What we like to pack for our photo adventures

Written by David/Photos by Michelle & David

What we pack for out photo adventures

Always when on the move we like to travel light, not only for the sake of our poor backs but also to allow for some flexibility in our plans. During our trips we have realized that lots of heavy photography equipment, even if useful most of the time, slow our pace down when traveling in remote areas and keep us from capturing that breathtaking sunrise above the Amazonian treetops or the imposing snow-capped peaks in the Andes. And the same happens in city trips where too much equipment to set up would surely make us miss that precious glimpse into the local every-day life.

Here is some of the gear we like to trust. Of course, the first and most important item is a good quality backpack. The Lowepro Sport 200AW is a great option with the right amount of general purpose space for either a quick bike ride to the park or even a 4-day treck along the Inka Trail, a pocket for a hydration pack and a dedicated padded pouch that can easily hold a mid-size DSLR, a zoom lense and a small prime lense. Another great more compact option is the Lowepro Event Messenger 100, a messenger type DSLR bag reviewed here by Adam from Getting Stamped

Whatever the bag, we like to throw in a Nikon D5100 or D7100 camera with a 18-200mm zoom, 50mm prime or wide angle lense together with the a classical Nikon 18-55mm or 18-150mm kit lense, which turn out to be great in terms of price to quality ratio. 

Not to forget a travel tripod to rely on. There are many models available out there. We own a GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and the more sturdy Cullmann Nanomax 260 CW25 and we couldn’t be more satisfied. They both fold small enough to pack in a carry-on suitcase or to strap on the side of our backpacks, and have been stable enough for our needs so far.

Also, a cable release is always handy when on the road for either long exposures in low light photography, time lapses or to give more options to our creativity. The Triggertrap Mobile Kit is an interesting light-weight and clutter-free cable + app system that allows to use an iOS or Android smartphone (which travel with us most of the time anyway) to trigger a broad range of supported cameras for time lapses, sound and movement triggering, and more. Another gadget in the same direction is the MaxStone. And of course, more classical cable release systems are also worth a mention, it just depends on your preferences.

And the regular set of accessories include:

  • Fully loaded spare batteries. Just remember they tend to run out of juice faster in low temperatures.
  • Spare memory cards. You would not like to be several days from the nearest town when the “Full card” sign starts flashing.
  • Your filters of choice. Circular polarizes, ND filters, graduated ND filters, you name it.
  • A tablet and card reader. Great for quickly checking your pictures in a bigger screen and for a quick backup.
  • Resealable plastic bags. Perfect to protect lenses, cameras or accessories from rain and dust. Full of sand, they can also be repurposed to stabilize a camera or tripod when nothing else is available.
  • An air blower and a microfiber cloth. To clean most of the dust on the lens and the sensor. Ok, I know, spots from dust on the lens and camera sensor can be easily removed at post processing, but most of this annoyance can be avoided right before you end up with hundreds of pictures to work on by regularly cleaning these elements.

Anything we missed? We will be delighted to know what do you pack for your photo adventures. What is your favorite gear? Don’t hesitate to share your comments, questions and ideas with us!

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