7 Steps to Pack your Camera Bag and Equipment Securely
Knowing how to pack camera bag securely will protect your expensive equipment during travel. The last thing you want is to unpack your camera to find something has been damaged. Here are a few simple things you can do to minimize the risk.
1. Determine the Type of Travel
If you are just boarding a flight with your camera, you won't need to take as much consideration into packing. If, however, you are going on an outdoor photo excursion, different measures will need to be taken. Sit down and figure out where your camera equipment will be to make the proper packing choices.
2. Choose a Waterproof Bag
Even if you aren't planning on hiking near waterfalls, a waterproof is a must for your camera equipment. Digital equipment can be damaged by the slightest amount of moisture. A good camera bag will also have many compartments of different sizes for you to store all of your equipment, without having to keep all of it stuffed in one place.
3. Ensure Impact Is Minimal
Bubble wrap is inexpensive, and will absorb shock and impact from shifting luggage. Be sure to wrap your lenses, and you may want to use masking tape to keep the lens cap in place. T-shirts can be used as a filler as well. This will lessen the amount of shifting that can occur during travel. If it's possible to keep the camera bag with you, this is the best option. Checking your camera bag while you are flying can increase the potential for damage.
4. Weight Considerations
No matter what kind of travel you are doing, it's important to remember that the weight of your equipment matters. The heaviest items should be packed towards the bottom of the camera bag. This will ensure the lighter, weaker items won't get crushed beneath the weight.
5. Remove Lenses
While many people want to be able to grab their camera and start taking photos at a moments notice, leaving the lens attached to the camera during travel is dangerous. This will create extra weight, and the slightest shift can cause the mount to break, or worse, the lens itself.
6. Protect Smaller Items
Using small food storage containers, such as Tupperware, is a good idea for memory sticks, batteries and other small items. This will keep moisture away from the items, while minimizing the risk of the items becoming lost or damaged in the camera bag.
7. Packing Film
If you prefer using old fashioned film, you will need to make sure this is protected during travel as well. X-ray machines found at airports can damage the film, erasing any photos you may have taken. Pack any undeveloped film in a carry on, and request a hand inspection as you go through security. This will allow you to get the film on board with you, without having it pass through an X-ray machine.