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Old January 26th, 2008, 07:23 PM   #1
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Africa trip: What do I carry on?

Airlines I am going with: Jet Blue/ Royal Air Maroc
Leaving from: Sacramento California
Destination: Bamako, Mali
Length of stay: 31 days


I just received the pelican 1630 which is a fairly large case which I will pack 2 small bogen tripods, monopod, audio mics, 80 tapes, cables, food, and 1 Canon XH-A1. I was planning on checking the 2nd XH-A1 in a back pack with a charger, battery and a box of tapes, in case there are delays/issues with the pelican case. I will also have a larger Bogen 475 tripod with a Bogen 503 head to check in as well as a micro dolly and micro dolly jib which I am renting from Pro HD in Burbank. Those are about 33" and 12lbs each. I will most likely have to pay extra for the amount I will check for the hold but I am ok with that.

Question:

Would it be wise to carry on both cameras in a soft Lowell tracker that fits on my back, or should I just check in one camera in a small back pack (bubble wrapped for my Kelty 3100 back pack) and leave the other in the Pelican? By the way, I plan on putting zip ties to lock the pelican to show for any tampering (if they do).
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Old January 26th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Huntington View Post
Airlines I am going with: Jet Blue/ Royal Air Maroc
Leaving from: Sacramento California
Destination: Bamako, Mali
Length of stay: 31 days


I just received the pelican 1630 which is a fairly large case which I will pack 2 small bogen tripods, monopod, audio mics, 80 tapes, cables, food, and 1 Canon XH-A1. I was planning on checking the 2nd XH-A1 in a back pack with a charger, battery and a box of tapes, in case there are delays/issues with the pelican case. I will also have a larger Bogen 475 tripod with a Bogen 503 head to check in as well as a micro dolly and micro dolly jib which I am renting from Pro HD in Burbank. Those are about 33" and 12lbs each. I will most likely have to pay extra for the amount I will check for the hold but I am ok with that.

Question:

Would it be wise to carry on both cameras in a soft Lowell tracker that fits on my back, or should I just check in one camera in a small back pack (bubble wrapped for my Kelty 3100 back pack) and leave the other in the Pelican? By the way, I plan on putting zip ties to lock the pelican to show for any tampering (if they do).
Hi Larry:

I would always opt to carry both cameras. Think about it, if they lose your luggage, you have lost at least one camera and the airline will not buy you a new one. I would much rather lose the less expensive gear. Flying these days, you stand a distinct chance of having some airline somewhere along the line lose or mis-route your luggage, I think the international numbers are now somewhere around 3-4% average are lost or mis-routed.

You will need TSA locks instead of zip ties. They may or may not tamper with the Pelican but they will undoubtedly need access to let TSA inspect the contents. If you have zip ties, they will cut them and not replace them. At least with TSA locks, they unlock them, then usually lock them back up.

Another option would be to simply FedEx or UPS all of the gear to your final destination. Not cheap but better chance of it making it's way to your final destination. Although even that's not perfect, UPS just lost my Arri kit coming back from Philadephia to LA. It took them 3 weeks to locate it and get it back to me.

Traveling with gear is just getting worse and worse.

Dan
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Old January 26th, 2008, 08:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply Dan.

Where do I get TSA locks? Are they world-wide standard locks? Fed Ex/UPS is not an option for me, so I must carry all of these items with me. Anyone else out there opt to carry on both cameras instead of one? I do have a 20k insurance policy through all-state just in case.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 09:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Larry Huntington View Post
Thanks for the quick reply Dan.

Where do I get TSA locks? Are they world-wide standard locks?.
http://tinyurl.com/yoq3gd

Dan
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Old January 26th, 2008, 10:23 PM   #5
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Thanks Dan. I'll get 2. I've decided to pack both A1's in my LowePro Photo Trekker AV I bought back in 1994 (still a good bag!). I had to remove the mic mounts on both cams, but that's no biggie-I'll put them back on when I get to Mali. I want to post pics of how I am packing but I don't know how to post pics. Any help here on that?
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Old January 26th, 2008, 11:15 PM   #6
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The Pelican Case with the velcro inserts is the way to go for me. It has two layers (the top layer is in the upper left of the picture and is also supporting a shoulder mount, mic blimp, porta brace rain slickers etc.) The bottom layer has the Nebtek 70HD monitor, small tripods, monopod, heads, audio lav systems, tapes etc. I am carrying on the bag with the cameras with big batteries inside them and 1 charger and a box of tapes(bottom of pic). Any suggestions or feedback is welcome. I am packing really well in my opinion. In the lid organizer of the pelican case, I am sorting pockets by categories, i.e. "charging" pouch for charging batteries and "cleaning" pouch for cleaning wipes, cloths and dust brushes etc. Then there are cable pouches. I still have a lot of work to do, but I want to be fully prepared. Any more ideas are definitely welcome!

Last edited by Larry Huntington; August 4th, 2008 at 05:49 PM.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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Larry I agree with Dan always carry the cameras with you and what you need to just get by doing the job. I send my Storm case by UPS fully insured to most jobs if I have to fly. Fill all excess volume and don't leave room for anything to move.

Looks like you have a nice setup.

I also put funky color wire ties on my checked bag with TSA locks. That way if it was opened I know. Some times they leave a note staying it was inspected but not always.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #8
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Thanks Paul. I ordered the TSA locks with the link Dan sent. Where did you buy the funky colored wire ties? I want to use a stencil and spray paint my name on the case as well. Maybe a white color or florescent green.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 02:02 PM   #9
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I purchased the wire ties at a hardware store. I am sure you can find them at the big chains.

Sounds like a great trip have fun and get great shots.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #10
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Thanks Paul! Will do!
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Old January 27th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #11
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Larry..

Looks good!

Glenn
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Old January 27th, 2008, 03:56 PM   #12
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Thanks Glenn,
I have a question for you regarding the Sound Devices 302 you have. I just bought a used Nuemann RSM 190 stereo shotgun for 1k but I want to use a good preamp/mixer with a built in limiter.
Are you available to chat over the phone today?
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Old January 27th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #13
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I will be around most of the day. You have the number?
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Old January 27th, 2008, 05:19 PM   #14
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Don't forget that you're not supposed to pack your lithium-ion batteries in checked anymore!
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Old January 27th, 2008, 05:25 PM   #15
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Really Bill? Do I carry on all of my lithium batteries? Thanks for the heads up!
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