I’ll be getting on a few planes this summer on my way to workshops and assignments. After over a year of not flying, it is nice to be packing for some trips. Next up is Alaska for a bear photography workshop, and many participants have been asking about packing for the trip. Since I have a lot of gear (also packing for a commercial assignment right after the workshop), I have decided to bring a large roller and put my backpack in a suitcase. I’ll be carrying a lot of gear, more than I would normally in the field, so I would rather roll it through airports and security rather than stand around with it on my back. It means I will have to store a few bags at the hotel, but that is okay. My go to roller bags are made by Think Tank. I normally use the Airport Advantage, but for this large load I am using the Airport Security 3.0. Once I get to Alaska I will move my gear into a 36L Mindshift Backlight pack. You can see my roller at top, loaded with a combo of mirrorless and DSLR bodies, a 180-400mm, 500 f5.6, 24-200mm S lens, Z7II, D850 and D6. Most of my lighting gear and stands is in another bag for commercial work afterwards.
Do you see the one thing that is the same with every camera body? No lenses attached…I know in the world of sensor cleaning and dust removal none of us want to change lenses more than necessary. And once I get to my destination, I won’t change lenses since we have enough bodies. But the one time I do take lenses off is for air travel. I have had a lens attached to a camera in a photo backpack in the overhead on a plane get damaged when a passenger stuffed their suitcase in the overhead. But take the lenses off, and cap the bodies, and you are in good shape. I’ve watched my roller hit the runway getting unloaded and not had one thing damaged…in part to how great the Think Tank rollers perform, but also because nothing was attached. So my advice to keeping gear safe during travel is detach the lenses from bodies…it has saved my gear more than once.