Sunday, June 12, 2011

Durability of DSLRs & Traveling with Kids and Your Gear

I'm here in Maui Hawaii this week I've had some terrifying days with my gear. Of course personal and family safety is always first but I've experienced some things this week that will charge then way I pack and protect my gear.

When I'm traveling light I tend to travel with my Kelty backpack, which I've done a video on if you follow my YouTube channel. This backpack holds a lot of gear and is very durable and collapsable which is why I like it. However it doesn't protect the gear very well, due to it not having internal compartments for photo gear.

Here is what happened to my gear this week. I took my 5d and a couple of lenses to the pool with my family. I always take a little risk that people will steal my gear when at the pool / beach. At some point if you want to enjoy the environment you have to move away from it. I usually try not to go to far and setup in an open place where I can see my stuff. In this process I decided to cover my backpack with a beach towel. My concealment process worked a little to well, as my 4 year old decide to run towards me and then climb on top of the "towel mound" I had created. What's a dad to do at that point? My 4 year old didn't necessarily know what I had hid. I quickly moved her off of of my creation while mentally reenacting, in slow motion, the stomping of my 5d, 85mm 1.2, sunglasses, memory cards, and whatever else I had in the bag. It was very painful to watch. Luckily nothing was damaged.

The second bad experience was at dinner where my one year old started to squirm and scream way to much. It was my turn to hold her so I put my 5d with 50mm 1.2l lens behind me on a deep chair. Unexpectedly my camera and wiggled it's way off the side of the chair and came crashing down on the cement. Everyone at the restaurant was looking at me as my expensive electronics came crashing down. Now with the kids screaming at dinner and me damaging my toys my stress level has gone critical at this point. Again amazingly nothing was damaged other than just a small paint chip on the LENS Protector. Another reason to buy a lens protector!

So my lessons learned as a dad traveling with my expensive photo gear...
1. Lens protectors on all lenses.
2. Bring extra padding or wrapping for gear such as the grey "L" lens bags.
3. Think twice about where you place you gear.
4. I'm considering looking into rubberized padding for my 5d.

I never had any of these issues until I had kids. Your mind is just elsewhere and rightly so, accidents happen, stuff breaks...plan for it.

What are your vacation gear nightmares?

Twitter = creativeoutleth

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