June and I take at least one big trip a year that involves checking luggage with the airlines. I will put my tripod in one of the suitcases that get checked, along with hiking poles. This almost always results in the bags getting searched. This has never been a problem for me since my luggage eventually gets to our destination. I never check my camera gear. I don't trust the bag slingers to not break something, or worse in the case of this traveling photographer
Photographer Has $2,000 in Camera Gear Go Missing After a JetBlue Flight
Earlier this year I purchased a second DSLR camera body and now travel with:
- Canon 5D Mark ii
- Canon 7D
- 17-40mm zoom
- 28-105mm zoom
- 100mm macro lens
- 80-400mm (big and heavy) zoom
- flash, extra camera and flash batteries, filters, memory card pouches, cables, tele-converter, and a bunch of other odds and ends.
I highly recommend Think Tank bags. Many of their bags are designed to fit in airline carry on bins or under seats. Plus, the build quality is excellent.
As you can see from the list above, my collection of gear has grown over the past few years. This means I've got a good bit of money tied up in camera gear. If the something should get broken, lost or stolen on our travels I'd hate to have to replace any one of these pieces of equipment. In most cases, home owner insurance is not going cover lost or damaged camera gear. I have now insured my gear through a special policy with my insurance company. This has given me peace of mind knowing that if I slip and drop a camera or someone breaks in to the car I'm going to be able to get my gear replaced.
So, if you have a reasonable sized investment in your gear and/or travel with your gear, I recommend investing in good quality camera bag and some added insurance. Don't let the loss of some material things ruin your travels.
Image at right is Rainbow Falls in Jones Gap State Park, South Carolina. June and I hiked there after a overnight trip to Greenville SC this year. There are a number of state parks, waterfalls, and great hikes in South Carolina between Greenville and the NC state line. We plan to go back several more times to explore as much as possible. And I won't have to worry about losing or breaking camera gear while we are out hiking.