When I look at my hand luggage I realise one thing…
“Damn, that’s a lot of shit”
~ Said I, whilst scratching my head
“But I NEED IT. I need it all!”
Its mostly camera related and mostly tech-y, therefore it is mostly appropriate for a travel blog. Perhaps you’ll find something you’ll like and use too or perhaps you’ll get some tech ideas or be able to share some ‘must packs’ of your own. Lets explore.
In The Pocket…
Firstly, I should explain that I don’t carry a camera. I take a million photos per trip and this past year I’ve recorded a tonne of video; however, I don’t have a camera to speak of.
Over the years I’ve gone through half a dozen point and shoots and I tend to lean towards the pocketable ‘super zoom’ category of travel camera. However, over the past few years I’ve been leaning more and more towards mobile photography. The mobile photograph game has been rising so rapidly its hard to ignore. Whilst I do love the high quality images you can capture on a top end camera these are far beyond my travel budget. Many of these camera could pay for 2 or 3 trips away and I know where my priorities lie. Of course, I agree that a pocket-sized camera can’t always compare with a good DSLR or mirrorless option but I just cannot knock the convenience of the phone. Its already in my pocket, its already taking up space, its easily used, easily charged and easily uploaded to the cloud. My Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge compares favourably against practically any point-and-shoot around the £150-£250 mark. Obviously it lacks the zoom function but has a pack of features that a camera in my price range could only drool over. I don’t want a attention-drawing, big-bucks camera hanging from my neck and I am more than happy with the compromise.
Also, my past cameras have always broken down or been outdated within just a few years. This constant upgrade is expensive and tiresome – my phone contract upgrades in the same time frame plus is fully insured for damage. Win-win, its a no brainer.
So now that you know what’s in my pocket, lets have a look at whats inside my bag….
In The Bag…
Anker PowerCore 20100 USB Charger, £29.99 – This is an absolute beast of a portable charger. Its definitely on the larger size and needs to be in the bag rather than in the pocket but that being said in houses a massive 20100mAmp battery meaning it can charge my Galaxy S7 Edge 5 times and your average iphone about 7. This is a life saver on long flights or in hotels with limited plug sockets. Whats more it has 2 USB slots so you can charge two devices in one hit. Win.Anker International USB Plug, £9.99 – A simply plug with changeable international pins and FOUR USB slots. Essential. Also from Anker, which seem like a solid brand of chargers and plugs
iThrough Waterproof S7 Edge Case, £9.99 – Although my phone is already ‘waterproof’ rated, I still take precaution when taking a dip. If the phone is fully submerged it’ll take a while to dry and I’m quite sure salt water is a no-no for any phone. This case is fully waterproof up to 6 meters or so. Just enough to film some fishes. Who needs a Go Pro?
Smartphone Tripod, £9.99 – I bought this camera tripod for Iceland to take some long exposure shots of the Northern Lights. Unfortunately the lights weren’t playing for us on this trip so the tripod never got any use. However its in the bag to help get some nice stabilised video of scenery. I’ve yet to use the tripod out of the house, so fingers crossed it hold the test of time. Its fully collapsible and even comes with a handy little bag to through over your shoulder; plus its light as a feather.
Zhiyun Z1 Smooth-C Stabiliser, £179. Speaking of stabilising video, this is the crown jewel in my bag and by far my most expensive and adventurous travel purchase. This little baby is a 3 axis handheld gimble that helps to stabilise my video. Its an amazing little tool and whilst there are newer and more advanced alternatives now on the ever-expanding stabiliser market, this more basic version is solid, reliable and creates absolutely silky smooth footage. It also saves a lot of time and computer processing power when editing as the shots are already silky smooth. the S7 Edge already has a stabiliser built in but nothing can compare to the real deal. I first came across this strange Chinese device when I spotted a tourist in London holding one about a year ago; I literally stopped him, said “what the fuck is that” and have never looked back.
And the rest… Books, magazines, travel documents, sunglasses, a hat, an eye mask and I’m good to go.
What are your essential must-packs? Do you feel like your hand luggage is about to explode with all the bits and bobs inside? What’s your travel camera equipment like?