I have been using a Canon Digital Rebel XT body the past 4 years. It is relatively small and lightweight enough to bring along for camping and hiking. The Rebel XT has been discontinued by Canon.
The 50D is the latest in model in Canon's prosumer line. With a 15MPixel sensor and Digic 3 signal processor, the camera is capable of capturing incredible images with little digital noise. The improved dust and weather resistant design help reduce contamination in the field.
This is the first EF lens I purchased together with my Rebel XT. It is a Canon 35mm f/2 prime lens. With the 1.6x multiplier on the Rebel image sensor, this lens is effectively 50mm. This is a great lens for close-up shots, indoors and around a campfire.
I use the Canon EF70-200mm zoom lens mostly to get a tighter view of landscape and to cut out foreground clutter. It is has a metal body and can take quite a few knocks (not that I would recommend it). I also have good success using this lens for portrait shots.
Unfortunately, this is not a particularly fast lens. A tripod is needed for razor-sharp pictures for almost all light conditions except in the afternoon light. If you have deep pockets, Canon makes a similar sized lens with an f/2 aperture and Image Stabilization. The lens has garnered rave reviews from professional photographers and amateurs.
I think the Tamron SP Di 17-35mm is one of the best value, wide-angle lens available in the market. The pictures it takes are just amazing, with deep, saturated colors and sharp details throughout the entire frame.
If you like to bring along your SLR on hikes, this is the bag for for you. I have hiked with my camera gear in thunderstorms and snow with no protection other than this bag. It kept my camera and lenses nice and dry.
It has several compartments with movable panels to accommodate different lens sizes. It is also padded to protect the interior from knocks and drops.