OT: How do you travel with your gear?

smhontz wrote on 8/13/2015, 3:01 PM
My partner and I just got a job where we have to travel to several cities to shot interviews and other footage for a documentary. This will be the first time we have to fly with the gear and I'm looking for suggestions.

I have two Pelican 1510 cases approved for carry-on that'll hold our C100, lens, and some sound gear. But what should I do with stuff like my tripod, monopod, and slider? Do you recommend getting a big suitcase and packing them in there with my clothes? What about lighting? I have some big IKAN 1x1 LED lights, but they're too big to take along. Should I just plan on renting some lights in the cities we're flying to, or are there some small road-ready interview lighting kits I should be looking at?


JackW wrote on 8/13/2015, 4:44 PM
We bring camera, lens kits and mics on the plane, rent everything else in cities visited. It's a great deal easier than trying to pack the larger, bulkier gear and it shouldn't be terribly expensive. Build the rental costs into your contract.

wjauch wrote on 8/13/2015, 7:07 PM
FYI I remember reading somewhere that all US airlines have a media bag policy, much better than regular luggage. Apparently not all airline employees know about it (print it out for your chosen airline?) and it helps to have corporate credit card as well as business card.
Google found this: http://www.flyingwombat.com/us-airlines-media-baggage-policies.html
Worth a shot I think
royfphoto wrote on 8/14/2015, 8:56 AM
There is often a discount for sports equipment, go to a discount golf place, they sell hard shell transport golf club bags, with wheels that fit my really big tripod, some light stands, and more. If you go in the off season they are frequently on sale, (about 1/4 what a pro light/ tripod bag would cost, better or the same quality).They are made specifically for air travel.
Here is delta's policy
One golf bag is allowed as checked baggage. Checked baggage fees may apply based on travel region and total number of checked bags. Overweight baggage fees apply to bags that exceed 50 lbs. Oversized baggage fees will be waived for golf bags that exceed 62 linear inches, but bags exceeding 115 linear inches are not allowed.

Len Kaufman wrote on 8/14/2015, 9:31 AM
Once you fly to the first city on your list, do you drive to the other cities or do you have to fly to each one? The reason I ask is that I frequently use UPS or Fedex to ship gear to the first city, where I then travel by car. Ship gear home at the end of the trip. You just need a reliable recipient at the first destination. If you plan ahead, you can use 2 day shipping, which is frequently less than the onerous airline baggage fees, and less hassle, too.

Also, are there any small planes involved? If so, you may find that what is "airline approved" ain't!
DavidMcKnight wrote on 8/14/2015, 12:26 PM
Our tripods collapse fairly short. We have a large-ish canvas luggage set where three tripods, maybe a monopod, and 1-2 light-duty light stands get packed in. Heads are wrapped in towels/ clothing or bubble wrap. The bag also gets power strips and other bulky items along with clothing. We've always had to pay extra for it as checked baggage due to weight as you can imagine. If the tripods were longer / bigger I'd get a heavy duty golf case as previously suggested.

Our carryons are the largest Petrol or Porta-Brace that fit in overhead bins. We can usually pack two cameras per bag. We usually carry three or four cameras total. Also include audio recorders and batteries in these bags. We do not use any hard cases.

We have flown from Houston to several destinations in the US and Mexico like this since 2008. Probably 15 trips all total. We've never had a piece of gear get damaged.