Packing Camera Bags for Travel
Simply getting camera bags and lugging them around is not enough to ensure that your photography equipment is kept safe. Especially if you intend to go on a long and bumpy journey, it takes a lot of preparation to keep your equipment safe and secure. Here are some tips for making sure that your camera, lenses and other equipment are still in one piece when you get to your destination.
Step 1: Choose the Right Camera Bag
There's a whole slew of camera bags on the market right now of different designs and different styles. Depending on how you are traveling, your camera bag should be comfortable enough to carry with you at all times. For airline travel, avoid checking in your camera equipment. Even if they slap on a sticker that says 'Fragile', you have no guarantee that your camera and lenses will arrive in one piece. Do try to hand-carry your camera bag instead.
Depending on how much more luggage you have, or how much you'd want to access your camera, choose the bag that is perfect for your travel. If you need both hands free for lugging around more baggage, maybe a backpack camera bag is perfect for you. If you want easier access to your photography equipment, maybe you should simply go for a satchel type or shoulder sling camera bag.
Step 2: Decide What to Bring
Now that you have the perfect camera bag for your travel, make a checklist of the photography equipment you want to take with you. If you're moving around a lot, maybe it's not wise to carry all your lens and filters. See if you can do away with the tripod for better mobility. Take one or two important lenses. And, make sure you don't forget your cleaning equipment. You might also want to drop in some silica gel for absorbing unwanted moisture during your travel.
Step 3: Separate Your Lens
Most photographers will argue that they want to keep their lens and their camera attached for impromptu photo opportunities. If you share this opinion, you might as well just hang your camera around your neck. If you're keeping your camera in your bag, best to detach the lens from the body. Keeping them attached will increase the risk of breaking them if your bag happens to be squished or dropped.
Step 4: Cap It Well
Your camera and lenses should have protective caps for when you're not using them or attaching them. Make sure that the caps for your camera and your lenses are screwed on properly. This will prevent breakages or cracks, and keep dust away.
Step 5: Pad Carefully
Camera bags usually have different compartments to accommodate all
photography equipment and accessories. Make sure that these
compartments are all individually padded. This will keep your camera
body and lenses safe and protected. Do not overpack your camera bag;
this will not only destroy your bag, but increase the risk of breakage
among your equipment. For an added good measure, you may want to wrap
each item in bubble wrap to secure your camera and lenses in place.