Dear photographers, what tripod and light kit should I get?

I’m looking for a lightweight tripod that is compact-able enough to take hiking. I’m also looking for a compact-but-powerful portable light to throw into my pack.

What do you recommend?

I got one of those crazy Kata bug bags that has a zillion different compartments so ideally whatever I get could slide in on the side (tripod) or be small and light enough to where I could pop it in the pack (light.) I don’t like the Bug as much as the Bumblebee (which I have purchased in the past as a gift for someone else) but I couldn’t get myself to spend $400 dollars on a freakin’ backpack. This one’s similar but a little wider and a little heavier. I need to get in there with scissors to make a space for the D3S’s big butt.

O hai crazy Garter snake, so nice to see you today.

Anyway, editing photos from my last hike up Ice House Canyon,  I noticed a) that I am paying so much attention to Aperture and settings I’m forgetting to focus on what I’m actually photographing and b) for canyon photos where light is weird and spotty and there’s water and you want to get the color right, a tripod would come in handy.

Blurry water. I haz it.

The pictures weren’t the best but I did what I could and I still had fun.

Here’s what most of the shots from that day look like:

Try to hold your applause and contain your jealousy.

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