How to pack a camera bag
Every amateur and pro photographer knows that preparation for your next shoot is key. Having the right equipment on hand and organized in the right way makes a huge difference when you’re out in the field and need to access your gear.
Decide what you’re going to take
The first step is of course to figure out what you’re going to take on your outing. Are you heading out for a couple of hours to take a few snaps in the city? Or are you heading away for a multi day expedition in the wilderness? The mission you’re going on will dictate what equipment you need which then in turn dictates which bag is best for you.
For a short excursion into the city with a single camera body and one or two lenses you could get away with a small cross body camera bag or a sling type camera bag.
For a multiday mission you’re going to need a lot more fire power and a bigger bag to carry your equipment. Choose the right sized bag accordingly.
Set up the bag
Once you’ve decided which bag you’re taking you need to get it set up for the mission ahead. Most camera bags will have adjustable dividers and inserts. These are generally fixed to the internal walls of the bag via Velcro – just pull them off and stick them back on in whatever configuration suits you best. Just make sure that all your precious bodies and lenses are snug, you don’t want your stuff rattling around, if your equipment is rattling around then wrap them up with some extra foam or a t shirt to keep your gear snug.
Get organized with packing cubes
An alternative to dividers is to utilize packing cubes – these are small ‘bags within a bag’ padded (and usually zipped) cubes. Fill the cubes up with your equipment then pack the cubes into the bags. This often offers an extra layer of protection as well, although it can slow down the time it takes to access your equipment, just bear that in mind.
It’s also possible to use camera equipment packing cubes as an alternative to a camera specific bag. Put your camera gear inside the cubes and then place the cubes in your every day rucksack. This can be a versatile option for many photographers. Check out the Langly Camera Cube as an option.
Utilize tripod straps
Some larger bags like the Langly Multi Globetrotter will have tripod straps on the outside of the bag. These straps are often found under the base of the bag – simply place the tripod at the base of the bag and tigten the straps and secure the quick release buckles to hold your tripod in place. The advantage of storing your tripod here in an external position is it saves space inside your bag. Just be careful when placing your bag down on the ground that the tripod doesn’t get scratched or damaged.
Don’t forget about the extras
But don’t forget the other essentials to help you get the best out of your photography mission and organize and protect your equipment. This includes:
What about packing non-camera gear?
Of course, there’s always stuff you need to take with you. This could include:
- Food - keep it in an air tight container to avoid spillage
- Water – often best to keep your water bottle in an external pocket for quick access
- Clothes – can be used as extra padding inside your bag