Finding a Camera Bag that Fits Your Off Road Adventures

At one time camera bags weren’t anything special, but as cameras themselves have grown technologically, they now require something much more heavy-duty than a book bag. There are so many choices today, the task of finding the right bag for your camera equipment may actually be a little overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to start, think about the size of your camera, how many lenses and flashes you normally carry with you, the level of comfort you need as well as whether or not you need quick access to change a lens during your general photo session. Also think about the environment in which you normally take pictures. Inside or outside? Covering long distances or only a short distance? For instance, those who take part in wildlife photography need a bag that is particularly comfy and resilient.

One of the most lightweight bags you can get is a waist pack, but this is only a good choice if all you need to carry is your SLR camera, one lens and basic accessories. Because this bag situates your gear on the front of your body, it’s great for easy access, as you are on the move. Shoulder bags are also for those who travel light when taking pictures, and one of the best things about a shoulder bag is that many people won’t even know from the outside it’s a camera bag. You are much less likely to have your gear stolen when it’s in a shoulder bag because of the way it blends in with most general bags people carry.

Because backpack camera bags are the most spacious for multiple lenses, filters and flashes, they appeal to those who need to have a wide variety of gear ready to go when on the job. A wedding photographer, for instance, may do best with this sort of bag due to the way venue, style and desired effect can change drastically from wedding to wedding. Because backpacks hold so much gear, a good one will come with many padded sections to protect each item from clanking against each other. Even amongst backpacks, there is quite a variety. Some come with wheels, and some such as the LowePro Computrekker AW come with a waterproof covering for outdoor expeditions. Even if a backpack camera bag is a little past your budget, remember it’s worth saving up for if it’s the kind of bag your really need to guard your gear.

If a backpack is far too big and a waist pack is far too small, a sling bag will be just right. This one is for the sporty photographer who covers large distances but still needs to be ready for just about anything. The SlingShot 200 AW provides enough room and security for your SLR camera and four lenses. Even though it positions your equipment on your back, you won’t have to miss a step while sliding your gear to your front with this bag. The SlingShot 200 is well padded, but one should still try it on before buying it. Some women photographers find sling bags uncomfortable due to the strap that puts pressure on the center of the chest.

Whatever you do, don’t just order your camera bag online because such and such magazine says it’s currently the top bag preferred by professional photographers. A camera bag is something you need to examine closely and try on before committing financially. While money does have to play a part for most people, don’t let it be the deciding factor. The saying “you get what you pay for” is all too often a truth that is learned the hard way. Like any big purchase, weigh up the decision carefully. Make sure there is a guarantee that will last you long enough to change your mind if it ultimately doesn’t work for you. If you take your time and do your research, you won’t go wrong. For more on off-road adventures and trailers visit Echo 4×4.

How to Choose a Travel Tour Operator

If you’ve been dreaming of an adventure trip, you should consider contacting a travel tour operator. This travel expert will be ready to tailor-make a holiday trip to suit your geographical interests as well as your favourite adventure activities. Whether you imagine yourself snorkeling, hot air ballooning or horseback riding, a travel tour operator will know all the ins and outs of how to organize your dream vacation within the perimeters of your personal budget. The first thing you want to be sure of when hiring a travel tour operator is that they belong to a trustworthy travel association such as the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) which represents the private sector of the incoming tourism industry of South Africa. By going through a group such as SATSA, not only will you have a peace of mind that the operator can be trusted, but you will save yourself the time of comparing costs, booking transportation and accommodation as well as planning the itinerary.

Being part of a travel association is good but not enough for you to immediately put your vacation planning in the hands of an operator. Spend time researching different operators that a group such as SATSA recommends. Use search engines such as, and create folders on your computer to store information about the tour operators you’re most considering. Nearly one hundred percent of all travel research is now done on the internet, so you certainly won’t have any problems finding what you’re looking for. After your online research is finished, page through some magazines such as National Geographic Traveler which is a great source for tour operators all over the world. Spend an afternoon asking your local travel agent questions, and ask your friends if they recommend any operators for your adventure travel planning.

Before you choose a tour operator, it’s important for you to know the basics of your dream vacation. If you’ve ever made a “bucket list” of place s you want to go and things you want to do, see which ones match up with your intended time of travel. For instance, if your trip has to be in the winter, that won’t be a good time to climb Mount Everest; in fact, it would be fatal. If you’re not traveling alone, write down how many people will be going with you. Write down your budget and all of the details that are non-negotiable. If safety is your first priority, put it in your trip description. This is your chance to make some solid decisions on what your travel experience will be like before you allow the operator to influence your decisions.

Now that you have a pretty good idea of the kind of vacation you want to take, it’s time to approach some of your top travel tour operators to get some answers. Find out how long the operator has been in business, what credentials they have attained and the demographics of those who normally go on their trips. Ask them for an estimate of how much the trip may cost, and find out if they can handle travel insurance for you. If the trip will be physically demanding, does your ability line up with the physical activity on the trip? Also be sure to ask about the guides’ experience. The last thing you want is to spend your dream vacation with a new tour guide who might as well be experiencing it for the first time. Remember to try and uncover anything that could be hidden. Check the terms and conditions, find out about deposits and cancellations, and get clear feedback on what kinds of financial extras may be added to your trip costs such as drinks, tips and meals. Ask for a basic itinerary of each day of the trip to see if it suits your pace. Lastly ask the operator for some references of past clients, so you can contact and hear about their experiences.

After doing proper research on various operators, writing down the non-negotiables of your trip and asking your favourite operators for some specifics, you’re almost ready to make your decision. One of the most important aspects of a company to consider is their customer service. Remember that you could need to reach them quickly if an emergency arises when you’re overseas. How quickly can you get a representative on the phone? If you are going through an automated dialing system for twenty minutes only to leave a message after the beep, you know that tour operator should not be entrusted with your tour. It makes sense to be partial to companies who not only respond to your inquiries promptly but go the extra mile to make the trip exactly how you’ve imagined it. By examining various travel tour operators under these lenses, it will be easy to make your decision. Visit Echo 4×4 for more ideas on adventure holidays!