Cameras are delicate pieces of equipment. Packing and transporting your camera equipment safely in a way that protects it from damage is always important to every photographer, whether amateur or professional. Using a dedicated camera backpack is the safest, most effective way of travelling with your camera in a backpack.
A camera backpack is designed specifically with photography gear in mind, it comes with built-in compartments of all sizes, movable dividers, and ample storage options. Camera bags also come with a wide range of added features such as space for a laptop and other everyday items. Don't have a camera bag? Follow our top 4 tips on packing your camera safely to avoid making any costly mistakes.
1. It's All In The Padding
A camera specific backpack's advantage over an everyday backpack is the custom-designed padding and protection it provides your equipment. Camera specific backpacks are always well padded in all the right places and have internal padding and dividers to further protect your precious equipment – normal backpacks don't have this, so you're going to need to improvise.
Using clothes like t-shirts and sweaters to wrap up your photography equipment is going to help, also if you have some spare foam, use that to create your own dividers in your bag. A better way is to get hold of some camera packing cubes and use these to pack your camera gear in the cubes and place the cube in a standard backpack or suitcase.
2. Only Take What You Need
It seems obvious, but you don't need to take every piece of equipment you own. Camera gear is fragile and sensitive, and prone to breakages when under pressure from heavier items in a bag. Leaving behind all of the extras is necessary when you don't have a dedicated camera bag.
When items are kept loose, they have a habit of moving around in your bag and end up rubbing or bumping into one another. Lenses are particularly prone to damage when left to fend for themselves in a backpack. A good idea is to use camera lens cases or smaller style camera bags inside your backpack to protect lenses from knocks and scratches when coming into contact with your other equipment – and always keep your lens caps on!
3. Keep Your Equipment Handy
Camera specific backpacks and bags tend to fully unzip a bit like a suitcase allowing the whole bag to open up for easy access and visual identification of all of your camera gear. Everyday backpacks, of course, don't have this feature, they usually only open from the top.
If you are just using a normal backpack to carry your camera gear, you will need to try to keep the equipment you plan on using the most at the top of the bag, so it's easily accessible when you're in a hurry.
4. Keep Your Camera Equipment Dry
It's a given that camera equipment doesn't like water. This is why dedicated camera bags are always designed with weatherproofing in mind. If your bag doesn't have a high degree of water resistance (including water-resistant zips), the contents will undoubtedly get wet in undesirable weather.
We can't always predict the weather - going out on a wet day with a regular backpack full of camera gear is a bit of a gamble at the best of times. You'll need to think about adding some sort of layer of waterproofing to your bag before leaving the house. The simplest option is to place your equipment inside a clean plastic bag within your backpack – however, this method is not foolproof, and moisture can build inside of plastic which can be just as bad!
Thinking maybe it's time you invested in a dedicated camera bag just to be safe? Take a look at the Langly range of camera bags and backpacks here.