5 Top Tips for Traveling with Camera Equipment
Where are my camera-happy people at?
I’m sure you guys know my sentiments when I say that it’s not always fun to travel with a heaping bunch of camera gear.
But in that same breath, I wouldn’t dream of jetting off without any of it!
Luckily, after dozens of flights, I know exactly just how to handle my camera gear both in the air, and once I’ve arrived at my destination. Hopefully, some of my insights can help you and your camera gear travel better.
Detach your lenses
Do you like autofocus? How about in-camera aperture control? All this happens from the communication between your lens and camera body. Without it you’ll get an error message that will stop your camera dead in its tracks. How do I know? Well… let’s just say I learned the hard way.
By detaching your lenses and body while you travel, you safeguard all the electronic contacts and locking mechanisms between your lens and body as they get jarred around during transport.
Keep it tight
Speaking of jarring, when I am out on adventures, every mode of transportation seems to take a toll on my bag. Pack compactly so you reduce anything in your bag from gaining momentum and crashing into each other.
I used to wrap cloth around my equipment for the longest time, but as my equipment grew in cost, I figured I would be pretty silly to spend thousands on a camera, then cheap out on a bag that cannot do the job of protecting it.
Currently, I prefer adventure bags such as the Venturesafe X40 with a Camsafe Protective Camera Insert. The inserts allows me to keep my camera equipment nice and snug, while leaving room in the bag to store a change of clothes, food, laptop and accessories. Oh, we can’t forget the bonus of the anti-theft features that Pacsafe provides! Nobody will get their dirty mitts on your camera equipment without your permission.
Protect Your Batteries
It is good practice to take the battery out of your camera and keep it protected. If you are traveling with multiple batteries, store them in your bag where they can’t come in contact with metal or other batteries. Make sure to either use a protective cover, or carry your batteries separately.
If you’re into drones, then you should be carrying Lithium Polymer (LiPo or Li-Poly). Make sure you use a LiPo safe bag to prevent fire damage in case the batteries become volatile during flight. Also, it’s a good practice to research airline policies for LiPo batteries, as well as Wh (watts per hour) limitations for each passenger. Luckily enough, most consumer drones have batteries well under these Wh limits.
Never Check Expensive Equipment
Let me repeat this for good measure. Never check in expensive equipment!
At the time of writing this article, I have taken exactly 127 flights around the world, and have experienced everything, from lost luggage, stolen items, dogs using my bags as their bathroom (don’t ask), booze-soaked luggage, broken suitcases, to the ever so usual your-luggage-just-never-arrived situations.
I can’t stress this point enough, especially when you read my next point.
Camera Bag Too Heavy?
Airlines are lowering their carry on weight allowances. This puts a strain on all us trigger-happy people who just want to capture their holidays as best we can.
The simplest and most honest way of doing this is to just wear your camera around your neck or clip it to your side and maybe stick a few batteries in your back pocket. Usually, my bag hits the limit with my lenses, drone, back-up Canon body and laptop, so I carry my primary camera around my neck as I check in and to this day have not been questioned about it. It’s such an easy way to get away with extra weight!
These are some of my best tips for when you’re travelling with your Camera Equipment – are there any more you’d like to share with us? Tell us where you’re headed to next with your photography gear!
By Garrett Galvan
The founder of @thetravelhuman, Garett Galvan is a self-taught travel photographer who loves backpacking, fitness and capturing beautiful subjects from all around the world. Click here to view more of his amazing shots.