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Old 03-11-2018, 08:13 AM   #1
psoiree
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Question How to travel with backpack & suitcase?

I've never traveled on long distances with a suitcase before. It's always been unbelievable to me how one can carry a backpack and a suitcase, especially if he goes to more remote places like jungle, desert etc.

Due to the fact the older I am the lighter I want to travel, I changed all my heavy DSLR gear to light mirrorless cameras and ordered a smaller but durable backpack (Wndrd Prvke 31l) instead of normal hiking 60l.

Thing is I carry lots of quite expensive gear with me and as long as I don't take photo camera and video camera at the same time it's fine. But when the assignment which needs both comes I know the backpack by itself will be overloaded and the gear can get damaged - even if not damaged, then it's not the best idea to carry everything in one bag.

For this scenario, I was thinking of buying a Peli 1535 Air suitcase - then I could travel carry-on with both and don't be afraid of airlines losing my suitcase.

Main question is: how the heck do professionals travel with both?

As long as you stay in hotels, that's fine. As long as you have whole crew, that's fine - there will be some transportation organized, even in the most remote Africa/Antarctica places. But traveling alone?

How do You move between places if You travel Africa for example? It's easy answer when You travel cities and concrete places but can't imagine holding a heavy suitcase for 3-5 kilometres when there's only gravel road everywhere.

There were many times when I hiked for 3-4 days with all my gear just to do the shot. There were many times where I captured one of my best frames ONLY because I had my hands free and carrying a backpack on my back I could still take a frame.

How do you do it?

Some of you will say - to leave the suitcase at hotel/overnight place. But what if You camp new place every night (Iceland trip) or travel with a rented motorbike (Vietnam trip)? I think the hard suitcase is very limiting then and traveling with it is pointless if You don't know where would You sleep. I guess it applies only when Your assignment is really well planned.

Some of you will say - pack lighter, pack minimal. I come from the same camp. Pack as minimal as you can. You can always buy clothes and other things at the destination - as long as there's people living there. That's not the case though, unfortunately.

If you go for an assignment, you can't tell your client or subject you didn't take the video because you had no recorder with you.

The gear I use if traveling for two sided assignment I'm making a living of:

X-Pro 2 + 56mm (photo)
ELB400 + 1x HS head
Manfrotto Nano lightstand
Rotalux Deep Octa 70cm

X-H1 (in cage) + 16-55mm (video)
Zoom H6 recorder + Videomic pro
9V battery
follow focus
rails + shoulder pad
external 7" monitor
Mavic Pro
Manfrotto Befree Carbon tripod + Benro S4 head
Zhiyun Crane 2 gimbal
WD My Passport Wireless SSD (which should gimme a chance to leave the laptop @ office)

The gear I use when traveling for fun:

X-Pro 2 + 35mm
Manfrotto Befree Carbon tripod
Macbook Pro 15"

So as You can see there's much difference between the two. When traveling for assignment, I can easily pack all this stuff to Wandrd Prvke 31l but there won't be place for anything more. That's ok, I can buy clothes @ the destination but where to put them then?

I hope You got my point. Not an easy one!

P.S. Didn't know where to put this thread since its about film logistics - hope I didn't do wrong.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:50 PM   #2
Rayandmigdalia
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I worked in television for over 30 years as a network cameraman. There were always six pieces of equipment on the plane with me.
(1)Hard camera case (also held some accessories). WITH WHEELS.
(2)Portabrace Accessory bag. Batteries, chargers, gadgets, everything else.
(3)Hard tripod case.
(4)Lowel light kit
(5)Foldable hand truck
One suitcase of clothes.
Your destination hotel becomes your headquarters. The cases and battery chargers stay in the hotel. Hire a driver to act as a guide, and to transport equipment.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:51 PM   #3
jax_rox
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When travelling to remote areas, that's when your luxuries have to take a back seat. For example, if you're camping out in the jungles of Africa, maybe the realities of the location mean you can't take your follow focus and cage and rods and shoulder mount and external monitor and gimbal. These are all luxuries. If there's a couple of you, or you can have a base in a hotel room, then sure take them with you. But if it's literally just you and your camera, you don't have the space nor ability to take everything. To be honest, if you're travelling in the remote jungles of Africa, it probably means using available light rather than bringing your light and stand and softbox.

If you have a trip that covers a variety of things you take what you need and plan the trip so you can ship things home as you're done with them.

