Travel with your DSLR

With an increasing number of people using digital SLR cameras there are more people wondering if they should take theirs traveling.

If you’ve decided to take your digital SLR camera you’ll probably be wondering how to handle it on the road.

Here are our basic safety tips for traveling with your DSLR:

1. Purchase a good camera carrying bag

Buy a good carrying bag for your equipment and make sure you are happy with it before going away. Find a bag that isn’t too “flash” in order not to attract too much attention, avoid big logos and bright colours.

For a number of years I’ve use a crumpler bag.

Crumpler Cupcake Bag

They are very well designed bags and add plenty of protection for your camera and lenses plus space for memory cards and the like.

I’ve have found the Crumpler Cupcake Bag has become a little too small for all my gear, but it’s perfect as a day bag for your camera.

I’ve been looking a DSLR Camera backpack that has a bit more space than the over the shoulder Crmpler Cupcake Bag.

Crumpler Easy Weasy Backpack

I’ve found the Crumpler Easy Weasy Backpack a good option for anyone with a bit more photography gear to carry.

2. Use lens filters

If you are planning to travel off the beaten track it’s likely that you’re lens with have to cope with many different elements. Wind, rain, sand, salt water you name it. It’s a good idea to protect your lens with a filter to prevent unnecessary scratches and markings.

3. Consider using the camera lens hood

Some people avoid using them but as well as reducing contrast and creating flare they can be useful for avoiding knocks and bumps to the front of the lens as the hood takes the impact.

4. Be a savvy photographer and not a stupid one

Learn to know when it’s safe to have your dslr camera “on show”. In some places you’ll travel to you’ll be able to sense when a place is not quite safe enough to allow you to have you dslr camera on display for long periods of time. If you have to grab a key shot in this situation, take the shot then put your camera back out of sight again. This will help to avoid any unwanted attention from potential thieves.

5. Know when to take your DSLR camera

Make a decision on when to take your DSLR out with you. If there is bad light or you aren’t going somewhere that you want to take photos then leave it in a secure safe place at your hotel or hostel. Sometimes taking your camera out for the early morning light and the few hours before sunset will produce the better results due to the lighting.

6. Carry your camera and lens when in transit

When you are traveling from place to place you should carry your dslr with you at all times to prevent it from being stolen. Treat this bag the same way as you’d treat your passport and you should have minimal problems.

7. Take a lens cleaning kit

Don’t forget to take a lens cleaning kit with you in order to clean any dust, marks or sand that may have got onto your lens. There’s nothing worse than having a grubby lens without any way to clean it. If you are going away for a lengthy period of time, consider packing a few kits.

Taking a lens cleaning pen is always a good idea, small, slim and easy to pack.

8. Use the hotel/hostel safe

If you aren’t using your camera then make use of your rooms safe. If you haven’t got one then most hostels will have a secure place to leave it. As pointed out in tip number 5 – don’t take it with you if you don’t need to.

9. Get camera insurance

It sounds obvious but you should get insurance for your equipment if you are going traveling. This will give you some peace of mind if you photography equipement is damaged or stolen.

10. Use your common sense

Most measures to prevent getting your camera equipment stolen or damaged simply require a little common sense. Think about where you are taking it and what circumstances will be involved.

It can be a little scary taking your expensive dslr camera traveling with you. With some camera insurance and common sense you should be able to relax without worrying about what could potentially happen to your beloved camera on the road.

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Paul Dow

Hello! I'm Paul, an award winning travel blogger who focuses on solo adventure travel and has a passion for using new technology. I write, take photos and produce videos about travel, food, craft beer, coffee and adventure.

  • All good points. Using a lens filter has saved me from ruining a $600 lens. Walking down a street in London I discovered my filter had been smashed on the plane ride from Hamburg. Luckily, with only 15 pounds I replaced the filter and was on my way photographing the city again.

  • Jody Wall

    If you are traveling and are serious about taking some great shots, I think you should have your camera on you at almost every opportunity. The advice on buying a good quality and fit of camera bag is correct. I have found a photographers backpack is the easiest on the body. If you aren't used to carrying a load on one shoulder for hours on end, you will end up with a very sore neck, and this will both distract and deter you from great photos.