We just returned from nine days in Scotland. As usual, I took more camera gear than I needed. I did fine with my clothing need estimates, however. Of our nine overnights, four were in AirBnB apartments which were equipped with washer and dryer, so we were able to do laundry mid-way through the trip. This meant that I could take a relatively small suitcase. Nice! However, this was not the case with my camera and electronic gear.
I gave serious thought to what lenses and equipment I wanted to take on a trip that could be our only one to Scotland. I knew, from previous trips, that I tend to shoot 90% of the time with my OM-D E-M1 with the 12-40mm pro lens attached. However, I decided to take my 75-300mm lens so I'd have reach in case I needed it. "In case" is the operative expression here, as I never used it! I took my Olympus PEN E-PL6 camera as well, because I knew I would sometimes want to carry a smaller camera around in my hand. I decided to attach the 25mm to it instead of the Panasonic 20mm. Both lenses are fast so either is great, though the 20mm would have been smaller. I also decided to take my new Olympus Air A01 camera with the 60mm attached as it doesn't take up much space and I wanted the 60 because it is weather-sealed and we expected days of rain (but, fortunately, we had nine days of beautiful sunshine!). Finally, I packed my Panasonic 35-100mm, f/4-5.6. I never mounted it either, though, in the future, I would bring it but not the 75-300mm.
I also brought my Tascam DR-40 recorder, thinking I would capture some sound, but because of its size I never used it. Recording with my iPhone 6 with 64GB would have sufficed. However, I ended up doing that only once only because recording sound is not something I ever think of doing. I always like to bring my WD MyPassport Wi-Fi hard drive so I can save shots from my iPhone to it as well as back up my SD memory cards. My Kindle reader and iPad Mini 3 always travel with me as well. And, of course, there are all the chargers, charging cords, and plugs plus the plug adapters one has to carry when one brings all of this electronic equipment on a trip abroad. I took my smaller MeFoto tripod, the DayTrip model, in its case and bungee corded to the side of my Vanquest bag. Never used it either.
To carry all of these things, I stored the bulk of my equipment in my VanQuest VSlinger bag. My old, cloth Eagle Creek shoulder bag with an Ape Case padded insert served as a "man purse" for the flights and was my day bag when we went sight-seeing. Since it was chilly, I wore a coat with nice big pockets. Therefore, I could store the E-PL6 in one of those and the E-M1 in the insert in the bag along with an extra lens, batteries, etc. Usually, though, the E-M1 was around my shoulder on my BosStrap sling strap when we were walking about.
What would I change? What will I bring on our next trip? My old Lowepro Passport Sling. And, that's all! In it, with the expansion section expanded, I believe I can comfortably carry my E-M1 + 12-40mm, E-PL6 + 20mm, the Panasonic 35-100mm, MyPassport drive, my iPad Mini 3, my Nissin i40 flash (though I didn't use it this trip, but always want to have it with me), small bag with extra batteries and their chargers plus small, pop-on flashes, and extra memory cards. I used this bag as my day bag in Paris and Chicago and it worked out well, but based on this recent experience in Scotland, I do think it could serve as my primary bag. I may consider throwing in the 60mm, but the Olympus Air A01 will most likely stay home.
Before this trip, I purchased a PlatyPod Pro camera support system that takes up very little space and serves as a tripod replacement. I also have one of the larger Joby GorillaPods meant for small dSLRs. Though I didn't use either of these items on this trip, I will take both on my next trip and leave the MeFoto tripod at home. On a trip like this, I normally do not bring my 13" MacBook Pro laptop, but instead rely on the MyPassport drive to back up images. My "small bag organization" system (http://www.infotor.com/blog/organizing-camera-accessories-with-small-bags-part-2/) is working well for me, so I hope to be able to fit two of my small Eagle Creek bags in the Passport Sling. One contains the pop-on flashes, charger for each camera, and extra batteries for camera and the i40. The other contains miscellaneous personal items such as band aids, hearing aid batteries, etc.
If this approach works, it will be nice to travel with just one relatively small carry on bag and not be "that guy" whose backpack is banging into people or getting caught on seat armrests!
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