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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 28 Feb 2012 (Tuesday) 01:19
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What do you carry your stuff in?

Clean ­ Gene
1,014 posts
Joined Nov 2010
Feb 28, 2012 01:19 |  #1

I have one or two cheap camera/equipment bags, but I also live in a fairly bad neighborhood and I have this sort of fear of being mugged. Not that it's something that I constantly worry about, I just try not to be stupid. So I bought some camera bags and stuff, and my gear fit nicely into it. But then I realized, "holy ****...when I wear this, it looks like I'm a photographer. That means that it looks like I am carrying stuff that people can steal and then later sell by either beating or stabbing or shooting me."

So ultimately, I eventually decided to just start stuffing all of my ***** into cheap-ass backpacks. It might not fit well ergonomically and some of my gear might get damaged by getting stuffed together so tightly. But at least it just sort of looks like I'm a middle-aged loser clinging on to hopes of education by carrying around a backpack full of books, rather than looking like I'm carrying a satchel worth possibly thousands of dollars worth of equipment, which is free for the taking if I were to just get shanked or shot.

You MIGHT resort to shooting or stabbing a middle-aged loser to get his textbooks, but even most thugs probably won't do that. The potential payoff just isn't worth the murder conviction. But advertise that you're carrying around photography gear, and the potential payoff goes up. Which makes the incentive for shooting or stabbing my ass just that much more sweet. So...these days I generally just tend to carry all my stuff around in cheap-ass backpacks from Wal-Mart. It might not be best for keeping my gear safe, but at least it doesn' scream "this dude has **** I could sell, if only I were to shoot or stab him."

Anyway, am I just being paranoid?

Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable carrying around bags which clearly say "photographer"?

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Senior Member
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Location: Same pale blue dot as you.
Feb 28, 2012 01:46 |  #2


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Feb 28, 2012 07:45 |  #3

No, you're not the only one - most bag manufacturers try to design their bags with that in mind. Domke and Crumpler bags are pretty inconspicuous. If you'd still rather use a cheap backpack, you can still get pouches/wraps/dividers to make it safer for your gear... just have to be creative.

However, if you're that worried about getting stabbed, then the suggestion to move is probably a good one. :P

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Feb 28, 2012 07:59 |  #4

I use the Kata DR-467i backpack. Looks like a regular backpack when worn, but has room for tons of gear, including a laptop if needed. I carry my macbook, iPad, Body, 4 lenses included a 70-200 f2.8L, flash, cables, filters, diffusers, tri-pod and monopod externally if needed and it has tons of room. Very comfortable to wear and fits in an overhead without tri-pod and monopod.

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airbutchie - Joe was definitely right about adding contrast...

Cream of the Crop
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Feb 28, 2012 09:35 |  #5

Lowepro bag, not sure which one. It fits under plane seats.

Cream of the Crop
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Joined Oct 2005
Location: Ohio
Feb 28, 2012 09:49 |  #6

There are quite a few nice bags out there that do not scream "expensive equipment" and yet still provide great protection. As someone already mentioned, I think the Crumpler bags do a good job of this. No one but another photo geek would realize that they were camera bags ;)

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Feb 28, 2012 15:34 as a reply to  @ jra's post |  #7

Studies have shown that people who get mugged tend to carry themselves differently than those get "passed by".

For example, let's say you and I are both 6'2", 250. I carry myself confidently, with head up and looking around to be aware of my surroundings, and walk with a certain swagger while you walk with your head down, shuffling your feet.

Studies indicate that you would be more likely than I to get mugged because the mugger would view you as an easier and weaker target. That is what people serving prison terms have told scientists.

That said carry yourself like you're not scared and you'll be much more likely to avoid conflict. Or get yourself some carry along form of protection - you pick the model.

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Joined Nov 2011
Location: Nottingham
Feb 28, 2012 16:22 |  #8

If I'm travelling somewhere reasonably safe and I need to take all my stuff plus a laptop, I've got a Lowepro Fastpack 350. Carry-on legal and fits all my gear nicely.
If I'm just shooting sports, I use a Lowepro Toploader 55AW - takes the 70-200 nicely.
If I'm somewhere a bit rough, I use a beat up old backpack or a military surplus satchel; it's a little less conspicuous than shiny nylon!
I've never had any problems though *touch wood*. I am 6'3'' and 85kg though, so that might have something to do with it ;)

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Feb 28, 2012 18:31 as a reply to  @ alex.hondsmerk's post |  #9

Gene I carry my stuff in a messenger bag that I modified with padded insides.


3,277 posts
Joined Jun 2011
Feb 28, 2012 21:40 |  #10

timbuk2 messengers with insert dividers will do the trick. ;)

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190 posts
Joined Dec 2011
Location: New York, NY
Feb 28, 2012 21:44 |  #11

Not paranoid... Just prudent.

450D | Canon 17-55 | 70-400 4L IS | 24L II | Elph 300 HS :D

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Location: SE MI
Mar 01, 2012 20:21 |  #12

I don't worry about being mugged, but I just can't have a dedicated photo bag - I usually travel with my family and having two kids you need to carry lots of stuff - jackets, water bottles, snacks, maps, sunblock, you name it. Plus a netbook for when you may need net acces. My bag sat unused for years until I sold it here on the forum pretty much in the same condition it came.

I carry a camera and two lenses in a regular computer backpack (I like Swiss Gear but any well made backback with several sizeable compartments would do). A sweatshirt or a jacket thrown on the bottom provides plenty of padding, the spare lens usually sits in a lens pouch. All camera gear is in its own compartment. I've traveled that way for 5 years all over the States and abroad, and never had a single problem with damaged gear - and I was pushed and squeezed a lot on various buses, subways and trolleys. I can always spot someone walking around with a backpack full of gear, even though the packs aren't very conspicuous, the brand names are well known.

Ex-Canon shooter. Now Sony Nex.
Life Lessons: KISS. RTFM. Don't sweat the small stuff.
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Senior Member
853 posts
Joined Jan 2010
Mar 01, 2012 21:05 as a reply to  @ Amamba's post |  #13

This is what I use most. Caries my 7D plus whatever else I need that day which might include lenses, filters...homework or lunch :)

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Senior Member
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Joined Feb 2012
Location: Troy Mi
Mar 02, 2012 18:20 |  #14

I just ordered this, myself. Cant wait till tuesday!


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Senior Member
871 posts
Joined Nov 2010
Location: Baghdad Iraq
Mar 03, 2012 08:36 |  #15

I keep my gear in a strong but very ratty, dusty looking green backpack, looks like would carry nothing valuable in it. Since were not allowed to bring bags into many buildings (due to threat of Suicide Vest), I'm very often forced to leave my camera bag with camera and laptop outside which isn't a good feeling.

There is no threat of being mugged but quite a huge threat of having things stolen so its quite important that my bag looks like crap.

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What do you carry your stuff in?
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