The Flash BagI wrote recently about reassessing how I organize and pack the multitude of accessories that one needs to have when using one or more cameras. In that article I said I was figuring out how to categorize such things and pack items of like function in the same small bag to then, in turn, put into the camera bag I chose to use on a given day. And that last part is the key and the basis for even needing to do this exercise. I switch between, principally, three different bags for carrying my camera gear with me when I go out, specifically, to shoot or if I'm just going out on errands and want to have a camera with me. What I am trying to avoid is that sick feeling when I get the dreaded "Low battery" flash on my camera and realize I don't have a backup battery! Or the time when I think I might want to use an external flash, so I take that, but don't have either the pop-on flash or my radio triggers to fire the external unit! One more: my iPhone or iPad battery is draining and I don't have the Anker power 'brick' to charge them. All of these things happen to me on a fairly regular basis. I decided it was past time to regroup, dump all of my accessories on the table and get organized! Yesterday I did just that.

My primary carry-(almost)-all gear bag is my Vanquest VSlinger sling/backpack. It's close cousin, when we fly somewhere on an extended vacation, is my Lowepro Fastpack 350, but that is now the only time I use that bag. I have two secondary, day bags. My favorite these days is my repurposed Lowepro Passport Sling (original model with some alterations) and my good ole (like 15 years or more, made-out-of-cloth old) Eagle Creek shoulder bag. So, as I wrote before, my goal is to have a collection of smaller bags, each dedicated to a category of accessories which I need for different things. For example, one day I may put my Olympus PEN E-PL6 in the Passport Sling, but another day it might be my Olympus OM-D E-M1. Then, another time, I may carry both. I always need backup batteries for either camera, so one logical bag is one that has batteries for both.

Here's how I've divided things up into several small Eagle Creek travel bags or other small bags I have accumulated.

This is, of course, a work in progress, but after doing something like this but not with such purpose for some time now, I think I have my camera accessories separated in ways that will make sure I am not without what I need. That is, not if I remember to bring the correct bag!! This system does, however, make it easier for me to switch main carrying bag and know that I have all the necessary pieces when I have all the little bags packed as well. It does let me modularize so that I don't always need to have all the little bags with me at all times.

Have you tried anything like this? Let me know in comments on Facebook or G+ (links below). I really would like to hear how others approach their accessory gear needs.

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