how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage

Started Apr 24, 2013 | Discussions
Bluejay
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how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage
Apr 24, 2013

Say,

How you guys manage to travel with your camera and lenses, and carry on luggage.  If I am to take a photography workshop in NYC, they require me that besides the camera/lense, laptop; I need to bring a tripod for the morning and evening shots.

So far I am carrying a backpack for the camera, lenses and laptop and the carry on luggage.

Frugaltraveler
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Re: how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage
In reply to Bluejay, Apr 24, 2013

Get yourself a backpack that fits your carry on stuff and camera. I have a Click Elite Venture 30, bottom portion is my camera and lenses, top I keep my personal stuff. Strap a light travel tripod to that backpack. And I carry a laptop in a sleeve. That's all. Trim your cloths down! Use your pants and jacket pockets to stuff it with your underwear and bathroom stuff if you want to.

I take 2 week trips that way.

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CameraCarl
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Re: how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage
In reply to Frugaltraveler, Apr 24, 2013

I put my cameras, lenses and batteries in a backpack that I carry on.  I put the laptop in a bag that I carry on. I check my tripod in my luggage. If there is room in my backpack  I put the ball head in there; if not I check it too.

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wa2n
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Re: how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage
In reply to CameraCarl, Apr 25, 2013

Ditto.  I use a large "hose clamp" to secure the tripod to a center frame post in my luggage to make it hard for a quick-grab by a shady TSA employee.  It takes a couple minutes with a flat blade screwdriver (which doesn't go in the same suitcase) to unscrew the hose claim enough to get the tripod out and so far that's been enough of a deterrent.  I would NEVER put anything valuable loose in my luggage, I always carry it onboard in a backpack.

CameraCarl wrote:

I put my cameras, lenses and batteries in a backpack that I carry on.  I put the laptop in a bag that I carry on. I check my tripod in my luggage. If there is room in my backpack  I put the ball head in there; if not I check it too.

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jckk
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Re: how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage
In reply to Bluejay, Apr 25, 2013

Bluejay wrote:

Say,

How you guys manage to travel with your camera and lenses, and carry on luggage.  If I am to take a photography workshop in NYC, they require me that besides the camera/lense, laptop; I need to bring a tripod for the morning and evening shots.

So far I am carrying a backpack for the camera, lenses and laptop and the carry on luggage.

My tripods are 4-section specifically so that I can fit them into carry-on luggage.  My Gitzo 2540 will fit if I remove the center column and I don't have to set it diagonally in the luggage.  My camera equipment usually goes in a backpack, with or without a laptop.  I keep the backpack under the seat and sometimes pull it up if I want to stretch out my legs.

James

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Freeman-Jo
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Re: how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage
In reply to Bluejay, Apr 25, 2013

Just about any bag that fit the TSA rule will suffice.  Anything that fit in the bag and still within the guideline will be okay.  So your gear isn't a problem.  Tripod is another matter.  Well if tripod is inside the bag, usually not gonna be seen and nobody check then it's okay.  TSA does allow tripod as carry on.  When the tripod is on the outside of the bag then it just beg to be checked.  The true is, even if TSA allow it, the airline have absolute power and can still have your bag checked instead.  So, if the tripod not gonna fit inside the bag, I say just check the tripod in a checked bag.  If the airline agent ask for you to check the bag, then negotiate and ask the agent to check the tripod only and you carry on your gear.

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Bluejay
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Re: how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage
In reply to Freeman-Jo, Apr 25, 2013

So basically can I put the tripod inside my carry-on luggage (ball head and leg stands apart)?  I wonder if it will cause panic on the security checkpoint.  As far as I can gather from the replies, I guess I can go with my Lowepro Fastpack (camera, lenses , laptop) and my carry on with tripod and little  clothes.

My last three trips, I had my luggage lost so I am never traveling with check-in bags.

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Freeman-Jo
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Re: how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage
In reply to Bluejay, Apr 25, 2013

Bluejay wrote:

So basically can I put the tripod inside my carry-on luggage (ball head and leg stands apart)?  I wonder if it will cause panic on the security checkpoint.  As far as I can gather from the replies, I guess I can go with my Lowepro Fastpack (camera, lenses , laptop) and my carry on with tripod and little  clothes.

My last three trips, I had my luggage lost so I am never traveling with check-in bags.

All I'm saying is that getting the pod inside the bag can avoid both tsa and airline agent visual and less likely to get questioning.  TSA doesn't have specific rule about tripod.  So technically it shouldn't be a problem.  One TSA guy may have a problem but another TSA peraonal may not.

Still both TSA and airline agent have abosulute authority regarding letting you carry tripod/monopod on even if it's contradicting their written policy.  You will never get absolute answer here.  Maybe, just maybe both TSA and airline have written policy specifically allow tripod, but that will never happen.

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TimR32225
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Re: how to travel with camera, tripod and carry on luggage
In reply to Bluejay, Apr 25, 2013

Bluejay wrote:

Say,

How you guys manage to travel with your camera and lenses, and carry on luggage.  If I am to take a photography workshop in NYC, they require me that besides the camera/lense, laptop; I need to bring a tripod for the morning and evening shots.

So far I am carrying a backpack for the camera, lenses and laptop and the carry on luggage.

You are fortunate that US carriers do not normally impose a weight limit on carry-on bags as some international carriers do.  Your situation is a piece of cake compared to that.

I suggest taking as much as you can fit in a carry-on and in your "personal item" bag, especially the more expensive items and the things you cannot do without in case of loss or theft.

I always take all my gear in a backpack as a carry-on, and pack any equipment that will not fit in a  smaller bag that I use as my "personal item".  I have never had space to take a tripod in a carry-on, so I reluctantly pack it carefully, along with a Wimberley gimbal head in my checked baggage.  One time I fit the Wimberley in my carry-on but the extra 3lbs was a real headache.  My packpack weighed around 43 lbs loaded with gear the last time I travelled to Alaska, but all of it was necessary.  I had no trouble taking it to my destination, although I had to pay excess baggage charges on Alaska Air to fly within Alaska after I arrived,  and again for the float plane down to Brooks Falls.

If you are not packing super telephoto lenses, your situation is easy and it will be light in comparison to packing for a wildlife trip.  I recently travelled to Kenya, and Ethopian Air has a 15lb limit on carry-on bags.  I had to empty my backpack except for my 500 f4 lens, and put the other gear in my "personal item" bag.  Even then, both bags weighted over 15 lbs each, but it was close and they let it slide.

Good luck...

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jckk
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I've never had an issue with a tripod on a plane
In reply to Bluejay, Apr 25, 2013

Bluejay wrote:

So basically can I put the tripod inside my carry-on luggage (ball head and leg stands apart)?  I wonder if it will cause panic on the security checkpoint.  As far as I can gather from the replies, I guess I can go with my Lowepro Fastpack (camera, lenses , laptop) and my carry on with tripod and little  clothes.

My last three trips, I had my luggage lost so I am never traveling with check-in bags.

Of course, it doesn't mean that you won't or that I won't in the future.  I've brought a Slik Sprint Pro (aluminum, 19" or shorter) in my luggage, I think one time a Bogen aluminum tripod on my backpack, and the rest of the times a Gitzo CF in my luggage.  TSA has never asked to take a closer look at the tripod or raised any other issue about them.

On a slightly different note, I've read a suggestion to keep the various cords and cables in a loose bunch rather than having them in a tight coil, such as tightly wound around another object.  The tight pattern is more likely to get a closer look.

When you checked in luggage, did you take off every airline tag that was on the bag before checking it in?

James

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