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Gear for travel

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Packing for travel is not easy especially not if air travel is involved.

Normally I travel with a backpack. The backpack itself may vary, nowdays I use a Gura Gear Kiboko, designed by Andy Biggs.
In addition I carry a photo west, in my case Domke Photo Togs, but make doesn't matter as long as it has big enough pockets.


The first issue is to find a carrier with decent weight limits

The weight allowance varies wildly among airlines. If possible choose one with a generous weight allowance.

Packing the kit

Cameras and lenses go into the backpack. Everything else in to checked luggage or the photo west. For instance I would rather put at least one battery charger in either the backpack or the west, so I still can charge batteries if my luggage gets dealyed.

The kit

What I normally carry is the following

  • Sony DSLR Alpha 900 body
  • Sony DSLR Alpha 700 body (backup and second body)
  • Sigma 12-24/4.5-5.6
  • Sony SAL 24-70/2.8 ZA lens
  • Sony SAL 70-300/4.5-5.6G lens
  • Minolta 400/4.5G telefoto
  • Minolta 1.4X conveter
  • Minolta 2X converter
  • RRS PCL-1 panning clamp
  • Arctic Butterfly sensor brush
  • Hyperdrive Space or similar for storing picture (two if possible)

  • Batteries and memory cards

Note! It is not allowed to pack external Lithium Ion batteries in checked luggage!

If weight admits:

  • Sony SAL 16-80/3.5-4.5 ZA (for the Alpha 700)
  • Minolta 20/2.8 AF lens
  • Minolta 100/28 AF Macro
  • Sony flash

It may be possible to move some stuff from backpack to the west. The Alpha 900 and 24-70/2.8 ZA are about 2 kg, so I could put the lens in one pocket and the body in another. This would reuce the backpack to about 10 kg

In the checked luggage

Tripd and head, presently either a Velbon Sherpa Pro 630 or a Gitzo GT3541LS. Normally with RRS Bh-40 head.



  • If I need a computer I carry it in a small case as a personal item. Note that many airlines will not allow a personal item and also that the personal item counts towards the weight limit. But... the airline is probably quite interested to let you fly, so I guess that you can get away with that.
  • If I need to travel without computer I´d probably take wo Hyperdive Space drives or something similar. I like hyperdrives but they can fail. Having two different outfits is always positive, should reduce risk of both failing simultaniously for a common reason.

On our Iceland 2006 trip my friend Pierre and I had an Epson Ep-2000 each and I had an additional hyperdrive (early model). This worked out fine. We copied Pierre's images to my hyperdrive, too, just in case.


BUT: my Epson EP-2000 didn't support my next camera and the hyperdrive started to complain about incompatible formats. All those "smart" devices have "best before dates", be aware of that!



Note on the Gura Gear Kiboko

If everything is taken out of the external pockets it will fit in overhaed bins of a Canadair regional jet, at least those flying with Delta connection.





Last Updated on Sunday, 16 August 2009 13:00  


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