If you love traveling, spending time outdoors and taking pictures, consider treating yourself or your family to a wildlife photography vacation. Whether you'll be peacefully bird watching or going on a action-packed safari adventure, the trip will be an opportunity to combine your passions, interests and favorite hobbies.
When packing for a big trip, especially for a family, it can be easy to forget items that you need. A little bit of planning prior to packing may save you a major inconvenience when you reach your destination, however. If you'll be traveling to a remote area, such as the Australian outback or a Central American rain forest, you may have a hard time finding anything other than essential items, so it's best to be prepared. Forgetting your camera charger or memory stick, for instance, can ruin your photography plans.
Here is a packing checklist of items you should consider bringing on your wildlife excursion:
1. Photography Essentials
Pack all of your photography gear and essentials in a waterproof bag, such as a backpack, that you can easily transport from location to location. Essential gear besides your camera itself includes chargers, rechargable batteries for times when electricity isn't available, a laptop, UV filters, an external flash unit and memory cards. Other items to consider bringing along are flashlights and headlamps, a camera rain cover, a power strip for all of your gadgets, and a camera neck strap.
You can also bring a tripod or a monopod for your camera, so that you don't have to prop your expensive equipment up on fences and other items to take a great shot. Look for mini versions that you can easily fold up and pack in your bag.
2. Travel Insurance Paperwork
If you're traveling with expensive, high-quality photography equipment, make sure to purchase travel insurance prior to your trip, and keep the paperwork in your bag so it's always on-hand in case of an emergency.
3. Protective Clothing
Since you'll be spending a lot of time outdoors and exposed to natural elements on your vacation, pack protective clothing. Take the location's climate and weather patterns into consideration when packing, and bring along straw sun hats, sunglasses, flip-flops, rain boots and rain jackets or parkas, moisture-wicking clothing or cold-weather gear, as appropriate.
Don't forget to pack a bottle or two of a moisture-resistant sunblock, as well as bug spray or lotion. If you'll be taking pictures in an area where you want to stay concealed from wildlife, bring brown and green camouflaged clothing, too.