Okay, Pop quiz:
You’ve got to get on a plane and travel with “just the essentials” in terms of camera gear.
What do you do?
This is what I am facing next week. I need to go to Isla Mujeres, Mexico for the Life Pixel workshop. I know better than to pack any camera gear in my suitcase. I’ve heard some horror stories about that. So, I’ve got to load up a backpack and carry it on the plane. I set aside the monster lenses; no 4 pound 70-200L f2.8 on this trip.
I’ve got it down to the basics:
(2) Infrared camera bodies
(1) Full spectrum camera body
(1) Color camera body
(1) sort of point n shoot (G11)
(1) Right angle viewer (gotta have it)
(2) wide angle lenses (yes, two)
(1) Lensbaby Circular fisheye (makes cool images)
(1) Petzval 58 (testing it on this trip)
(1) 24mm STM (tiny)
(1) 40 STM (very small)
(4) battery chargers
(1) ND Filter
(1) Surface Pro2
(1) external hard drive
(2) card readers
(1) wrist flashlight (it’s handy)
(1) memory card holder (full)
(3) extra lens caps (long story)
(1)Tripod ( I know, only one?)
….. I really want to bring that 70-200, hmm, .. no ….. well maybe.
So, the essentials ends up weighing about 20 pounds, 24 pounds if I decide to slip the 70-200 back in mess.
I’m not worried though, because I’ve done this before. For the last 6 years I’ve been carrying the same camera backpack, The Think Tank Photo Streetwalker Harddrive.
Now, the thing that is amazing is the phrase “6 years”. Prior to getting my Think Tank Photo backpack I would kill a camera backpack in about a year. I’ve tried most every brand and most camera backpacks just don’t hold up. It’s not the case with Think Tanks gear. In the last 6 years I have taken this backpack everywhere I go, and it still looks pretty close to the way it did the day I got it.
Everything about this backpack is designed intelligently:
- There are two outside side pockets for gloves, water bottles, flashlights, or small stuff you want to get without opening your pack.
- There’s a pouch on the outside to hold your keys with a strap, passport, pens, business cards, first aid kit, release form cards, and stuff.
- Below that is a pouch for the rain cover, and space enough for two ponchos, and a camera rain cover.
- This is also a drop pouch that pulls out from below that so you can hook a tripod on the outside, which is quite handy.
- The back and the straps has this padded waffle design that allows air to flow when you wear it, so you don’t sweat like a pig wearing this all day.
- This is also a slot on the back that will hold a full size laptop.
Now the inside is completely adjustable and can quickly be set up for just about any configuration you’d want . Everything is soft and padded.
I will admit I did one time drop my Streetwalker backpack with my gear in it; it fell about 5 feet straight down to the dirt, and nothing was damaged, . . . . except my psyche.
This thing is sturdy.
Another area I put to great use the two pouches on the inside of the cover. They will hold a surprising amount, and they are clear so you can see what’s in there.
Like I said, the Streetwalker Harddrive is a well designed camera backpack, and Think Tank Photo has a great warranty; as they put it:
“To the original owner, we guarantee and warrant our products against any defects in material or workmanship for as for long as you use the product.”
I figure for as long as this backpack has held up, it’s paid for itself several times.
So, where does all of this leave me for my trip?
Well . . . .
I decided not to leave the 70-200L behind. Now the pack weighs 24 pounds. That lens is a monster.
Check out the Think Tank Photo Streetwalker Harddrive or one of their other cases while there.