This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world in the best ways possible.
When you are planning holidays you need to focus on how you want to optimize every moment of it. Most people go on holiday because they want to break their routine and relax. Choosing wildlife holidays is a great way to do just that. You have the opportunity to venture outdoors and explore the terrain, animals, birds and local flora and fauna. You also get the opportunity to do more activities like hiking and trekking and so on. Many photographers head out for wildlife holidays to capture excellent wildlife shots.
If you are a photography enthusiast you should have the best gear and technology that would allow you to enjoy your wildlife holidays even after you’ve returned home. Here are 11 things most photographers carry with them when they head out for their holidays in the wilderness.
Having the right backpack can make a huge difference. This is because you want to carry all the gear and clothing in the best possible way. Different companies and brands manufacture backpacks that cater to different audiences. If you are carrying a lot of digital equipment you will need backpacks that can secure equipment throughout the trip. However, the backpack must also allow you to access the gear as and when you prefer. For instance, if you are birdwatching in Costa Rica you must be able to access binoculars as and when required. Hence, the overall design and structure of the backpack must offer you comfort and convenience.
Even if you are not a wildlife photographer you would at least want to carry a good quality binocular that can help you explore the wilderness from a distance. Many brands manufacture binoculars designed for wildlife viewing and bird watching. Hence, you need to be clear about how you want to choose the right binoculars that have the right magnification, size and weight. Knowing what to look for when buying binoculars would ensure that they are easy to pack and carry around on your wildlife trip.
Cameras have become extremely common these days. Most high-end smartphones have cameras that have a certain degree of optical and digital zoom. However, if you are finicky about the quality of the images you need to rely on DSLRs and even mirrorless cameras that deliver high-quality results. Various brands like Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sony and Panasonic provide both DSLR and mirrorless cameras that allow you to zoom on to your wildlife subject and capture some stunning shots that you can cherish years later and relive those moments.
Camera Lenses & Extenders
If you are taking DSLRs or mirrorless cameras with you on your wildlife tour you would also want to pack in the right camera lenses that could allow you to capture the landscape and wildlife in the best possible way. You should choose the best lenses instead of carrying them all to help you cut down the baggage weight. Similarly, you must also carry teleconverters and extenders that would make things easier for you when you shoot wildlife.
Tripod or Monopod
While various zoom lenses do have in-built stability features you would want to mount your camera on a tripod or monopod to get that additional stability. This will allow you to capture some sharp images especially when you are zooming or capturing fast-moving subjects. Various brands manufacture tripods and they come in various shapes and sizes. This means that you need to look for a tripod or monopod that can offer you the stability you need for capturing those stunning panoramic landscapes, night photography, and even wildlife photography.
Once you are out in the wilderness you are on your own. This means that you need to be prepared for a wildlife tour which allows you to explore the animals and birds in their natural habitat. If you are someone who loves clicking random images you will soon run out of space in your memory card. Some DSLR camera models do have dual card slots which make things convenient for you. However, if you are using a camera that has a single memory card slot you will need to carry extra memory cards to help you capture more images. On the other hand, if you are taking 4K videos you will need memory cards with faster processing speed. However, you will need to find out which card class your camera supports. Knowing how to buy the best SD card for your camera, phone and tablet would help you make the right investment.
Apart from running out of space in your camera and phone memory cards, you might also run out of power if you are tech-savvy. This can be a huge problem if you rely on digital tools. For this, you need to carry additional batteries which would allow you to stay connected until you reach your wildlife lodge or resort. You can always pack in power banks and additional camera batteries to help you capture those stunning wildlife and landscape shots on your digital camera. Also, having a power bank ensures that your smartphone is ready and available throughout your wildlife trip. This would help you locate various places and points on apps that you want to use during your holidays.
While you are packing for wildlife expeditions you would also want to carry chargers that can come in handy when you are at the airport or your hotel. This would allow you to recharge your camera and phone batteries when you are taking a break or enjoying your meals.
Lens Cleaning Kit
When you are venturing out in the open you will likely find plenty of dust and dirt on your cameras and camera lenses. This can ruin your wildlife photographs. Having a lens cleaning kit would ensure that you can clean them right before you click those pictures. Cleaning those lenses with regular cloth would not be a good thing as it can lead to scratches.
If you are heading out in rainy conditions, you will also need to have raincoats and rain cover for the digital equipment. This would allow you to safeguard your digital equipment from water and moisture.
Smartphone & Laptop
Carrying a smartphone and laptop would be a good thing to do because you want to stay connected as and when you get time. Having a laptop also allows you to see all those images on your bigger laptop screen when you are relaxing in your room. This also allows you to quickly delete unwanted images and save space on your memory card. Smartphones are also capable of various macro shots and regular photographs of yourself. You can also have a GPS app on your smartphone which will help you track your position as you explore the terrain.