How do you keep your camera gear safe while traveling? Since moving to Ecuador more than five years ago, we’ve traveled quite a bit. Both around the country and to other countries.
And because blogging is our business, we tend to take a lot of photos and travel with a fair amount of gear.
Note: As you’ll notice in this post, the images are watermarked with GringosAbroad, our previous travel blog where we first published this post.
In this post, I share the gear we use to travel safely with our cameras.
The Camera Gear We Travel With
- GoPro Hero3+ Silver: This is my favorite camera. We’ve shot underwater video, great panoramic photos, and created stunning sunset time-lapse videos.
- Canon Point and Shoot (SX280 HS): We have two of these and love them. This has since been replaced by Canon with the PowerShot SX600 HS.
- Canon Rebel DSLR (XSi, T1i, T6): Two of these are kind of old. The XSi is almost 10 years old and the T1i is more than 6 years old. They have traveled the whole country with us and we’ve shot tens of thousands of images. They continue to perform – we don’t have any plans on replacing them. Of all our gear, we worry most about their safety – both from damage and theft.
- Miscellaneous Accessories: GorillaPod, Wasabi batteries and charger, extend poles, full size tripod.
How We Keep it all Safe
I like Lowepro. We have three different Lowepro bags. One for each of our DSLR cameras and another for one of our point and shoot cameras. Dena uses a Case Logic for her point and shoot camera.
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Here are the specific bags we use while traveling:
- Toploader Zoom Pro with Chest Harness: This was my first camera bag. Dena bought it for me almost 7 years ago and it’s still going strong. This bag comes with a shoulder strap but you can add a chest harness. The harness is handy for hiking, biking and climbing. It stabilizes the bag and keeps it easily accessible. The bag has a large front zippered pouch that can hold keys, wallet, battery charger, etc. There is a small internal pocket that holds memory cards.
- DSLR Shoulder bag (Lowepro): This is useful for a basic DLSR camera with kit lens. There is an internal divider that allows space for a flash or battery charger. This bag also has a large front pouch and a small internal pouch for memory cards.
- Point and Shoot Case (Lowepro): This is the case I use for my Canon Powershot (SX280) and I love it. It has a shoulder strap and a belt loop but I don’t use either. I use the case to protect the camera when it’s tossed in my backpack. It has a front pouch that holds an extra battery and memory card. Hard to go wrong with this type of case.
- Point and Shoot Case (CaseLogic): Dena uses this case for her Powershot camera. It is significantly smaller than mine – and while it has room for a memory card and battery it isn’t padded quite as well.
More reading: 21 Best Anti-Theft Backpacks and Locks
When we hike, we always take a large backpack each. I usually take my High Sierra Swerve Pack and Dena uses the High Sierra Loop Pack. Both have room for one of the DSLR camera bags, a jacket, umbrella, GPS, snacks, and more.
On flights, we usually attach the camera bags to the outside of the backpack with a carabiner clip. I really like the Camp Photon carabiner (we have three). They work great for connecting loose ends while traveling.
Rainy days: While there are some waterproof backpacks, none of ours are. We always travel with an umbrella and a few garbage bags – to wrap our camera bags in, in case of a torrential downpour. After countless hikes in the rain, we haven’t had any damage or loss. When we replace our bags, I’m planning on getting waterproof ones – one less thing to worry about.
Staying safe in South America. There are some risky places in Ecuador. You need to be careful about having camera equipment visible in certain parts of the country and at certain times of day. Because of the risks, we bought the two Powershot cameras. They attract almost no attention because of their size and we use them when we aren’t comfortable to use our larger cameras.
We still shoot with the DSLR cameras but only when we aren’t alone. We are careful not to attract attention with other technology and don’t spend the day with the camera around our neck.
We take them out, get the shot, and then pack them away. To reduce attention from educated thieves, I’ve removed the Lowepro logo from my primary camera bag. No need to advertise that we have a premium camera bag. 🙂
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And here’s how to use your GoPro as a webcam – perfect for staying in touch with family and friends while you travel.
How do you keep your gear safe while traveling? What gear do you use?