Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Trip Location Advice & Meet-ups | Join Upload & Sell

  

How not to get your gear stolen!
  
 
Teper
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Hi guys,

I hope this is the right forum. I recently did a blog post about gear safety, and preventing lost when traveling. Everyone here loves photography, and a lot of us also love travel. Unfortunately a lot of us are also heavily invested in camera equipment that we would rather not get stolen. I have done a lot of travel to third world countries, and never got anything stolen. Some of this might be luck, or more likely conduct and habit. Anyways. I hope you find it useful, and maybe I can at least share my experiences. If not then there are plenty of photos on my site to look at!

https://gormteper.net/2017/04/27/how-not-to-get-your-gear-stolen/

Thanks for looking!

Gorm



Apr 28, 2017 at 04:24 PM
Bobg657
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Thanks, good advice


Apr 28, 2017 at 10:27 PM
jdc562
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Added item learned the hard way: Do not leave camera equipment in your car at all--only transport what you can easily carry. At least, never leave your gear in the vehicle where it can be seen from the outside. Very important: if you leave your equipment in the trunk of the car, put it in the trunk well before you arrive at your destination. Thieves can easily pop open trunk lids, so you don't want them to see your tell-tale signs of stashing valuables in the trunk. For additional security, use a short locking cable inside the trunk as one more impediment to opening the lid enough to take out your gear.


Apr 30, 2017 at 02:45 AM
Teper
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Thanks jdc562, didn't cover cars more travel related, but that's a good tip.


May 01, 2017 at 05:02 AM
jdc562
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Teper wrote:
Thanks jdc562, didn't cover cars more travel related, but that's a good tip.


I have had thieves bust into my trunk twice and steal my gear. Both times while traveling in foreign countries. I think thieves probably prioritize travelers.



May 03, 2017 at 03:50 AM
Charlie San
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Perhaps the best advice I can offer is to go to those places where people are thoroughly honest, like Japan. Now, I am sure there have been instances of theft but I myself only know of those instances where folks have accidentally left camera bags, wallets, umbrellas, etc., in restaurants, trains, and elsewhere, returned and got the items back.

Charlie
www.OccasionalGaijin.com



May 06, 2017 at 02:46 PM
elkhornsun
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Traveling overseas I leave extra gear in the room safe or when using a guide with a car I will leave gear in the trunk as the guide will watch over it. For domestic travel I use a pickup that has a shell with tinted windows and an internal set of locking metal drawers and a locking tailgate.

The risk varies by location. At a US national park parking lot or trail head the risk is very high. Same applies to certain cities overseas, particularly in Spain and Italy, though there are US cities like Detroit and Newark and San Francisco where theft is very prevalent.

In Europe I always have a shoulder bag with an added waist strap (makes a grab and run darn near impossible for thieves) and a large flap that covers the main compartment and outer pockets completely. Twice it has thwarted a team of thieves who were trying to get inside the bag.

Always a good idea to check with the locals about areas to avoid in general or at night. The tourist boards will never provide this information as it is not considered to be good for business.

Important to keep this in perspective as people are far more at risk from the banksters and our elected officials than any gang of thieves. A thief may take your camera bag but not your 401K or your house.



May 07, 2017 at 06:13 PM
Craig Gillette
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How not to get your gear stolen!


And these days, it's not terribly difficult to have a backup copy or two of your images so even if something untoward happens, you should at least have copies.


May 07, 2017 at 06:18 PM
dorota.long
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Thank you! I am going to Poland soon to photograph a wedding and these tips will definitely help to keep my gear safe!


May 25, 2017 at 07:14 PM
Teper
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Thanks for the extra thoughts guys!

Question, do you make backup copies of picture when you travel? I use 16GB cards with my 5D Mark III, and bring along 6-8 cards. When they are full, I leave them in my camera bag. I copy over everything only upon my return. How do you guys do this?



Jun 07, 2017 at 03:37 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



krementz
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Teper, you lose some photos sometime, garanteed. Not if, but when and how many.

I back up every day to my laptop, and then a Carbon Copy to my USB drive, so I have three copies. I also try to back up to the cloud if I have good internet. I never delete from a card until I get home.

I've lost photos even though I had a single backup. I have had a laptop stolen, a camera stolen (pre-digital) and at least two total disk crashes. I don't remember how many cards have flaked out.



Jun 23, 2017 at 05:34 AM
elkhornsun
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · How not to get your gear stolen!


jdc562 wrote:
I have had thieves bust into my trunk twice and steal my gear. Both times while traveling in foreign countries. I think thieves probably prioritize travelers.


Of course thieves target travelers who will not be around to identify them if caught or go to a court proceeding and who often carry a lot of cash and easy to sell valuables. If they see a woman leave a car without a purse they assume that a purse was left in the car and will break into it.

Outside the USA I like to hire a car with a driver as the driver will watch the car while I am off walking around taking pictures. I get a car, a driver, a security guard, a translator, and a local guide for one inclusive price that is usually little more than the cost of my renting a car and paying for the insurance rider.

I have only had equipment stolen from my house after some teenagers broke in through a skylight. Cops refused to help as they were too busy running a speed trap on my street.

A backpack is something I will use in Alaska or Costa Rica but never in a city as I would have to open the entire backpack just to change a lens or get a filter. Instead I use a shoulder bag that has both a large flap to cover the main compartment and a waist strap. I add the waist strap as the larger the bag the less likely its manufacturer is to provide a strap or even loops for attaching one. No one can do a grab and run if the main strap if over my neck and the waist strap is secured around my waist.