All that being said, I have the Peak Design Everyday Messenger and Peak Design Everyday Backpack, both of which are fantastic, fit heaps of stuff and are great for this kind of thing. I've done interstate trips with clothes, toiletries, A7s + lenses, laptop, iPad, HDDs, cards, batteries, charger etc. all in the one bag over a few days using them.

I'm a big fan of Peak Design and I reckon with one (or more) of their bags and some of their accessories you could easily carry a lot of your equipment.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:23 PM   #4
psoiree
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayandmigdalia View Post
I worked in television for over 30 years as a network cameraman. There were always six pieces of equipment on the plane with me.
(1)Hard camera case (also held some accessories). WITH WHEELS.
(2)Portabrace Accessory bag. Batteries, chargers, gadgets, everything else.
(3)Hard tripod case.
(4)Lowel light kit
(5)Foldable hand truck
One suitcase of clothes.
Your destination hotel becomes your headquarters. The cases and battery chargers stay in the hotel. Hire a driver to act as a guide, and to transport equipment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jax_rox View Post
When travelling to remote areas, that's when your luxuries have to take a back seat. For example, if you're camping out in the jungles of Africa, maybe the realities of the location mean you can't take your follow focus and cage and rods and shoulder mount and external monitor and gimbal. These are all luxuries. If there's a couple of you, or you can have a base in a hotel room, then sure take them with you. But if it's literally just you and your camera, you don't have the space nor ability to take everything. To be honest, if you're travelling in the remote jungles of Africa, it probably means using available light rather than bringing your light and stand and softbox.

If you have a trip that covers a variety of things you take what you need and plan the trip so you can ship things home as you're done with them.

All that being said, I have the Peak Design Everyday Messenger and Peak Design Everyday Backpack, both of which are fantastic, fit heaps of stuff and are great for this kind of thing. I've done interstate trips with clothes, toiletries, A7s + lenses, laptop, iPad, HDDs, cards, batteries, charger etc. all in the one bag over a few days using them.

I'm a big fan of Peak Design and I reckon with one (or more) of their bags and some of their accessories you could easily carry a lot of your equipment.
And that's what we call an insight! Many thanks, guys! It took me a week to get close to these answers on other forums - don't get me wrong, I also am thankful for them, but you put it lighting fast in 2 cent. Someone actually also gave me a hint he's building a headquarters but they were more than surprised why you can't always have an assistant with you or why do you want to go with all that expensive gear into the Amazon jungle. Tech kids, 2018, we can't to nothing about.

I was thinking about PeakDesign, I almost bought it (it's available in my country, I ordered the Wandrd from States but after discount it's almost the same price) but the rolltop in Wandrd won. It means I can put a small Elinchrom ELB400 inside, or the gimbal or anything more there and take my clothes in slingshot, smaller backpack.

Also, the other nice hint was to buy a rolling backpack - which to be honest I didn't think of before - and then it's suitcase on wheels with additional straps so in the end You can also carry it on Your back and put Wandrd in front of You. Can't imagine hiking 20km into the jungle with this setup but hey, it's always something.

The other thing someone told me is that Peli carries too much attention. People and thieves know there's something expensive inside. What's your experience on this topic, guys? It may look expensive but it's invulnerable as fcuck.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:31 PM   #5
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Wrap it in duct tape and take sandpaper and rough up the duct tape. Then it looks like a shitty old suitcase someone repaired that's been banged around.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:36 PM   #6
psoiree
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Originally Posted by indietalk View Post
Wrap it in duct tape and take sandpaper and rough up the duct tape. The it looks like a shitty old suitcase someone repaired that's been banded around.
Haha that's exactly what I thought! I have all my gear duct taped! Necessity is the mother of invention

Btw. didn't know the PD Everyday Messenger Bag has additional strap, for God's sake! So now it went down to choosing between Peli and Everyday Messenger Bag. The former if traveling remote, the latter if traveling civilisation I think. PD is nice but absolutely no safety for gear. I broke my camera hiking Israel last year 'cause I had it put in everyday slingshot bag. It slipped from my shoulder, hit the rocks and of course the camera took all the impact... So no friggin' slingshots anymore

Peli's nice because one can use it for many things, as a stool for example.

Last edited by psoiree; 03-13-2018 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:55 PM   #7
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Honestly I'd say just don't lose sight of it ever.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:19 PM   #8
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Honestly I find pelican cases to be too heavy and bulky if I’m doing something in the middle of nowhere. If you don’t have access to power and a home base etc. then I want to be as light as possible.

Equipment insurance sounds like it could be your friend as well, if you’re super concerned about theft & breakage.
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