Traveling with Camera Equipment

It's the age-old dilemma, at least for me when traveling: Do you dare to check anything? Are there items that you must check?

For my photo safari to Africa, I debated these questions for a long while. I would have only once chance to arrive in Africa with the right gear, and losing my luggage was not an option. At the same time, I didn't want to try to carry anything on that would be disallowed.

In the end, I decided to pack my monopod in my hard-sided suitcase. I have heard that these sometimes do not pass security, and I didn't want to take a chance. Everything else--two bodies, three lenses, computer, assorted accessories--went into a soft-sided bag.

What do others check, if anything? Have you been able to take monopods and/or tripods on the plane with you?

Photo credits: Bowie15.

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Hah-hah! I think if you are two meters, you don't have the same luck :)

Great idea on taking off the ball head. With what those things cost, better to keep it in sight. I have been thinking of getting a Pelican case for carry-on. Seems like a good investment to protect all that delicate stuff.


I once smiled and winked at a custom officer in Finland and they let me pass with a wooden, sharp stick - it was actually a flag pole but nevertheless :P. I guess they thought I could do no if you are one and a half meter, you have blue eyes and you smile nicely, you can pass those tripods :P ....


On my recent trip to Alaska I went through the same debate. I ended up including only my tripod in my checked luggage, but kept the ballhead in my carryon with my camera bodies and lenses. I had no trouble getting through security this way, and likely would do the same thing for future trips.

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