6 Essential Things to Consider When Traveling with Your DSLR
So you’re leaving for an exciting trip and know that you want to capture and share the memories. But you’re asking yourself, is it worth it to take my DSLR? You have heard the horror stories – stolen or damaged gear, getting tired of carrying your camera gear all day, dead batteries, etc.
We’ve heard them too. But, despite those stories, traveling with your DSLR can be easy and worthwhile, especially when you follow these tips.
- INVEST IN A GREAT CAMERA BAG
This is our number one recommendation, and for good reason. A great bag keeps your gear safe with its ample padding; separate compartments for camera bodies, lenses, and accessories; and an element-proof exterior. That extra padding is great when flying with your gear (never check your camera gear!).
Further, the right bag will provide greater comfort and utility than an inferior version. At the end of a long day you are going to appreciate that extra comfort.
Our favorite type of camera bag is a backpack-style bag. That style is more comfortable than a messenger-type bag. It also allows you to carry more than just camera gear, like maps, a tablet, snacks, and more. Additionally, it doesn’t scream “camera bag”, which is a bonus when traveling to less safe areas.
We recommend our All Weather Deluxe Camera Bag Backpack, which is currently available at a discounted price here.
- UPGRADE YOUR KIT STRAP
Great, you bought a nice bag. However, as you go through your day, you are going to miss great shots unless your camera is quickly accessible. The only problem is that, if you’re like most people, you are going to get very tired of wearing your DSLR around your neck using the kit strap.
For added comfort, you can always upgrade to a wider strap, which distributes the weight more evenly for less fatigue. Other alternatives include cross-body straps, and our favorite – a belt holster that allows you to quickly access your camera without using a strap.
- PURCHASE CAMERA INSURANCE
If you have invested a significant amount in your camera (or cameras) and lenses, you might want to double check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy to make sure those items are covered. Depending on the value, they may not be without an additional rider. It’s always wise to protect your investment from loss or damage.
- DON’T FORGET EXTRA MEMORY CARDS AND BATTERIES
You would not believe how many times I’ve read stories where someone forgot their battery charger and couldn’t find a quick replacement, basically turning their camera into a brick for most of their trip. Don’t forget your charger.
Okay, that one is really common sense and you won’t forget a charger. However, if you are not used to traveling with your camera, you may not have thought about taking extra batteries and extra memory cards. Most often, two fully charged batteries will get you through a day of very heavy shooting. We tend to carry three.
Unlike batteries, you almost can never have enough memory cards. Depending on the length of your trip and the resolution of your camera, you can fill several cards up before you return home. We recommend packing at least three 32gb or larger cards, and even more if you shoot in RAW format.
- CARRY SUPPLIES TO CLEAN YOUR LENSES
We listed several horror stories at the top of the article, but one that we didn’t mention is coming home and seeing a spot in the same place on EVERY photo. Yep, you had dirt on your lens. Carrying a simple pack of lens wipes or a lens cleaning pen can help you prevent that from happening.
Be sure to check your lens periodically, especially if you have been in wet, dusty, or sandy environments.
- DON’T FORGET TO SHARE
You can’t open up social media without seeing one of your friends posting a picture from vacation. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or somewhere else, you are likely going to be sharing too.
The good news is that you can share your awesome DSLR pictures before you even get home, without having to take a laptop with you. You can use a memory card reader that connects directly to your iPhone or iPad to import pictures straight to that device, instead of a computer. From there it’s as simple as sharing to your favorite site, or opening up your favorite editing program prior to sharing.
We hope that these tips help and wish you safe travels and happy shooting!