The GoPro Hero Black series is the most capable of all of the GoPro models, and it’s the one we recommend for backpackers who are serious about documenting their journeys. Currently in version 11 (“GoPro Hero 11 Black”), this camera is waterproof, very durable, has good battery life, can use an external mic, and offers capable sound recording on its own. Backpacking Light founder Ryan Jordan uses this camera for vlogging and documenting his backcountry adventures in all seasons. In addition, the GoPro Hero Black Camera is a staple in the production of Backpacking Light’s video education and editorial content.

With the addition of 4K at 120 fps slow-motion capability, the GoPro Hero 11 Black has finally evolved into the action camera I’ve been wanting for decades – but for a very specific purpose. I want to observe trout underwater in their native habitat. Previous versions of the GoPro haven’t provided the image quality or slow-motion capabilities that I’ve wanted. My simplest rig for underwater filming simply involves tying the camera to a large fishing swivel attached to a piece of Lawson Glowire and tying the Glowire to the end of a trekking pole, which I use to control the location of the camera. I then allow the stream current to rotate the camera as needed. Not a very sophisticated rig, but I’m getting the footage I need to observe trout underwater. This has the potential to become a dangerously addictive hobby. In 2023, I’ll be exploring other types of housings, lens filters, and more to make the images prettier. But here’s a preview of a raw, out-of-camera clip I captured in the Rocky Mountain National Park backcountry in a stream full of brook trout:

YouTube video

– Ryan Jordan