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 or gotchas. 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, this list continues to grow because the "whys and how" are just as important as the "whats".
After 30+ photo trips, I painstakingly documented what worked and didn't - ranging from travel prep, weight and logistics to clothing, shooting techniques, tools and workflow - because:
- Airlines are continually cracking down on carry-on size and weight,
- Reducing stress is always top of mind and I want travel adventures to be efficient, comfy and successful - especially when traveling 40 hours door:door and when it's impossible to run to a store when something breaks, leaks, is forgotten or is taken; and,
- I want good value from my investments and try to be pragmatic; especially, since products that weigh the least usually cost a premium and always having the latest isn't always the greatest. Note: I have no affiliations with any vendors mentioned in this blog.
Since I often get requests for advice, I'm sharing most of my action items and logic here in this living resource document. Check back frequently for updates to: 1) Chris' Packing, Travel and Image Storage Tactics which includes Extreme Cold Weather tips (updated Jan 23rd), 2) How to Shoot from a Safari Land Rover, Safari Prep and Image Workflow (updated May 23rd) and 3) Avoiding International Air Travel Grief (updated July 10th). For non-photographers, Hack the Hackers and ID Thieves is a handy checklist (updated Oct. 22nd) as well as Don't Leave Money on the Table for shopping tips. Yep, it's a ton to do and think through; but, no pain, no gain. Tip: to scroll down quickly one page at a time on a Mac, press the fn key + the down arrow. To scroll mega-fast, press the fn key and hold the down arrow.