Carry Me

September 30, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

To Back Pack Or Not To

DIY gear for photography (part 1)

In every photographer's journey there comes a time when you acquired more and more gear to perfect your photography.

For one, I have accumulated over the years a few lenses and bodies and with that comes the question of how to carry it. I have had a few bags/backpacks in my time. When I go out for a day and indulge in wildlife photography I started to carry two bodies, 2-3 lenses, Speedlight, batteries, etc. and my backpack grew bigger and bigger. In the end, I carried a big heavy bag on my shoulders and at the end of the day, my back and shoulders were sore.

I have seen a few different options of how to carry your gear and I came across a belt system which I liked. The weight is shifted to your waist and it becomes more comfortable to be carried. To curb cost and to personalised the system to my needs, I decided to create my own.

DIY belt system.Carry systemDIY camera gear belt system.

What I needed was easy to find in hobby and craft stores for under $30 (excluding the clip).

Clockwise from front:

Belt: The belt is made of 4cm wide polyester belting, available at hobby and craft store for a couple of bucks a meter. The belt buckle is available from the same stores or online for a dollar or two. The buckle is the same as it is used on backpacks which make them sturdy and secure. Measure enough belt to have ample to tighten or loosen it as desired. Sew the ends by folding the end over a couple of times. This prevents the belt from fraying (a bit of heat will melt the loose threads on the belt end nicely together).

Clip: Peak Design Capture Camera Clip (first generation) camera holder. This is a system I really like, I am not a fan of neck straps and this system does the trick. When I am out for the day, I have my secondary camera with an 18-140mm lens clipt into it. The clip is mounted to an adapted Peak Design pro pad made of leftover belt strap. (Disclaimer: The Capture Camera Clip is my personal preference and opinion and is not a paid advertising)

Bags: The first bag is a Speedlight bag which came with my SB-600 from Nikon. The other two bags were bought from an army disposal store for a couple of dollars. I always carry a Speedlight, spare batteries for cameras and flash, a bandage (I am often in snake country and I like to be prepared), gaffer tape or similar, keys, phone and wallet. Most items I carry always with me, some change.

Tarp: DIY Wildlife blind made of a self-made tarp (this will be shown in my next blog coming first of November). Rolled up and attached to the belt with a velcro band.

Carry beltCarry belt Carry belt backCarry belt back

This setup is the way I will carry my gear for hours without having a bulky bag on my back. With the gear around my body, nothing sticks out too much and therefore I am able to get into places without getting caught on something.

The system can easily be adjusted to whatever configuration you like. Some of the shelve belt systems have staps over your shoulders, which I haven't needed yet.

In my next blog, I will share how I made my DIY Wildlife blind out of a tarp I made myself 20 years ago.


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