Traveling alone makes one more of a target and one needs to be more wary. I have also learned to avoid looking like the typical "ugly American" when traveling for many reasons and if accosted by someone trying to get into my pockets or jacket or camera bag I need to start yelling and attract attention. Being polite in this situation is not a good idea.



Jul 02, 2017 at 10:44 PM
Danpbphoto
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · How not to get your gear stolen!


There are many small concealed GPS tracking devices that can be inserted in backpacks etc if the concern is warranted. What would be nice is if the memory card manufacturers would make such a device for slot#2 in the cameras body. Of course this will not prevent you gear from being stolen but it may provide a means to recover it.


Jul 03, 2017 at 01:10 PM
jdc562
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Danpbphoto wrote:
There are many small concealed GPS tracking devices that can be inserted in backpacks etc if the concern is warranted. What would be nice is if the memory card manufacturers would make such a device for slot#2 in the cameras body. Of course this will not prevent you gear from being stolen but it may provide a means to recover it.


Good idea. It would have added advantage if it could be used by higher level security staff at the departure airport after you were forced to put your camera in check-in luggage instead of carry-on. This is where my friend's Nikon was probably pilfered.



Jul 04, 2017 at 12:23 AM
dalite
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · How not to get your gear stolen!


"Don't check in camera gear on planes"? Explain please.


Jul 08, 2017 at 05:18 PM
jdc562
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · How not to get your gear stolen!


dalite wrote:
"Don't check in camera gear on planes"? Explain please.


"Carry-on" means the items you can carry with you into the passenger compartment area of the plane. "Check-in" is the other category, meaning baggage that gets checked-in at the terminal and ends up in the baggage compartment with all the other suitcases, etc. Check-in luggage will go through TSA checks where you are not present, and TSA can open your baggage, locked or not, for inspection. On its transfer route from the check-in point to the plane, TSA agents, baggage handlers, and others can steal your gear, especially if the inspection shows goodies--like camera gear--in the bags. That's why most of us do everything we can to avoid putting our camera gear in check-in luggage. However, some airlines will force check-in because of weight/size restrictions for carry-ons, or because of the new safety restrictions for larger electronic gear.



Jul 10, 2017 at 12:58 AM
DABNIK
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · How not to get your gear stolen!


I travel to Spain & Portugal every year for 2 months and do a fair bit of hiking around in the cities & the country. I carry a backpack & two cams with me. The cam straps are attached to the straps of the backpack with carabiner clips. I also use a cheap RED luggage lock (combination) through the two zipper pulls on the back of the backpack to deter anyone behind me who just may be tempted to sneak up & open the zippered compartments. The lock would be easy to break off but I would notice anyone trying to fiddle with it. The RED color was chosen specifically - you can't miss it!!
And never, ever, ever - put your gear or pack down when it is not attached to you or someone with you. I've heard too many stories of stuff going missing.
Doug



Aug 25, 2017 at 04:48 PM
Baseball Dad
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · How not to get your gear stolen!


Also, look into Pacsafe bags and exoskeleton mesh for camera bags. Very difficult to steal.


Sep 16, 2017 at 07:38 PM
Frogfish
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · How not to get your gear stolen!


I travel a lot and expect to even more now I'm retired. Just back from 6 weeks in Europe and Morocco after Nepal, HK and more Asian countries last year and I'm a resident expat in China so travel widely here. Our children live in Europe.

The first point to make is that you shouldn't become paranoid as I often see some people swaying in that direction to the point of not taking expensive gear on trips with them. Chances of anything happening are pretty damn remote if you take even basic precautions and avoid high risk areas. Insurance helps allay mental stress (make sure you have copies of all of your receipts and production numbers and if anything happens make sure you obtain a police report).

Note that insurance is something I don't have access to being a) not Chinese so unable to take up Chinese insurance and b) resident in China so not able to use Western insurance (and World Nomads and other global insurance suppliers are ridiculously expensive for camera gear). That doesn't stop me carting around US$15,000 worth of gear on every trip, around US$10,000 of which is with me daily.

A good bag worn properly will deter the vast majority of potential thieves. I now use a Mindshift rotation when a backpack is needed in cities, there's no access to the camera/lens section without rotating that section(belt) from within the bag to the front.

On this last 6 week trip (17 flights) I also used a Tenba Messenger DNA 13" 90% of the time - awesome bag, easily the best I've had and takes a ton of gear (also great for flights as your 'laptop bag' : I had around 8kgs of gear in it including my laptop, plus I carried the Rotation onboard with another 8-10kgs, weight for most airlines isn't the issue, size is). Daily I'd generally carry 2 cameras (Sonys), 1 flash, 4-5 lenses plus all accessories (no laptop of course). A tripod can be attached to the outside or even over the gear section (if quick access not required), with a cloth for protection, then close the flap.

This bag worn properly (also has a chest/waist strap for those requiring it) makes it near impossible for anyone to rip off and run. Size means it's also easy to keep close to you in restaurants/cafes/shopping and can be secured to a table/chair etc.

Always check about safety after dark and any no-go areas but to date I've never had an issue anywhere. Being aware (of the area, other people, yourself and your gear) is always the first barrier to any potential theft.

I will add that I've not recently (last 25 years) been to the USA/North America where the 'rules' may be different. But in numerous European countries, NZ and South East and East Asia I've never felt threatened even though I may have been, probably unnecessarily, worried at times.



Oct 05, 2017 at 07:42 AM







FM Forums | Trip Location Advice & Meet-ups | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password