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Gearing Up for Shooting Season

February 28, 2021

As the first couple of pages fall off this year’s calendar, I can feel it in my bones. Shooting season is on its way.

My first trip of the year will get me out of the cold of Colorado to a much warmer clime (and I will share that with y’all when it happens). But to get from here to there I’m going back to some of my lessons learned from last year.

One of those lessons: Trying to travel with my legacy camera bag was a nightmare.

The camera bag I was carrying was the same one that I’ve been carrying since I was stationed in Turkey. It has been a long term relationship of 20 years with a LowePro backpack that I bought to carry my Canon AE-1 and assorted second-hand and third-hand lenses. It has seen four countries (and nearly got lost in Germany), a dozen U.S. states, about a half dozen camera bodies, hundreds of rolls of film, and countless lenses. It has been with me for most of the photographic journey.

But last year, both in my January trip down to South Texas and my June trip out through Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming, I found that the old bag just wasn’t working for me any more. Really more so on my trip to Texas because I was flying and the backpack was awkward, yet I didn’t have all the tools I wanted to have. And I was limited to my small Chromebook for computing power because it was the only computer that would fit in the small front pocket of the bag.

So after two decades I’ve supplemented that backpack with a Think Tank Photo Airport Security V3.0.

Go big or go home.

To the outside world it looks like a run-of-the-mill rolling carry-on bag. But inside it carries both of my long lenses, my camera body, and the rest of my accessories. And the front of the bag can handle up to a 17″ laptop.

Granted, carrying this much gear is going to be a pain in the neck when I go through airport security–I will once again be a human rain delay for everybody who is behind me as I remove all the equipment from the bag, transfer it to bins, and then put all the equipment back. But it will be nice to have all of my toys with me.

The old LowePro bag isn’t going anywhere. For short day trips I will continue to use it. However, it is going to cause me to duplicate some of the supplies that I have in the accessory areas. Extra memory cards, lens cloths, and so on, because I don’t want to have to be continually transferring items from one bag to the other. That, I think, is the best way not to have something when you really need it.

So the journey with the new camera bag starts in just a couple of weeks. Expect an update soon.

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