How To Take Care of Your Camera While Travelling

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My Nine Top Tips

Travel photography has become a big part of my life, and during my travels, I have had my camera with me pretty much every single day. Taking care of your camera is something that I believe is extremely important, but that many people overlook or only do infrequently.Camera equipment is expensive, there is no getting around that, so it makes sense to keep it in prime condition and look after what is essentially an investment. Having spent so long on the road, I have gained experience not only using and improving my photographic skills but all the things that come in-between.

One: Camera Bag

In my eyes, one of the most important pieces of equipment is a decent bag to carry your camera in. If you are like me and tend to explore places that not many people visit then you should look at a water-resistant/dustproof bag. Of course, some cameras are water and dust resistant but there is nothing wrong with doubling up, right? I would also suggest buying a waterproof cover or even a canoe bag for your camera bag as you never know when you might end up floating down a river or having to take a swim (this has happened to me a few times). The camera bag also offers protection from bumps and the occasional small drop as well as offering a barrier from anyone or anything (monkeys) looking to relieve you of your gear.


Two: Cleaning Kit

The second item I would suggest is a camera cleaning kit. This may seem self-evident, but I have encountered many travellers who have never bothered to clean their camera since they don’t know how and don’t see the need in purchasing one. The cleaning kit is rather inexpensive in compared to the rest of your equipment. A lens pen, a rocket blower, lens cleaning solution, a microfiber cloth, and a little harsher brush should all be included. I’d also recommend investing in a compact bag to contain your cleaning supplies and keep them clean. There are also sensor wipes that do pretty much what they say on the tin; some people prefer to use these, while others prefer to get a professional to do it; I’ll leave that decision to you. When cleaning your camera, make sure you know what you’re doing because you could damage parts that will be very expensive to repair or replace. Check out this blog if you want to learn how to clean your camera.

Three: Carrying Spares

Having spares has come in handy a few times when I’ve dropped my lens cap or left a memory card in my laptop in the hotel. It’s usually the little things that give you the most trouble. Make sure you have a spare lens cover for each lens, as well as multiple memory cards and at least one battery. Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at a fantastic photo opportunity only to discover that you forgot to charge your battery or that your memory card is missing.

Four: Clean Your Gear

Stick to a cleaning schedule. It’s easy when travelling to live in the moment and not worry about timings but it is important to stick to cleaning your camera often. I usually give my camera a good clean once a week. This means separating all the pieces and cleaning everything. It really doesn’t take long, maybe half an hour tops (body, tripod and three lenses). If I am in the middle of the desert or jungle then I will just give it a quick clean.    

Five: Guard Your Stuff

When travelling, always keep your gear with you. I used to travel with my camera, three lenses, a tripod, a gimbal, and my drone, all of this gear never left my side. Not only for the fact that it may get damaged in the hold of a plane or a bus but also for security reasons. I have heard of a few people who lost their bags while travelling, and if your gear is in those bags well, that would most definitely ruin your day and leave a very large hole in your pocket.

Six: Kit Breakdown

When needed, take your camera apart. Now I don’t mean unscrewing everything and breaking the camera down into pieces. I just mean separating the lens from the camera, making sure all caps and covers are attached. This is to keep your equipment from being damaged while travelling in arduous conditions. Leaving the lens on can damage the mounting threads, which will mean you will no longer be able to change lenses, which is not something that you want, especially after paying an arm and a leg for that new shiny lens. When changing or taking off lenses, be aware of your surroundings as foreign objects can easily be blown into the body and damage the sensor.

Seven: A Bag With Purpose

Keeping your camera bag for camera equipment is important. Having your spare keys or change bouncing around in there can potentially damage the gear inside. Making use of the separators that come with the bag is a must. Use them as a buffer between each piece of equipment. It’s a good idea to have the lenses, body, and other gear not touch. This way, they will not rub and scratch one another.

You may also be interested in: Equipment Advice for Epic Travel Photos

Eight: A Useful Insight

A useful tip is to reuse old silica gel packs. You know, those little bags that come in the box when you buy new shoes, the ones that say “DO NOT EAT”, yep, well those. They are designed to keep moisture out of packages while travelling and work just as well to keep the moisture out of your camera bag. I have two in my camera bag and two in my drone bag. Now it will not do much if your bag is soaked in a downpour, so don’t get the wrong idea. The best thing is that they are free and weigh less than a penny.

Nine: Stay Covered

The final nugget of advice is to buy insurance. Some travel insurers will cover your gear as part of your travel package. Make sure to check the amount they cover though, as some will only pay out $500 or so, which won’t do much good. Most smart phones cost more than that now, never mind a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Search for options that best fit your needs and ALWAYS read the fine print. Keep all your receipts in a safe place so that you can find them easily if needed.

All pictures sourced from pixabay.

Remember, a DSLR or mirrorless camera isn’t just for Christmas; it’s for life, and it’s a significant investment that’s well worth it. You won’t go far wrong if you take better care of it than you do of yourself. Keep in mind that you will most likely replace or upgrade gear at some point, and the better the condition of the camera, the higher the resale value.

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