Non-Camera Gear Essentials

I don’t really like the way I phrase the title of this blog post, but I can’t think of a better way. What I’m trying to say is this will be about the gear essentials that I carry in my camera bag that don’t include my camera, lenses, or spare batteries.

Every Day Gear Essentials

The first thing I have is my hand sanitizer. I got it, along with my “caticorn” key chain holder from Bath and Body Works. The horn lights up and I’m in love with it. I was quite sad when I saw that the horn was starting to break, but that’s what I get for not putting it in my bag when we traveled.

One of my gear essentials. This is my hand sanitizer and caticorn key chain.
My hand sanitizer key chain, clipped to the outside of my bag.

The second essential item I carry is my pepper spray. I go out alone in the dark a lot and I want to be safe from wild animals and other people. You can never be too careful these days. Thankfully, I haven’t had to use it, and I hope that I never do. But my husband and I both feel better that I have it.

I am a writer in another life, so I tend to carry pens and paper with me wherever I go, and my camera bag is no exception. In addition to writing stories, I tend to come up with to do lists, content, or other random thoughts that I want to remember, when I least expect it and my memory isn’t that good. So, I just got down my thoughts and try to decipher my chicken scratch when I get home.

When I plan on going out all day, or if my location is further away from home than the Fox Valley, I pack a few snacks. It’s usually just a couple of granola bars, or something else light, but it’s enough to keep the hanger away until I get home for a more substantial meal.

There are also random toiletries in my bag. Hear me out. I have a couple of packs of Kleenex, a tube of chap stick, a toothbrush, a travel wipe from the airline (mainly because I haven’t taken it out yet), a spare hair tie, and a bunch of band-aids.

To be honest, these are only in my bag because I haven’t taken them out from our recent travels. But I’m thinking about keeping them in there. I have seasonal allergies, my immune system is garbage, and my nose randomly runs when I come in after being out in the cold. I’m addicted to chap stick. After I eat, I like to brush the food out of my teeth. It’s an old habit from when I had braces. And band-aids are always a good idea to carry. I could honestly probably ditch the travel wipe and the hair tie. I have hand sanitizer so I probably don’t need a wipe. My hair is usually up before I leave so I shouldn’t need a spare one of those either.

Seasonal Gear Essentials

One seasonal essential that I carry in my bag is my gloves and my hat. I carry them in the spring and autumn months just in case the weather turns. I live in Wisconsin, so that happens often and I don’t like to be cold.

Another seasonal essential is sunscreen. I have fair skin and I burn easily. I need to wear sunscreen often. Although, thinking about it, I should put sunscreen on in the winter months too, not just in the summer.

why my bag is always heavy. I feel like I should try and take some things out, but I’m not quite sure what. Do you want to know what camera gear I carry? I can turn that into a blog post later this month if you’re interested.

Essentials I Should Have But Don’t

Even though I need to ditch some things out of my bag, there are a few essentials that I don’t have that I would like to include.

The first is a camera cleaning kit. Or even just a microfiber cloth. I really should get one to include, in case it rains while I’m out, or the waves splash really high, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

The second is a multitool. I took it out because I didn’t want it to get confiscated by the airport and I haven’t put it back in yet. However, the one I have doesn’t have a sharp edge to it, and a blade might be helpful.

What do you carry in your bag? What are your essential items that you can’t go on photography adventures without?

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