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7 Highly Effective Ways to Protect Your Camera While Traveling

I am not as concerned with theft as I am with losing my digital camera to the elements.

I’ve gone through three point-and-shoot digital cameras in the last three years, and I have vowed to make my new Canon PowerShot last at least two.

I was heartbroken when my first digital camera died after some sand got into the lens at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

I had dreamed about hiking into the Grand Canyon since I was a little kid, and I sadly have no photos at the bottom of the canyon.

My last camera only made it a few months; it met its end when drink powder ripped open in my bag during my first ultramarathon.

The road can be pretty tough on cameras, so here are seven highly effective ways to protect your camera while traveling:

1. Utilize the Camera Strap

So this is pretty much Photography 101, but always use your wrist or neck strap to secure your digital camera.

I often remove the strap because it can blow in front of the lens and get in the way of my shot, but it wouldn’t if I had the strap wrapped around my wrist like it is supposed to be.

Straps keep you from dropping your camera off the side of the boat or the cliff.

2. Invest in a Crushproof Case

If I had only discovered Pelican cases and Otter boxes years ago, I wouldn’t have gone through so many cameras.

These cases are crushproof, dustproof, and water-resistant.

I love being able to toss my camera in my backpack and not have to worry about it getting crushed or scratched.

The only thing is they won’t protect your camera out of the case.

3. Choose a Tough Camera To Begin With

Some cameras are just more robust than others. The Olympus Stylus Tough series cameras are waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof, and crushproof.

These cameras are built with the adventure traveler in mind and can withstand whatever abuse you toss at it.

4. Don’t Forget the Floating Camera Strap

Just because you got yourself a nifty waterproof camera doesn’t mean that it will float if you drop it in the water.

Get yourself a floating strap, so in case you do drop it in the water, it won’t sink and be lost forever.

5. Opt For a Waterproof Case

If you’re not in the market for a new waterproof camera, you can waterproof your existing camera with a relatively inexpensive case.

The Aquapac Compact Camera Case turns any digital camera (up to 8 inches in diameter) into an underwater camera.

Waterproof to a depth of 15 feet, the Aquapac’s ultra-clear lens lets you take great underwater shots right through the case.

Related: Travel Photography Advice from a Five-Year Traveler

6. Get Yourself a Gorillapod

Have you ever tried to use a rock ledge or a signpost as a tripod, just to have a gust of wind blow up and toss your camera to the ground?

Try a Gorillapod instead. These flexible tripods weigh less than two ounces and monkey its way around an object to help you safely get the perfect shot.

7. Don’t Skimp on Insurance

If you’re hard on electronics, I highly recommend purchasing warranty or accident protection plans for your camera.

Many plans will protect your camera 100% from mechanical failures as well as falls and water damage.


About the Author: Amiee Maxwell writes about travel and outdoor gear at Travel Gear Blog, part of the BootsnAll network. You can follow her on Twitter @AmieeMaxwell and @TravelGearBlog.

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Monday 9th of April 2012

Great tips! All that I recommend when I teach. Cameras may be replaceable but it's an expense you just don't want to have to be subjected to when you're budget traveling around the world as so many are.


Monday 9th of April 2012

And I've learned the hard way that cameras are often a lot more expensive outside the USA. In South America, they're often 30% more expensive.

Water Damage Boca Raton

Saturday 12th of March 2011

I really loved this post. You describe this topic perfectly.

Water Damage Hollywood

Wednesday 2nd of February 2011

Great post thanks a lot. Enjoyed reading it!


Friday 17th of December 2010

Thanks for the tips, they will come in handy for especially with new camera

Joshua Johnson

Wednesday 15th of December 2010

I use Pelican cases and couldn't be happier with them. I know that if it is wet or adverse conditions such as kayaking or mountain climing or just long hours in a backpack on top of a bus somewhere, the camera is going to be fine.

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