As a travel photographer, I (Andrew here) am always trying to find better ways to keep my gear safe while country hopping. In 2010 Brock backpacked around the world. If this wasn’t amazing enough, along the way he maintained a fabulous travel blog complete with fresh HD video, photos, and commentary from his adventures. As a friend of mine and a great guy in general, Brock was generous enough to share what he’s learned about traveling with tech. ~Andrew
To protect your tech gear, there a few simple ways you can prevent it from being broken or stolen.
Find a water resistant, well padded laptop case. Most cases on the market are thin and flimsy. Think of the case as a helmet for your laptop. The cheaper and thinner the helmet the less likely it is going to protect against an impact. If you are going to spend 100′s if not 1000′s of dollars on your laptop, then you should be willing to spend around $50 for a great laptop case. For those travelling with a Macbook, check out the Coated Canvas Sleeve by Incase.
For ultra protection, in the event that your laptop gets stolen, check out ‘LoJack for Laptop‘. They will track your laptop when the thief turns it on. That said, be sure to read the terms and conditions first to make sure you activate it properly.
To film around the world, I used the Panosonic Lumix DMC ZS3. Not only did it take great photos and videos (shoots in HD with stereo audio), it was more subtle then a video camera. People tend to freeze up when they see a video camera but act naturally when you pull out a ‘point and shoot’. Camera’s in general are very fragile so I used a Lowepro Case with extra cushioning and it even has it’s own rain poncho. Excessive? Nope! Get stuck in a Kenyan rain storm like I did and you’ll be glad you had it.
External Hard Drive:
Backing up your videos and photos is just as important as protecting the items that create them. My favourite is the Lacie Rugged 500 GB with USB and Firewire. It survived my year around the world and kept my files safe. Other then when I was in transit, I always kept my laptop and external hard drive in separate places to ensure that they didn’t both get stolen or damaged at the same time.
In addition to the above suggestions for keeping your gear safe, be sure to have a sturdy daypack and excellent travel insurance. Finding insurance for technology is pretty tricky and it will rarely cover ‘everything’, that said I found the best coverage for my gear with World Nomads.
Finally, and above all, keep an eye on your stuff. It takes only a second for someone to grab your bag. Always keep it with you (even take it to the bathroom), spoon with it at night and while in transit, and put the strap around your arm or leg when in restaurants.
It may seem a bit obsessive to do all these things when you are travelling but if something goes missing, it can put a pretty big damper on your trip.