When packing for a trip, overnight or month long, one of the largest considerations I make is what camera gear do I need to bring. Having expensive camera equipment when you’re on a 16-hour bus ride in Peru or leaving it for a coffee in a car that doesn’t lock in Armenia is not only a source of anxiety, but it is also a strategic consideration.
With the ever-changing world of incredible camera phones and smaller, more compact full framed cameras, it is important to think logically about your baggage.
1-Consider getting insurance. World Nomads has a variety of package deals that cover theft because when lugging around anywhere from $5-8K worth of camera equipment, it is vital to have some kind of insurance. I don’t often use this for domestic travel, but anytime Im overseas it is a must.
2-When I first left to go teach English in South Korea I decided to bring my workhorse 24-105mm f.4 with me, and it repeatedly have been one of the most versatile lenses I carry. While slightly on the bulky side, it allows for great macro shots of a bustling market and also more expansive landscape captures. In portraiture, I use my Canon 35mm f1.4 and for more dramatic shots my Canon 16-35mm f2.4. If you’re camping, bring a tripod. If you’re going somewhere muggy and humid, bring lens cleaner and a rain cover. If you’re going on safari, make sure you have ample SD cards and extra batteries to hold all your images safely.
Some of the greatest advice regarding “What gear do I need” is date the body, marry the lens. If you’re questioning whether to spend the money on the shiny new body, or invest in a great lens, my advice would be to go all in on the latter.
I followed the kick starters Peak Design for a while before plunging into their camera bags and gear. It has also been an excellent tool that I use in both my professional and personal photography projects.
3- The other active choice I make when traveling, is that sometimes you need to put the lens down and just observe. While driving the South Rim of the Grand Canyon last Spring, I can’t tell you how many people hopped out of their cars, snapped a quick photo, and climbed back in and drove off. You’d be surprised at all that you see when you’re not looking at the world through a lens.