Just Returned From → Baffin Island, Nunavut. Headed To → Zoagli, Italy.

How to Keep Your Camera Safe While Travelling

Photographer

My Top Tips & Tactics for Protecting Your Camera & Photography Equipment.

In This Photography Article You Will Discover:

  • 7 Tips to Keep Your Camera Safe
  • Essential Equipment to Pack on Your Trip
  • How To Ensure Your DSLR Makes It Home With You

For outdoor, adventure and travel photographers like you and I, keeping valuable digital gear safe and sound is always top priority. I take my equipment fishing, skiing, motorcycling — you name it. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way that have saved my gear — and my bank account — along the say:

1. Keep those little silica packs you find in new luggage or clothing and stash them in your camera bag. You know the ones; they read ‘Do Not Eat.’ I keep six to eight of them in my camera bag as they reduce humidity inside the bag, keeping gear safer while in humid climates.

2. Get a three-fold dry bag. Made from thick PVC, these are the only things I’ve ever had that are truly 100 per cent waterproof. When in harsh climates, putting your camera bag inside a dry bag will put your mind at ease.

3. Lens and camera cleaning equipment is a must. If you’re taking photographs in bad weather, your lens will need cleaning every time you use your camera. At the very least, a soft cloth to wipe the lens should always be in your bag. (Never clean a dry lens, at the very least, breathe some moisture on the glass.) I use a LensPen system.

4. Plastic covers — check out photography supply stores for these handy camera covers (Optech Rainsleeve is a good one). Any variation of a plastic bag that tightens over your DSLR camera’s body and seal out moisture, yet still allow access to the buttons will fit the bill. Perfect for shooting in the rain. (In a pinch, you can even use a shower cap from your hotel to protect your camera body.)

5. Backpack or sling-style camera bag: a must for the adventurer! Backpack bags, like my Lowepro Flipside 200, are more secure, but sling-style bags offer quicker access to your gear. Scotchguard (spray-on water resistant coating) them for good measure.

6. Accept that there are some environs that you will never take your DSLR camera. When travelling, I take the majority of my shots with my DSLR, but I also have an Olympus Stylus Tough point-and-shoot camera that is waterproof, shock resistant and dust proof — as well as a GoPro Hero3 Black, which is also tough as nails thanks to its sturdy housing. I take these swimming, leave them in a beach bag, use them for underwater shots while snorkelling, you name it – all the while leaving my expensive DSLR equipment safely locked away. I can vouch for both’s ability to withstand drops on to solid cement, extended periods of submersion and being left in a damp, sandy beach bag overnight.

7. Be wary setting up a tripod (makeshift or otherwise) for a landscape or self-portrait. Not only can someone easily scoop it up and make off before you’ll even have time to blink, but some terror-wary cities (New York, NY) have actually banned tripods in certain locations, meaning you might just have your gear confiscated — legally.

What’s your favourite tip?

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About the author: David Webb is a Vancouver, BC-based travel writer, photographer and magazine editor.

2 comments… add one
  • jon Jul 20, 2010

    Most people I know in Ecuador get a small camera and use it when they go out and about.. then bring in the big guns when they are travelling around the country.

    http://savvyroundtheworld.wordpress.com

  • elvo Jul 19, 2010

    Great advice I’m always stressed about taking my DSLR traveling

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