Photography Article Background

What’s in my bag(s)?

My camera bag

I often get asked what camera bag(s) I use and what I carry with me.  Like most photographers I’ve owned as many bags as many women do shoes, but I’ve narrowed it down to these 4 bags.  How do I use these bags?

Gura Gear – Kiboko 30L – This is my primary bag on long overseas destinations when I’m carrying any of my big glass.  When I’m not traveling I serves as my additional storage bag for gear that I’m not using at that time.  Here is what I typically carry in my bag when doing wildlife shoots:

  • Canon 1DS Mark III body
  • Canon 1D Mark IV body
  • Canon 5D Infrared converted body
  • 16-35mm f/2.8 L lens
  • 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens
  • 70-200 f/2.8 L lens or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L lens
  • 500mm f/4 L lens
  • 2 spare batteries for 1D bodies
  • 1 spare battery for 5D
  • 580x II flash
  • Better beamer flash extender
  • 1.4x teleconverter / 2.0x teleconverter
  • Misc cleaning supplies
  • Polarizer filter

Gura Gear – Kiboko 22L+ – This is often my day trip or backpacking bag.  I’ll carry my most used lenses and cameras in this bag along with a flash and occasionally some food and an additional water bottle (water proof of course).  Some of the gear I use in the 30L bag gets transferred to this bag.  When my gear is not in use (not often) all my gear gets stored between these two bags.

  • Canon 1DS Mark III body
  • 16-35mm f/2.8 L lens
  • 24-70mm f/2.85 L lens
  • 70-200mm f/2.8 L lens
  • 2 spare batteries for 1D bodies
  • 580x II flash
  • 1.4 teleconverter
  • 24mm TS f/2.8 L
  • Misc cleaning supplies
  • Polarizer filter

Gura Gear – Chobe 19-24L – This is mostly used as my travel accessory bag.  Items I carry in this bag include:

  • Additional Flash
  • 2 Head lamps (one for me and an extra)
  • 2 Cans bear spray
  • Air horn
  • Grarmin eTrex GPS
  • SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger (for emergency and notification use) www.findmespot.com
  • Gerber – Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival series fixed blade knife
  • Gerber – Bear Grylls Compact Survival series foldable knife
  • Leatherman Wave – 17 tool knife
  • Bear bangers & launchers
Lowepro – S&F Reporter 400AW – This is my shoulder bag I use when out on any sort of “photojournalistic” type of photo shoot when I need quick access to additional lenses or flashes.  This bag doesn’t get used often as it’s a shoulder bag and today I prefer a backpack style bag when out for a day of shooting.  But it quite often holds the following gear:
  • Canon 1DS Mark III
  • 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens
  • 70-200mm f/2.8 L lens
  • 580EX II Flash
Or:
  • Olympus E-M5 digital camera with vertical grip
  • M.Zuiko Digital 12-55mm f/3.5-6.3 lens
  • M.Zuiko Digital 12mm f/2.0 lens
  • M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 lens
  • Panasonic ASPH 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens
  • Panasonic ASPH 12-35mm f/2.8 lens
  • Bottled water
  • Various snacks

Summary

Let me tell you why I love the Gura Gear bags (www.guragear.com).  These bags are not only functional but they are strong and extremely lightweight (made of sailcloth, the same material used in sails on boats).  Unlike many backpack bags that can weigh in at 8 to 10 pounds EMPTY, the Gura Gear 30L comes in less than 4 pounds (without dividers) on the 30L.  This additional 4 to 6 pounds difference can quickly add up when you are schlepping gear through airports and most importantly asked at the check in counter at the airport to have them weigh your bag.  Provided with two handles or a self-concealed backpack harness the 30L and 22L+ can be carried in a variety of choices.  One of my favorite features is the “butterfly” opening of the bags themselves.  While many backpacks have a full zippered top than flops open the butterfly bag allows you to open only the side that you need access to (of course you do need to remember which side you put what).  While on the surface some might think there are isn’t enough padding for your gear, I for one don’t have a problem with the thin lightweight bag as I am particularly careful with my gear and never let anyone handle my bag (ever).  But most importantly, Gura Gear bags are International and US carry-on compliant, something to consider when checking in at your international travel destination airline carrier (just don’t let them weigh your bag… hahahaha).

In addition, Gura Gear is creative in solving the weight issue of camera gear when traveling through airports.  Unlike many bag makers that have “rolling bag solutions”, Gura Gear has decided to allow you to simply buy a simple bag rolling frame and you can optionally buy straps that attach your bag (http://www.guragear.com/kiboko-accessory-straps/).

 

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