Grand County couple invents easy-access camera carrier
December 15, 2008
Many who have an expensive, cumbersome camera are familiar with the question how do I take my camera?Theyre great for close-up and action shots, but not so hot for carrying during activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, bicycling or hiking in beautiful places the sort of places one would most desire a good camera.Backpack carriers are an option, but then how fast can one extract the camera when that perfect shot comes around?Outdoors enthusiast Deb Carr, the author of several Grand County hiking books, has put a lot of thought into the problem, coming up with a way to harness single lens reflex cameras or camcorder equipment while hiking, biking and sight seeing. She calls it The Keyhole Hands-Free Camera Harness. It attaches to most backpacks or chest harnesses. The avid backpacker came up with the idea while hiking the Inca Trail in Peru two years ago. During the excursion, she noticed how tourists on the trail held walking sticks in one hand and expensive cameras in the other. And when she attempted to board a boat while holding her own Nikon SLR during that same trip a balancing act with one hand free for stability and the other on her camera Carr became convinced a solution had to be found, she said.From then on, she searched a way to free users hands of cameras. Research and development took place during the past two years, with a finished product now hitting store shelves. Carrs husband Lou Ladrigan helped refine her concept, Carr said, coming up with a simple strap system that attaches to the straps of ones backpack in front. The camera rests against a persons chest and is secured by the cameras neck strap on the top, on the bottom of the lens and at the camera base to limit movement. Because a strap is connected to the cameras own lens cap, removal of the lens cap for a shot is convenient, and the attached harness can prevent loss of lens caps.Parts for The Keyhole harness were made in Denver, beyond that, its a one person show, Carr said packaging, labeling and with quality control. Carr made 1,000 units of The Keyhole to sell. She tested her own product hiking at least twice per week last summer.When you have an expensive camera, you pay a lot of attention to protecting it, Carr said. Its a piece of mind kind of thing.