Every time it comes to travelling I have the gruelling task of packing what pretty much is my life into two bags, one hand luggage full to the brim with cameras, lenses, water housing, laptop etc and one hull luggage with my wetsuit, fins, shoes and clothes. With most airlines these days being strict on weight and size of your hand luggage it makes it even more difficult. It’s taken me a while but I finally have the art of packing down to a T and now I’m going to share my wisdom with all you kind folk and give you my top five tips for travelling with camera gear be it video or photo.
Tip 1 – Research & plan.
Whether you’re going on a week long trip to somewhere nearby or a three month stint to Indo, researching where you are going and planning what to pack is crucial. Knowing where you’re going well and if you’re going to be spending most of your time shooting from the land or the water can help decide which equipment to take and not to take, thus making your bag lighter…..or heavier in some cases.
Tip 2 – Pack sensibly.
It’s almost a human habit to overpack when going away, I used to always find that at the end of my time away half the clothes I packed would still be neatly folded and not worn. Pick your clothes wisely, don’t over do it, plus you might need to leave space for fins and a wetsuit. If you have a bunch of heavy camera gear the last thing you want to be doing is lugging around a heavy bag of clothes as well. Keep it light, keep it sensible.
Tip 3 – Pick a good bag.
There are heaps of camera bags on the market, in all different styles and shapes with changeable inserts or prefixed compartments. You want a bag which maximises your space but isn’t inconvenient in terms of carrying and lugging around….oh and make sure it ‘nearly’ abides by hand luggage dimensions. I use a Dakine ‘Reload’ backpack. It has heaps of space, with plenty of adjustable inserts, fits perfectly into the hand luggage size tester (even the Ryanair one!) and is perfect for smaller trips where you just want to pack one camera and a couple of lenses, plus a few clothes and not have to worry about hull luggage.
Tip 4 – Condense.
Fill every nook and cranny of your bag that you can. When I travel I put my camera into my water housing as if I was going shooting, this way it creates space in my bag where the camera would of been and also gives it that extra protection. I manage to get all my camera gear, chargers and laptop into my hand luggage this way if my hull baggage doesn’t show up for one reason or another I still have everything I need to get shooting.
Tip 5 – Rest.
Camera gear is heavy and can be a lot to lug around. So whenever your not on the move let the ground take the weight of your bags. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination, the waves are pumping, but your back and shoulders hurting too much to do anything.
Well, there you have it folks, my top five tips for travelling with camera gear. I hope you find it useful and if you have any questions or any requests for articles feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Till next time…
Tim & the Star Surf Camps Crew
You can see Tim’s work at www.timborrow.com.