One of the most important items you will need when traveling is a backpack (preferably one that is also waterproof – which mine is) that can fit all of your photography stuff and keep it nice and neat. I like having all of my stuff with me on the plane – checking it just isn’t an option (with the exception of the tripod legs which have to be checked unless you have a specific travel bag for them) with all the stories of theft by baggage handlers. Therefore, I invested in the Case Logic SLRC – 206 backpack ($70). As you can see from the image on the right the backpack offers the ability to change the size of the compartments which will enable you to fit any and all gear that you have. It also has a very convenient hook and loop straps on the outside of the bag that will allow you to hook the tripod to it when you are hiking and need your hands free to scramble up rocks or something like that.
Tripod Specific for Travel
I have a second tripod for travel. Most of my trips (for work) wind up only being a weekend or an overnight and in those instances I don’t want to have to check luggage. Therefore, I invested in a travel tripod that is amazing!
The MeFoto Travel Tripod ($150) is a really handy little tool and a and it packs up easily into my carryon luggage due to its ability to fold to just over 12 inches in size. I was SHOCKED by just how small this was yet how sturdy it is. It extends to over 51 inches and weighs less than 3 lbs but supports nearly 9 lbs. Also, unlike with my full size tripod it comes with a head attached to it. However, the head can be swapped out for my Manfrotto head if I feel it is necessary. So far though I haven’t had a need to do that because the tripod head is actually very well constructed.
Will it replace my larger tripod completely? No, but it sure beats having to check a bag for an overnight trip. Also, this is a life saver when touring around a city and not wanting to structure your trip around returning to the hotel before sunset to pickup your tripod. With this – just stick it into a backpack or a shoulder bag (it even fits in my wife’s purse) and you are set for the day.
The Black Rapid Camera Strap ($55) is one of those things that you don’t realize you need until you actually have it. You think well my nice new camera comes with a strap so why do I need another one? I thought the same thing until I tried this strap. In all honesty, I never really used my Canon strap – it wasn’t very comfortable and often hurt my neck if I had to wear it all day. I can’t speak for Nikon, Pentax or Sony but the Canon strap just seemed to be a ‘throw’ in to the camera which was nice from the camera maker but wasn’t as helpful as they thought.
This strap is much more comfortable because it fits around your chest and the camera simply hangs at your side. At times I forget I’m even wearing it. The location of where it rests (typically sitting on your hip) also makes it easy to pull it up and shoot images when you need to.
It comes with a carabiner attached which allows the camera to hang naturally and twist and turn so you will need to take care not to bump it into anything. However, the carabiner locks into place which also means you won’t have to worry about it slipping and the camera falling off and banging on the ground. All and all a very useful product and one that makes my enjoyment of carrying a camera around all day while traveling much more enjoyable.