Traveling with gear? 7 tips to keep it working on the road.

ThinkTank bags give me protection, when traveling with gear.

7 must have items when traveling with gear

Traveling with gear is a part of our job as photographers and cinematographers, unless you shoot exclusively in your studio. Now granted, some of us travel into more remote places and photograph in more extreme conditions. Our gear is delicate, heavy and needs some special care to work, so that we can produce the video or capture the images that our clients have hired us for. Here are 7 things you need to know that are vital when your traveling with gear on the road:

Your gear needs power

Goal Zero products produce all the power I need, when traveling with gear.
Today’s cameras, audio recorders, computers, hard drives, … all need one thing: power. Sometimes it’s as simple as plugging your charger into the back of the church, sometimes it’s a small generator on location, but how do you keep everything running smoothly when your off the grid? I filmed in the jungles of Peru for 2 weeks a few months ago. 18 hours upriver from the nearest town. Too long to just bring a slew of extra batteries. All the gear got powered by solar energy. A Goal Zero 27 Watt solar panel would charge a battery/inverter all day and would power download and camera battery recharges at night. The great thing about this specific piece of gear is that it can charge 12 V, USB or 120V in the middle of nowhere. Works like a charm and the small foldable solar panel made it a breeze to travel with my gear.

Your gear needs protection

We all have our favorite camera bags. My camera gear lives in ThinkTank airport international bags, because I don’t have to repack for carry on size restrictions. (Always check your airline before you fly 3 major airlines just reduced their carry on size – although I’m still good with my ThinkTank bags). However when your traveling, remember that your gear does not only need physical protection, but also protection from people who would love to take it from you. My Stormcase hard cases fly inside a beat up old backpack or black Navy duffle bag, I always cringe when I see someone’s Pelican cases with the studio logo stenciled on them come down the baggage carrousel.

5 more essential tips for traveling with your gear

Read about the other 5 tips for traveling On the Road  with your photo and video gear in Strictly Business, the American Society of Media Photographer‘s blog, check out what other bloggers are writing about getting labor saving tips and tricks:

Have Gear–Will Travel (7 Tips to Keep Gear Working on the Road) [click here to read]

Sick and tired of paying through your nose on extra baggage fees? Find out how to save $1,000 every time you fly on assignment.

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Marketing Hack #18: Write a gear review (or two) - a couple of years ago Reply

[…] talking about the big, solar-powered battery I rely on when I’m shooting off the grid (GoalZero has some incredible products) or reviewing the little one to keep my cell phone topped off […]

Creative Planet Network article featuring part of my work flow - a couple of years ago Reply

[…] a few more tips on how to travel with your gear and I’ll also let you in on the little secret on how to save $1,000 when you fly with your […]

TechTip: How to power a GoPro for an all day time lapse - a couple of years ago Reply

[…] Sherpa 50 made by Goal Zero (@GoalZero), the company that I purchased my solar charge set up for our shoot in the peruvian jungle last […]

Pascal Depuhl - a couple of years ago Reply

Nice! I’m partial to ThinkTank. Those bags have been in the mountains of Afghanistan, the cities of Europe and the jungles of South America with me and hold up beautifully in flight. They don’t have an insert as you describe (that sounds pretty cool btw), but they do have build in steel cables and locks which are awesome. [FULL DISCLOSURE: ThinkTank has sponsored some of my workshops and I’ve reviewed some of their gear for them. (They’re also a bunch of really cool guys :)

PAZ - a couple of years ago Reply

The only drawback is they don’t have a US distributor, so buy it while your overseas!

PAZ - a couple of years ago Reply

My rolling camera bag is the Delsey ProRoad 66. Better than any other roller because it has a quick removable insert in case I’m going on a small plane and have to check my bag at the gate. I just pull the insert out of the bag, zip up the shell and let the baggage handlers beat it up because camera gear & computer are with me and it fits in any small plane overhead.

Pascal Depuhl - 3 years ago Reply

Justus – you’re welcome. Check out the folks at http://www.GoalZero.com they have some great portable and rugged stuff. Also check out http://www.luminaid.com – they have solar powered lights that pack down to next to nothing and are great little work lights (plus it’s a really cool company). Oh they’re running a 10% off sale right now-Coupon Code: LUMINAIDSUMMER.

Justusm - 3 years ago Reply

Thanks for providing your recommendation on solar charging – it’s something I’ve been wondering about and wanted to hear from someone who has used equipment in the field and knows it does it’s job!

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