40 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed in Your Camera Bag

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I have some odds and ends in my camera bag; stuff I think is useful and necessary. I wondered what other photographers around B&H carried in their well-worn camera bags, and surveyed the crowd. Photographers at B&H span many genres of the art and, as such, what I got from each one was different.

I got some great food for thought and added some items to my B&H wish list!

  1. Rite in The Rain All Weather Spiral Notebook – For notes.

  1. Alpine Hearing Protection Multi-Pack Earplugs – For hearing conservation.

  1. Sunscreen – My dermatologist said, “If you are walking around outside without using a flashlight, you need to be wearing sunscreen.”

  1. Lip Balm – Chapped lips are bad.

  1. Fenix LD12-G2 Flashlight + Extra AA Battery – Always good to have a small one handy for when your larger ones die on you.

  1. Zeiss Lens Wipes – Keep your optics clean.

  1. Lens Pen – Ditto.

  1. Motrin – Vitamin M.

  1. Garmin eTrex 10 GPS – Try not to get lost.

  1. Disposable Latex Gloves – Keeps your hands clean, and allows you to change halogen bulbs.

  1. Power Receptacle Tester – Use before you plug in your expensive lighting gear.

  1. SPARK 3-To-2 Prong Grounding Adapters – A must for using power in older homes and buildings.

  1. Leatherman Micra or Wingman – Multi-tool for multi-purposes.

  1. Toupee Tape – I don’t wear one, but I was told it is great for lapel microphones and adhering gels to lights.

  1. Carson PO-55 5x MiniBrite Pocket Magnifier – Multiple uses.

  1. Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker – Write something. Label something.

  1. Gaffer Tape – 1" Black stored in Film Canister – Gaffer tape is one of your best friends.

  1. Spare pair of eyeglasses – Only if you wear eyeglasses.

  1. Eyeglass repair kit – For your eyeglasses and lots of other repairs.

  1. Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Alert Radio – Be prepared!

  1. Monocular – For scouting.

  1. Emergency Cell Phone – Unlocked!!

  1. Make-up kits / perfume – One B&H photographer hands these out to young girls when photographing in impoverished locales.

  1. Polaroid Z2300 Instant Digital Camera – Great for giving an instant “gift” to portrait subjects.

  1. Dryer Lint in a Film Canister – Great for starting fires in survival situations.

  1.  Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter – For igniting #25.

  1. Binder clips – Multi-purpose.

  1. Silica gel packs – Do not eat.

  1. First Aid Kit in Pelican 1010 – For life’s little accidents.

  1. Lectrosonics Mini Flathead/Phillips Screwdriver – For repairs/adjustments.

  1. Film Canister with $5 in quarters – You never know when you might want to play a video game, shoot a game of pool, or feed a parking meter.

  1.  Vello Three-Axis Hot Shoe Bubble Level or Vello Two-Axis Hot Shoe Bubble Level – Keep on the level.

  1. Three 1-gallon sealing plastic bags – For storage.

  1. Water bottle – Stay hydrated.

  1. Delta 1 “A” Grip Clamp – Multi-purpose.

  1. Cable ties and/or Touch Fastener Straps – Keep your gear shipshape.

  1. Snacks – Yum.

  1. Knife – Multi-purpose.

  1. Fisher Bullet Space Pen – Pressurized ink to write at any angle, or in outer space.

  1. Business cards – Quicker than finding a napkin to write down your contact information.

What do you carry in your camera bag? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Discussion 17

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  • Granola Bar
  • Business Cards
  • Pocket Knife
  • And A Lucky Charm!

Thanks for the tips, Jordan!

If you are flying with your bag, multi tool, screw driver, and the knife need to come out! I've been checked for a small screw driver before, never even thought about it and certainly didn't consider it a weapon.

If you are flying with your bag, multi tool, screw driver, and the knife need to come out! I've been checked for a small screw driver before, never even thought about it and certainly didn't consider it a weapon.

Hey Bruce,

Thanks for the good tips there! Yes, certainly check with your local aviation authorities before traveling with your photo gear to ensure you are not carrying contraband into airport security checkpoints!

Certainly not all of that extraneous stuff--I plan on carrying my camera bag, nor using a skid steer loader to move it around.

I wouldn't recommend adding all of the items, John! I certainly won't be...unless I had an assistant!

Thanks for reading!

Way too much ****. Way, way too much!

You still need to fit a camera and batteries and maybe film. Nice try making people feel like they "need" what they don't.

Hi 15fggdhejsna,

Thanks for your comments. The article is intended to share information and give readers thoughts for what they may or may not need to bring into the field with them for a photographic outing. I certainly do not "need" everything on this list, but there were things that folks shared with me that I will definitely be adding to my camera bag.

Thanks for reading!

Pack according to your assignment.  Most of the time, flashlights, knives, screwdrivers, multi-tools, snacks, etc. are not necessary.  If you are hiking into a remote location for wildlife, nature, or landscape images, you're probably going to have to tote a backpack with all of the emergency gear required.  Most of the time, extra memory cards, batteries, and a few cleaning supplies to keep lenses and gear clean are all that is required.  Keep it simple.

Hey DrillerAA,

Thanks for your comments! The KISS principle definitely applies and I have been known to lighten my load when needed!

Thanks for reading!

My camera, lenses, sd cards, batteries, lint brush, microfiber towel*Houston humidity*, mosquito repellant, small first aid kit( alcohol wipes, advil, band aids) lens wipes. A few bucks and a collapsable hair brush with a mirror. A protein bar. My cards and no.. it doesn't weight 4000 lbs

Thanks for the tips, marissa! And, thanks for reading!

I've added a few to my B&H wishlist.

I've got film canisters covered since I still use film. Besides change, the film canisters are handy for either two AA batteries or 1 9V battery. For quarters, I use an Altoids tin, but that's in my car for parking meters.

I saw a video where a 9V battery tossed in a drawer with other metal objects can short out and start a fire.

Hey Ralph,

Good tips. I'll ask our buyers about getting Altoids at B&H! Thanks for reading!

Hey Rick,

Good points! Some camera bag manufacturers make dedicated external pouches for water bottles. Tighten the lids, stay hydrated, and thanks for reading!

Putting a water bottle in with your gear is risky. Even the good metal ones will leak if you forget to tighten the lid, and a plastic bottle, yikes!