Survival Kits: Keeping Yourself Alive

There’s a lot to be said about the photographer’s journey to the perfect shot. It takes dedicated time, effort, and skill to position oneself at just the right moment. Countless hours and footage all for the one perfect picture that says it all. But before this adventure begins, there are a few rules I like to follow that allow me to know exactly what kind of filming I will be doing and just what conditions I will be under.

Trust your instincts. If something looks unsafe or unsteady, don’t risk it. There are other lenses that you can buy that won’t take you pay with your life and will still deliver a wicked final product.

Know where you are and let others know, too. Map out your plans; terrain can vary from mile to mile and it can be easy to get lost. Nowadays there are plenty of apps that will track you, and this is a key feature to have, especially when you’re traveling alone. Tell someone your plans for the excursion, detailing on paper what you plan to do, where you will be, when you will return, and the emergency contact in case of an emergency.

First. Aid. Kit. I cannot stress how vital this one is. Mother nature is notoriously unpredictable which can lead to some cuts, bites, and bruises. Always have varying sizes of bandaids, gauze pads and wrapping material, anti-bacterial spray, etc. Make your pack small and easily reachable because you never know when you’re going to need it.

Dress in layers. You can always take them off if you’re too hot. The weather can fluctuate in little to no time and you should be prepared for them all. Now this doesn’t mean in Costa Rica bring a wool coat in case it snows, but an extra shirt and a rain jacket will be the perfect additions to the pack.

Non-photography items for the well-prepared photographer:

  • compass

  • travel backpack

  • first aid kit

  • walking stick

  • binoculars

  • linen dish towels

  • Swiss army knife