I'm in the early planning stages of visiting a few historic "old west" towns and National Parks in Arizona, Utah and Nevada. I am debating what equipment to take with me for safety/security reasons.
Please note: It's not that I have the world's most expensive gear (I don't), it's a matter of not drawing the attention of criminals by using a flashy dslr and somewhat big lenses. Also, it's mostly about not putting my and my family's lives in danger. Please let's not turn this into a "pro or anti gun" debate. And PLEASE don't tell me "if you're that afraid of traveling there then don't go there".
Normally I don't really care about what photo equipment I carry as I usually do road trips in my car, and I always carry a firearm (I have a CCW licence plus almost 20 years of professional, tactical training - also have been involved in multiple high stress sitiuations requiring the use of either weapons or hands-on defense). The only differences this time around are that I will be traveling by air and will be visiting places were firearms are not allowed. So, more likely than not my guns will not be with me on this trip.
So, my questions are:
- If I take my usual gear (7dmk2 with 16-35L, 70-200L) will I blend in with the rest of the tourists? I'm planning on going on trails within National Parks plus walking around old towns.
- Will I be better off to take my old gear instead (Nikon D200, 17-55 2.8, 80-200 2.8) as it will attract less attention, and if I do get mugged at gun/knife point I won't really miss it as much as I would my newer Canon equipment? I still have several small Nikon primes (24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 180mm) plus a couple of D200 bodies despite having switched to Canon last year.
- Places to avoid (other than the obvious, well known crime areas)?
- Are trails within National Parks safe (Saguero, Bryce, Zion, etc.)?
I don't want to buy m4/3 equipment for this trip, but I am willing to consider a smaller dslr setup. Only problem with a smaller dslr setup is that the kit lenses are not that great, so I would be tempted to get better (bigger) lenses.