Packing list for Thailand 2017

Written by Manuel Faessler
Hi folks,
As I often get asked what I pack for my photography-related travels, to be prepared for all eventualities, I wrote down for you what I’ve packed for the most recent journey to Thailand. I want to show you this list in this blog with short explainations why I’ve took those items and want to summarize the list in the end along with my comment what I’d do different next time and why.
In addition to that I’ve prepared links for you along with most items so you can find the exact stuff I’ve taken with me .. those links are so called “affiliate links” to Amazone, which means if you by one of the items via my links, I’ll get a little percentage as provision (of course, this doesn’t make the items more expensive for you). If you use my links you’ll support me and this blog a little bit, as I do this for free and without any support from a company or brand ... that means you’ll get my honest opinion on the items without any “bribes” interfering ... 😉
This list is the stuff I’ve taken with me to this journey: Link ... if you’ve read the blog you’ll know I had a relatively good idea about what I wanted to do and could prepare accordingly.
Basically I’ve taken with me the Canon 5D IV as a main camera and the 5DsR as a backup in case something happened to the 5D IV (looking back, it is a miracle I haven’t had to use the backup). I’d never go on such a journey without a backup, so this was very important to me!!
My main lenses for this adventure were the Sigma 35mm, 50mm and 85mm (all f1.4 Art) which are the lenses I use for more than 90% of all my pictures ... adding to that I’ve taken the 100mm macro lens, in case it would get real close (as the minimal focal distance of the 85mm is relatively large) and the 70-200 as a backup for the 85mm and in case I get the chance for a little bit of street-photography (which wasn’t the case). 
Additionally I’ve taken the Instax along for the ride, just because it is fun to change up the game once in a while ... 😉
Data Storage
Regarding the memory cards it is nothing special about them ... those are just the ones I use and I’m happy with them. I always use a CF- and a SD-card simultaneously (both cameras are capable of that), recording RAW-files on the CF-card and JPGs on the SD-card as “last resort” should anything happen to the CF-card while shooting. I don’t use the possibility to record RAW-files on both cards as this slows down the camera and can lead to “stuttering” while shooting.
Another important part are the protective cases for the memory cards. I really hate those small plastic-cases which hide in every crack of the backpack ... especially when I’d need them fast ... and those boxes are waterproof and shock resistant as well ... coming with the small disadvantage of the somewhat “bulky” design.
A point where I’m a little bit “paranoid” is backing up the data after the shoot ... as I already had hard drive fails and lost parts of shootings I make sure that doesn’t happen again. My “backup-plan” after every shooting looks like this:
1) I copy (not cutting) both the CF- and SD-card to a hard drive
2) I copy both the CF- and SD-card to a different hard drive and format the cards afterwards
3) I duplicate on of the hard drives to a third hard drive
Having backed up the data this way I separate the hard drives while travelling. I carry one on me (the Samsung is great for that, small and lightweight), one is in the carry-on luggage and the third is in the main luggage ... this way I end up with at least 2 hard drives and in case both malfunction simultaneously I have the backup in the main luggage left ...
Other photography-stuff
The other photography-stuff may not be that important as the cameras and lenses but the sure can help a lot. The backpack I took with me to Thailand is in use for almost 4 years now and that has a couple of reasons ... firstly it fulfils the carry-on measurements (very important for me, as I don’t want to check in camera-equipment). Second feature that is great is, that the separators in the main compartment can be adjusted just as you need it ... so there is a perfect “layout” for every load. Thirdly it has many small compartments to store stuff like cables, memory cards, ... in a tidy way. Another great feature is the big laptop-compartment which is big enough for a 17” laptop with cables ... and last but not least it is relatively comfortable to carry.
Another little helper I’ve packed was the Sun Sniper-strap ... a very nice camera strap which stays comfortable even if you have to carry the camera with a bigger lens over extended periods ... and it is a good “protection” against thieves as well! The color checker passport is a little tool I carry almost always ... no matter where and what I shoot ... as well as my cleaning kit (with brush, bellows, microfiber cloth, ...) which I’ve used every day. And the last item was a display magnifier which is especially helpful when shooting in very bright surroundings.
Other little “travel-helpers”
What I carry with me on all my travels is a little power-adapter ... with so many different systems that need to be charged, that is a “must have”.
As I really like to shoot with background-music, I almost always take some Bluetooth-speakers with me ... this one is even waterproof and is a powerbank as well ... a very nice combo ... 😉
And of course I carry some good headphones ... especially during long flights. The good ones are usually a little bit bulky, but you can wear them for extended periods without your ears hurting from wearing them.
Laptop – a very old one, so I don’t post a link
Tablet – a very old one, so I don’t post a link
As with every such journey, there are some things you can’t influence or know in advance, so you can’t prepare for it ... and of course you take some items with you, you don’t need. As I can call myself a relatively “experienced” traveller by now it wasn’t much I would change the next time ... I haven’t used the sniper strap, the color checker and the display magnifier in Thailand, and of these items I’d only take the color checker with me next time ... just because it doesn’t take much space and it can really make a difference.
I really could have used much more cleaning equipment, especially microfibre cloths and wet cleaning tissues (the ones you use for glasses) ... the ones I’ve had with me where dirty or used up at the end of the second day ... ☹ Other than that, I don’t know what I’d do differently ...
That’s it from me ... if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to aske ... either here as comment, or via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I’d love to hear what you pack for your travels and what you’d take in addition to what I’ve listed ... 😉

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