Let’s face it, camera equipment is expensive. Between camera bodies and lens collections, it’s easy to have a small fortune invested into your photography kit. This can be a cause of great stress when traveling. There’s could be a concern about theft, accidental loss, inclement and unexpected weather…No one wants to spend their entire vacation worrying about their gear!
Here are few things I do when I’m traveling to help protect my investment.
It might be tempting to bring along all your lenses and filters and fun little gadgets and accessories. But, is it really worth it? Outside the obvious benefit of not having to carry all that stuff around, you’ll also stop yourself from potentially losing every piece of photography gear you have all in one fell swoop.
Instead, bring only what is essential to the trip. Often times, when I’m traveling for pleasure, I will bring my less expensive crop sensor along and leave my pricey full frame at home where it’s safe. Additionally, I will rarely bring more than two lenses at a time. I’ll bring my handy dandy 35mm prime (my favorite lens!) and a zoom lens that will cover a wide range of focal lengths.
Be Prepared For Weather
Inside every experienced photographers camera bag you will find a common piece of gear. Okay, so it’s more of a piece of trash than it is gear, but I guess that also depends on who you ask. Regardless, never leave home without a couple plastic shopping bags in your backpack.
inexpensive free bags are invaluable if you’re ever caught in an unexpected rain shower. Just wrap up your camera and lenses in them and carry on about your way. If you are familiar with your camera, you can even position the bag so the end of the lens is open, but the rest of your camera is still protected. That way you can keep on shooting! The gallon size or larger ziploc style bags are also really useful for such occasion.
Don’t Check Your Equipment When Flying
We’ve all seen those horrifying videos and heard the scary stories of how baggage handlers mistreat our checked baggage. Watching a careless handler literally throw their bag full of camera gear onto the ground, or drop it from the sky walk to the tarmac is enough to reduce a grown man to tears. Or at least rage when their bag it’s the ground with a loud thud.
Checking baggage is risky business–proceed with caution. Whenever possible, bring your camera equipment onto the plane with you in your carry on luggage. If you absolutely must check your camera equipment, make sure it’s insured first. Additionally, make sure the bag you are checking is decked out with lots of padding. I prefer to use a hard shelled case such as a Pelican case, they are wonderful at protecting gear and the foam padding can be customized to fit your kit.
In fact, a good gear bag is essential for travel. Make sure you choose one with lots of padding. There are also great waterproof options, which are extra handy. Lastly, you can secure your gear bags with a lock for an added layer of protection.