The trail is ruff! And we bring a lot to it. Bouncing around in the back of a truck down a mountain road does not make for a happy video camera. Again, borrowing from my pit crew’s experience as professional stage hands and technicians, I have adopted the use of road cases. I have some Pelican brand cases but have found that I really like Nanuk’s line up better. They are a little lighter weight than the Pelicans, but more than strong enough for my purposes. Ad I do like the Nanuk’s latches much better. Cost really isn’t a factor since the cost of both are comparable. They both have a great variety of sizes and shapes, and use pick and pluck foam to form fit around the gear. At first I used larger cases that carried all of a type of gear together. Like one large case to hold all of my still cameras. My thoughts were I’d bring everything to the trail or farm, and then the crew could pick once we are there which one to use.
Large cases latter became untenable. I accumulated more and more gear. Some of which became out dated, or designated for special uses. I also expanded in others areas of gear, making it difficult to carry everything I owned each time. At this point I switched to smaller, special use cases. Some cases carry IR cameras, and others carry my high-end day time cameras. GoPro gets its own case with many of the stand mounts. IR emitters, night vision, internet tablets etc all got their own cases too. Some everything-I-need cases remained like by supplemental batter case. This carries extra batteries for many different cameras and tablets plus a battery pack for field charging. It was easier to keep this all together since they needed to be charged upon return anyhow and I didn’t need to open many different cases.
The switch to smaller cases also makes the loading of the trucks easier since smaller cases can fit in tighter locations. it became a challenge to transport the bigger ones since they need so much room all in one place.
I really like the pick and pluck system that both Pelican and Nanuk offer. It is an easy to customize way to form fit a case directly to each pice of gear. I feel so much more comfortable knowing my investment so so secure when not in use and during transport.
While on the trail, it often is not practical to bring a suitcase style case and have it accessible on an ADV or EV. One deep case made by Pelican is nice because it is top loading and deep. Allowing me to strap it in next to me on the seat of the EV ATV. I can grab what I want to use quickly and put it back, all while the case is secure. But on ADVs there is not as much room.
When on an ADV I need the same quick access, but I don’t have room for a Pelican. I stop a lot on the trail, enjoy the scenery, water the dogs, etc. I needed something that would attach to me easily, not be too much in the way on the cart, and still protect my gear. That is when I found this great camera bag. It is hip mounted. Has an interior foam-spandex suspension system for a DSLR with lens, and extra pockets for smaller gear, batteries etc. I often take my camera of choice out of its Pelican case at the trail head and use this sling. Click to see on Amazon
In the end, one can have all the equipment and gear they want, but when it comes time to use it, it is useless if its broken. Plus it’s expensive! The small investment of $60-100 a case is peanuts compared to missed shots because of non-working gear, much less the cost to replace the gear. Good cases are worth their weight in gold and I have a LOT of them!