Indispensable Tools For The Traveling Photographer

If you’re traveling or in another country, there are items you’ll want in your bag that you may not want to carry at home. In addition to a backup camera and spare camera, There are a few devices that have saved the day in more than one instance for me.

The Small Tool Kit

The one I have is manufactured by Black & Decker and has a ratchet handle and a range of screwdrivers, hex heads, and tiny sockets. I’m always amazed by the things you can do using this tiny kit.

A Flashlight

Don’t leave the house without one. I carry many. In-Home Depot, you can sometimes buy small, button-controlled flashlights that are LED and have batteries for just a dollar. For that price, they’re nearly to be thrown away.

I carry two of them in my vest and one in every bag I carry. Apart from that, I also carry a Nebo Redline Tactical Flashlight with an integrated flasher.

A Pocket Knife

It is difficult to pass through security at airports nowadays, but essential when out in the field There aren’t many items more essential than a great pocket knife.

It’s not necessary to carry a long bayonet, but an item with a clip in the pocket and a sturdy blade. I have the Kershaw 1620. Make sure you check the rules of transport and the blade length regulations in the area you’re traveling to.

The Copy Public Law 106-206

If you’re shooting on federal territory and U.S. parks, carry an official copy of this rule in your bag throughout the day. Sometimes, park officials will try to convince you that you require permission to shoot on Federal property. However, this is only valid in the case of models, non-natural props that pose a danger to the public or require a lot of assistance from park officials.

I’m always surprised by how often people in parks don’t understand their own rules and then try to trick them into getting around. This is why I began carrying copy rules.

Jewelry Set Screwdrivers

Nearly everything that will require tightening up on your camera will require a jeweler’s screwdriver. I’ve also used them as frames and distance markers that were buried on the ground (not suggested by the manufacturer).

Gaffer Tape

A habit I learned when I began shooting videos. The gaffer tape can be described as the duct tape used in artistic visuals. It can be taped to something, and it won’t leave a sticky glue substance on the surface. If you ever visit a film set, there’s bound to be at least one or two production staff who are scurrying around with a strand of gaffer tape in various colors attached to their belts.

Extra Lens Caps

It’s inevitable to lose one. It’s inevitable. Always, I put lens caps on the left side of my pocket. This habit has been ingrained over time, and I do lose one every once in a while.

Keep a spare cap in your jacket, and you’ll always have one.

Shower Caps as well as Disposable Ponchos

Shower caps as well as clear rain ponchos in the container in the Dollar Store. They’re inexpensive and can be life-saving in the event of bad weather.

Once, I was in a mountainous area of Oregon just a few miles from my car when a storm was moving into. I was able to take two ponchos along with a roll of gaffer tape and construct a basic shelter. When my friends returned wet to the bone, I was comfortable and dry in my tent in a recliner constructed of bags for equipment.

There’s traveling; there’s also traveling with style.