When I prep for safaris to photograph big cat families in Africa, polar bear babies, or endangered Bengal tigers, there are a zillion things that I try to do in order to insure a successful trip with the least amount of hassles. I'm always amazed at friends who claim they can pack in a day; but, different strokes for different folks.
I'm a list junkie aka it's easier/faster for me to check off action items in one place, not to mention keeping things updated and prioritizing tasks. This started out as the typical what to bring pack list way back when. But, I soon learned that the "whys and how" are as important as the "whats".
So, over the years, I've painstakingly documented what worked and didn't after each trip; ranging from travel logistics, gear weight and clothing for extreme temps; through shooting techniques, tools, image workflow, backing up tactics, and pre-trip action items. That's because:
- Travel weight continues to be a major headache and sneaking 55 lbs. of camera/computer gear onto a plane is a never ending cat and mouse melodrama given increasingly strict airline carry on rules;
- I strive to make travel workflow as efficient and comfortable as possible - aka "no gotchas" - since international trips can take 35 - 44 hours door:door; and
- I want good value for the tools that I buy, so every purchase is analyzed before taking the plunge. I have no affiliations with any of the vendors mentioned in this blog; and, every ounce needs to have a payback without being penny wise and pound foolish.
- Also, when I take advice from others, I try to understand the context. That why I explain the whys in addition to the whats given my priorities and objectives.
Since I'm constantly getting asked for advice, I decided to share some of my action items in this living document. Check back frequently as I'm always updating 1) Chris' Packing, Travel and Image Storage Tactics (including extreme cold weather tips) (updated May 14th), 2) How to Shoot from a Safari Land Rover, Safari Prep and Image Workflow (updated Feb. 18th), and 3) Avoiding International Air Travel Grief (updated Dec. 6th). Yes, it's a ton to do and think through; but, no pain, no gain.