Over the years you get burned a few times and then you have no choice but to smarten up and hold true to the boy scout motto, "ALWAYS BE PREPARED." Not to say you are not already a smarty-pants, but I know I have definitely had to learn from a few first hand mistakes of my own. I wanted to share a sneak peak into my bag and give you a glimpse at what I consider my essentials to avoid surprises.
The list below should help you have everything you need if backed into a tight corner, assure enough space for images, and allow you to backup your images immediately so they are safely stored in at least two places at all times while you travel.
WHAT IS IN MY BAG?
- Canon Mark III 5D
- Canon 50mm fixed
- Canon 16-35 mm | Great for tight spaces
- 2 Fully charged Camera batteries + Charger
- 4-8 | good range would be (3) 4GB | (5) 8GB | (2) 16GB | (2) 32GB Cards
- Memory Card Wallet | I recommend Think Tank
- Lens Cleaner + Wipe
- Card Reader | for both SD and Compact flash
- External Hard-drive | At least 500 GB
- Travel Tripod | Manfrotto is my favorite thus far
- Pen + Paper + Black Sharpie
- Snacks | I get hungry often and your client might as well
- Chapstick | Model may need some
- Flash Drive | Just a small 8GB to run a print if needed
- Batteries | Anything your hardware may need
- Phone Charger
It is also a smart idea to travel with a discrete bag that does not scream "I AM A CAMERA BAG, HEAR ME ROAR." You want to blend in so your goods do not get stolen, but stay protected. I opted for a local brand carried by a local shop in Salt Lake City, ACME Camera Company.
The Porteen medium bag is beautifully handmade in the USA. The bags are extremely unique with hand picked fabrics, leathers and furs. It is an extraordinarily well built bag, protecting your camera goods while not giving away the contents stowed inside. The bag has gorgeous leather styling and hand-stitching that looks like a nice customized purse. This bag is much smaller than my initial travel bag. I generally only take my camera and favorite lens, leaving a little extra room for camera cards, ID and cash. I can then come back to home base and download images to both my laptop and external drive so they are securely stowed in two places. I can either clear cards for the following outing or if I want the extra security, I can bring extra cards and leave images on used cards.
I do highly recommend a portable Manffroto lightweight tripod. You hardly notice you have it with you, but it comes in handy when you need to get a clean shot at all hours for both stills and video.
Let me know if you have any questions.