sensors were not problematic? But with video, I don't know. A clear protective filter might do, meaning more light and contrast getting through, especially if you are stacking the two filters already. With all the bug sprays, a protective filter might make sense as a default?

It is always time to upgrade processors, it seems. Octo-core!

I like those instant porridge sachets (I can do 3 if I am really hungry, though acid reflux often follows!) and I am onto 'chocolate brownie' flavour these days, which sounds disgusting, I know. Though I can't do it with water, I have to add some powdered milk.

Altogether, I enjoyed the video and learned some stuff.

Thanks, Jon.


Thank you for taking the time to help me out. Your feedback was very helpful!

I hadn't thought too much about a target audience although I realize it should be part of a plan. I was advised by some folks on a tech forum to just get out there and make a few short videos and start learning. So that's what I did; it is a lot more involved than I initially thought to get it all put together.

I will work on the things you suggested. The audio is terrible, I thought that I had all the audio in the second video normalized and set to -3.0 decibels. Apparently I failed to "save" or "apply" the change somehow before rendering. I also think I should have divided the video into 4 parts....with more shots from different angles as you suggest.

 I personally can watch 30 minute outdoor related videos and stay interested, but you are right many people are used to short and fast paced events with short run times.

I am working on an intro where I walk towards the camera, then a shot walking away as the video ends. I will also work on walking into shots.

Thanks again, I realize Trailspace is not a tech forum, but the perspective of outdoor folks is very helpful and is something I was not getting from the techies!

Mike G.

You all are making me kinda envious with these videos. I am somewhat camera shy. Guess thats the biggest thing keeping me from snagging up a Go-Pro(I saved up the coin for one and never bought it lol.)

Good call on the Luna Moth. I have seen maybe 2 or 3 my entire life. 

Is the water from the hand pumps potable? If so you are sure lucky. The rust colored gunk up here isn't. 

I have to admit I am a 2 oatmeal kinda guy too. I also like to add some dried fruit to the mix. 

Nice videos Mike. Definitely enjoyed them. 

Yep the video thing seems to be catching on. Will probably be awhile before ya see me in one tho. Im camera shy and $$ shy. But I do love watching everyone elses videos so thanx for the time and effort. 

I kinda like the amatuer touch myself, it just seems more real and spur of the moment. Sure you can make some improvments but if you where to stage every shot then I think you would lose that feel. I guess thats where you must find the balance.  Keep it up Mike.

I feel rather Piggish now..... I always eat 3-4 oatmeal packs for breakfast


I shot several video clips on other trips trying to get comfortable doing so, I thought they were terrible so I deleted them. Now I feel a lot more comfortable having done it some, and it was fun. I'm glad other people can see what it looks like where I go, I just need to gain a little experience with the whole process (shooting-editing-uploading). The Luna moth was a real bonus for me. The water from the pump was clear & cold and I didn't get sick, that's about all I know, haha.


I watch video from several guys on YouTube, some of it is more polished, some of it less so, but I enjoy getting to see the trails they hike, the shelters they use, how they cook, etc.  In any event they manage to keep the subscribers attention if the view count is any indicator.

I would like to shoot more video and learn how to make it interesting, fun, not too long - not too short, those kinds of things. I don't want it to look like a professional production though (not that I could) because I do like the amatuer-ish feel of the other YouTube videos I watch.

Anyhow...thanks for the feedback guys.

Mike G.

June 16, 2021
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