Demystifying my Loyal Camera Bag. With #VenusOnTheGo.

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In this series of posts for #VenusOnTheGo, I have examined the various aspects of my packing process, be it My Struggle With Packing or how best to prepare for An African Safari – The Romance and the Wardrobe

It’s the first time that I am doing so and when headed on my recent trip to Switzerland, took all the warm things I needed and still stayed well within the 15kg mark, which encourages me. This exercise is seeing improvement.

Today though I’d like to look at an area that I have always been clear on, as opposed to the clothes, shoes and toiletries which I literally am known to throw into a bag at the last minute, my loyal and much loved camera bag knows it’s heading off on a trip well in advance.

Bought impulsively before a big trip four years ago, when I realised that my ever growing collection of cameras and gadgets needed a safe and compact place for transporting, my camera backpack goes everywhere with me. A few days ahead of departure I set it aside, clean my cameras and lenses, put everything to charge and start adding what I will need with it. On the day of departure it’s a quick look over, but I know that most will be prepared.

Of course not everybody will need a camera bag like this, but for anybody going off on a media trip or campaign to capture images, it’s a good way to stay organised and ensure you leave nothing behind. I consider myself an average photographer with much to learn, a videographer in the making with my growing video collection and girl who likes her gadgets close at hand, even if I may not need them all.

What my bag usually includes is the following:

  • My Canon EOS 750D DSLR camera.
  • Camera Lenses – my standard Canon 18-55mm, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens, Canon 15mm f/2.8 EF Fisheye, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens. For a safari, always my 150-500ml too. I mostly use my 50ml, but take them all with me everywhere, like loyal friends.
  • A point and shoot camera. I have just bought a new one (I seem to kill these with sea air and humidity almost every year) so opted for the Olympus Tough TG-860 which promises to be dust/splash/shock/freeze proof. I’ve just tested the video camera and very happy with the quality now hoping it’s Dawn proof too.
  • My GoPro Hero 3+ which has seen some adventures over the last couple of years, with extra batteries, a waterproof casing and Langarm extension pole.
  • Extra memory cards – always.
  • My recently acquired Giga T Pro wireless remote control with self-timer, interval timer, long exposure setting and exposure count. I’m still figuring out how to use it so for now it’s travelling pro bono.
  • A monopod or gorilla tripod. Just in case I need to get my steady on.
  • Hard drive and memory sticks to backup my photos which I do every night without fail. Having a camera stolen a couple of months ago reiterated the importance of this.
  • My very precious bag of electronic support goodies. Given how much I’m on the move, I’ve taken to keeping this together all the time. It has the cables that I need to charge all of my gadgets and I add adaptors relevant to the country I’m travelling to. There are extra batteries and a cleaning cloth. Even if I’m going somewhere overnight I just grab this and know I have all covered.
  • Battery packs. Nobody should travel without one, I travel with two and can always give my phone or GoPro an extra boost when needed.
  • My laptop and cover.
  • Business cards for just in case.
  • Place for my paperwork, itinerary, copy of air tickets, copy of passport and any work I’m focussed on in that moment.

Sounds like a lot, but there’s’ nothing I could leave behind.

All this fits perfectly into my backpack with separate compartments for each lens and probably weighs in at just over 6kg. I’m so used to having it on my back and it’s a bit of a security blanket now.

Some good advice re travelling with your kit:

  • Best habit, allow everything to have a place and stick to it. Makes it easy to find things on the move and minimises the risk of you losing something, as at a glance over you will know what is where and if something is missing.
  • Always keep a copy of your passport and a separate bank card and bit of cash to one side. I put this in my camera bag as the original is usually in my handbag or hotel safe.
  • If leaving the country visit the SARS kiosk at the airport and offer a list of all the camera equipment, phones and computers you are taking with you. On return this will ensure that you don’t have to pay duties on them if it is suspected they were bought elsewhere. This document is valid until the list changes, and then it’s an easy update.
  • Take a padlock and lock the bag that you put in the overhead compartment on a plane. Recently a friend of mine on a flight from Thailand witnessed one of the passengers rifling through the bags while all were sleeping, helping themselves to whatever they wanted. Bad form, and a reminder that not all is sacred.
  • Try and get a waterproof cover for your bag if you’re going to be walking a distance with it. That way all is safe and covered.
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Now all I need to do is work on those photography skills, it appears I have all that is needed …

This post is part of a series sponsored by the #VenusOnTheGo competition. Do enter the competition and stand a chance to win a shopping spree worth R20 000.00 at Topshop. What you need to do:

  1. Buy one of their cute as can be Venus Snap razors, the compact design is incredible.
  2. Snap a flat lay image including your Venus Snap.
  3. Upload it to Instagram using #VenusOnTheGo
  4. Do take note that the competition closes on 15 January 2016.
  5. Visit GilletteSA on Facebook for the terms & conditions.

Here’s the sweetness that is the Venus Snap razor that now travels with me everywhere I go, even fitting perfectly into any of the side pockets of my camera bag, ensuring that smooth legs match the smooth camera bag packing …

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Read my previous posts for more: #VenusOnTheGo – Also My Struggle With Packing and An African Safari – The Romance, the Wardrobe and Winning with #VenusOnTheGo for more campaign posts.

Thank you for the opportunity Venus Snap Razors. I really love mine!

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Dawn JorgensenDawn Jorgensen
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The Incidental Tourist

The Incidental Tourist is a Personal Travel Blog of a conscious traveller with a deep love for Africa, its people and the environment.

Here I bring you narratives, stories, video and photographs from my travels around the globe, including accounts of gorilla trekking in Uganda, tree planting in Zambia and turtle rescue in Kenya, accommodation and restaurant reviews, as well as details of the conservation efforts that I support.

A self proclaimed earth advocate and beauty seeker, I invite you to join me and share in my love of sustainable travel – and the rich offerings of our beautiful world.

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