Co si zabalit na cestu | Petr Bambousek | Wildlife Photography

What to pack on a photo-trip?

What to pack on a photo-trip?

20 Sep 2015, Posted by Petr Bambousek in Articles, Equipment, Trip reports

This question keeps popping up over and over again. Almost on every tropical expedition I get the same question from new participants – what should I take with me? So, I decided to put together a detailed packing guide that I use. I will also keep a list of old things to show what I don’t take with me anymore.


I used to take with me a Gemma 75l bag and a camera bag. Nowadays, I prefer a large duffel bag on wheels that is much easier to travel with and is kind to my back. As for the money, I exchange in the Czech Republic. I always ask for smaller notes i.e. several 50 USD that should cover more expensive accommodation for several days. 20 USD notes are for taxis and simple backpacking accommodation. I have the most of 10 USD notes. This is for an everyday use and to exchange into local currency. I try to avoid 100 USD notes that I was refused on many occasions in an exchange. I usually divide the money according to my itinerary into several smaller packs. This not only helps me to keep track of the running cost but most importantly I don’t have all the money in one spot. Most often I have 4 packs, sometimes 5 with a label “spare”. The latter is for emergencies only or when I discover a compelling book.

Below is my universal packing list. I allow for slight adjustments here and there depending on the destination, of course.  I take into account that most of the time I travel to countries where the daily temperatures often exceed 30°C and drop to 20-23°C at night. Although weather is never 100%predictable. To the hot tropics I also take with me a waterproof lightweight and breathable rain jacket.

Clothing Some practical things Against boredom
2x lightweight long (expedition) trousers

2x convertible trousers with detachable legs

2x Merino T-shirts to be used underneath to prevent sweating

8x breathable short sleeve t-shirts (I sweat a lot)

2x long sleeve t-shirts

2x caps

2x multi-purpose scarves for neck and head (also to prevent sun burn of your back of your neck)

10x underwear (I get it washed as often as possible)

1x trekking sandals

1x good pair of hiking boots

1x breathable soft shell (mainly for when at the airports)

1x light weight fleece (mainly if I go to foggy rainforests)

1x swimmers

1x small towel

1x personal toiletries

1x cotton t-shirt and light trousers (for sleeping)

1x large plastic bag for dirty clothes

5x handkerchiefs

1x head lamp

1x Ultrafire 501B torch

1x extension cord with 5 plugs

2x universal adaptor

1x small scissors

1x multipurpose knife

1x Clingfilm (in case you need to shoot in the rain)

1x umbrella

1x plastic raincoat

2x sunglasses

1x sun cream

1x min 50% DEET insect repellent

1x Tea-tree oil (for cuts and insect bites)

1x gaiters (for my elbows in case we’d lie on damp ground for a long period)

1x self-inflating sleeping mat (for shooting near waterfronts)

1x some dirt cloth (to wipe of mud etc.)

3x sweat cloth (a brilliant and useful piece of gear that I can use to cool down with or freshen up)

1x camouflage gear

1x camouflage scarf

1x first-aid kit (pills for treating diarrhoea, painkillers, band-aids and bandages)

1x mosquito net

chargers (phone, tablet, AA batteries, extra  camera batteries, torch batteries etc.)

1x 0,5 L thermal cup

1x playing cards

1x MP3 (my trusty new Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini)

1x earplugs (for those that will sleep in the same room as me)

1x Tablet external input (Asus T100)

1x spare disc to archive photos

1x 64GB SD Card

Movies, games and e-books on a tablet

1x some books to identify local wildlife (e.g. Birds of xxx, Reptiles of xxx)

1x A6 notepad

1x mobile phone with bird sounds and apps

Passport (with an e-copy on my Dropbox)

driving licence



credit card

debit card

business cards


Photo gear

+ Canon EOS 5Ds

+ Canon EOS 7D MKII


+ Canon EF 300mm/2.8 IS

+ Canon EF 100mm/2.8 IS

+ Canon EF 16-35mm/4 IS

+ Canon 50mm/1.8 STM

+ Sigma 15mm/2.8

+ Canon TC 2x II

+ Canon TC 1,4x II



+ Canon 430 EXII

+ Canon 270 EXII

+ Radio Transmitter


+ Benro

+ 2 Mini tripods


+ Photo Clam PC-40NS

+ Benro Gimbal Head





+ extension tubes

+  5 in 1 collapsible reflector disc

+ Better Beamer

+ remote timer

+ 4 6D/70D extra batteries

+ flash diffuser

+ clamps

+ 10 sets of Eneloop batteries



+ Manfrotto Bumblebee 220 PL

Everyone obviously uses different gear so please take this as a rough guide, or an inspiration if you will. As for me, I will use this instead of my piece of paper that I always carefully fold away in order to never find it again.

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