When I prep for wildlife safaris and photo trips, there are a zillion things that I do in order to insure success with the least amount of hassles. I'm a list junkie and this started out as the typical what to bring pack list on my first African safari with Andy Biggs back in 2004. As you will see, the list keeps growing because the "whys and how" are just as important as the "whats".
After 30+ safari/photo trips, I painstakingly documented what worked and didn't; ranging from travel weight, logistics and clothing to shooting techniques, tools, workflow, and pre-trip action items. That's because:
- Reducing travel weight continues to be a major challenge and sneaking 40 - 50 lbs. of camera/laptop gear in carry-on is a never ending melodrama.
- Reducing travel stress is always top of mind. So I strive to make travel workflow as efficient and comfortable as possible aka "no gotchas" when traveling an average of 40 hours door:door; and,
- I want good value from the tools that I invest in and decisions are made ounce by ounce. I have no affiliations with any of the vendors mentioned in this blog.
Since I often receive requests for advice, I'm sharing most of my action items and logic in this living resource document (updating it helps me to mentally prepare for trips as well). Check back frequently for updates to: 1) Chris' Packing, Travel and Image Storage Tactics which includes extensive Extreme Cold Weather tips (updated Feb. 2nd), 2) How to Shoot from a Safari Land Rover, Safari Prep and Image Workflow plus Packing List (updated Feb. 2nd, and 3) Avoiding International Air Travel Grief (updated Jan. 17th). For non-photographers too, the Hack the Hackers and ID Thieves checklist should be a valuable resource (updated Feb. 4th) as well as Don't Leave Money on the Table - Travel Wear and Stuff (updated Nov. 18th). Yes, it's a ton to do and think through; but, no pain, no gain.