How to pack light for short trips (camera gear)

How to pack light for short trips. Click here to check out the full updated list of my camera gear.

I’m out my door to Brazil and I was going through my emails and someone asked me how I pack when I travel for a couple weeks. Here it goes.

If there is anything I have learned in all my travels is to pack light. I know, I know, you have all these lenses, filters, tripods, cameras, and extra gear you want to bring along, but why??? I mean are you really going to use it? I learned this the hard way, but I learned.

Think about the stuff you use most often around your neighborhood, I mean do you carry all that and some when going for a photo walk with your friends? Probably not, in fact, I doubt you use any of the extra shit you have laying around your house you purchased out of impulse. Leave everything behind except what you are going to use for sure. Like a camera and a lens, that’s really all you need.

Back in the day, I used to carry this massive case full of gear only to realize that I never used any of it, a complete waste of time and effort.

Now, this is what I bring with me on short term trips. (unless I get hired by someone and need all kinds of gear there is no need to carry all this extra weight).

The most important to me is my most used setup. My Nikon D800e and my 14-24mm lens. One extra body and one extra lens. (just incase something happens, but this usually stays back in the hotel in a safe place)

A couple batteries, a tripod, a mini tripod (this one never leaves my bag), memory cards, a card reader, battery charger, a remote for long exposures, a 10 stop ND filter, and that’s really it. My laptop for keeping in touch with you guys and a HD to back up and save all my photos.

Traveling light is important for 2 reasons, one you don’t have to carry a bunch of stuff, and 2 you don’t have to worry about a damaging or loosing any of your gear. I promise you if you bring what you truly use, you won’t ever think about any of the other gear you have laying around.

I hope this short read was helpful, I am now in Rio and it’s amazing here. One day down lots more to go. Click on the pic to see all of my gear. The photo below shows you the gear I actually brought to Brazil.

My gear

  • Eric Loga says:

    Perfect…. :)

      • Steve says:

        That depends what you’re shooting. A 14-24 is great for vistas and perspective images. What is your second lens? Don’t get me wrong, I love ultra wide but you have to be on top of everything. I get the short trip thing but it depends on the situation I would guess.
        Have a great trip!

        • Edin Chavez says:

          My other lens is a 24-85 3.5 I like it because its small, I love my wide lens and rarely take it off my cam. My point was take wat you are actually going to use, it doesn’t matter what it is.

          • Stephen Almeida says:

            Don’t get me wrong! I hear what you’re saying. I won’t leave my camera bag on a flight or check it in. There have been times when I couldn’t store it in an overhead on connector flights and cursed that bag.

  • Great advice!!!! Stay safe out there!!!!

  • Barbara Jara says:

    Hi, I been doing photography for just a few years now. I have a Nikon d3100 and the lenses I use are my 50mm and my 300mm telephoto lens. Every time I buy something new it’s usually a lens. I don’t own an external flash. I have never felt like I needed one. I always like to improve with the natural light surrounding me and then work on my edits through lightroom afterwards. Is it a must? Should I spend on getting an external flash? Thanks.