8 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Camera Bag

There are a few things every photographer should keep in his or her camera bag. Check our list to make sure you’re not forgetting something important!

camera bag

“What’s in the Bag?” captured by Alexander McCooke

1. Spare memory card

There’s nothing worse than having the perfect shot, going to take your picture, and your camera telling you your memory card is full. To avoid going through all your pictures on the spot and deleting the bad ones—which is incredibly frustrating and time-consuming—keep a few spare memory cards in your bag at all times; they take up zero space, so there’s no excuses!

2. Microfiber cloth

A microfiber cloth is one of the most useful and cheapest accessories a photographer can have in their bag. It’s primarily used for cleaning dirt and dust off of camera lenses, but it’s also extremely useful for wrapping up other accessories in your camera bag (memory cards, lenses, flashes), to keep them from being scratched or damaged.

3. Plastic bag

It happens to all of us photographers: we get stuck in the rain. Make sure you have a grocery bag tucked away in your camera bag for those unexpected downpours. All you need is a hole in the bag for the lens, and you have an inexpensive way to keep your camera dry and still get your perfect shot.

camera protection

“Matt’s Camera” captured by Jenn Vargas

4. Mini tripod

Carrying a full size tripod isn’t always practical. Keep a mini tripod in your camera bag so you are never caught without a camera support again. Travel models can be folded very small for storage, and although they are obviously not as sturdy as full size tripods, they are still versatile. They can be set up in places a full size tripod would struggle with (in trees, on walls, very uneven surfaces) and are perfect for low-light photography.

mini camera tripod

“Taking Pictures” captured by Lee Haywood

5. Flash

A flash is excellent for adding additional light to your shot. If you haven’t tried before, you’ll quickly see that it will add a whole new depth and dimension to your photography. A flash is a must for every serious photographer.

6. Battery

A full day of shooting will eat away at your battery life, especially if you overuse the LCD screen, which drains the battery quickly. I always like to keep a spare battery in my bag. I also find that turning your camera off and on repeatedly uses a lot of battery power. Hopefully, keeping a spare battery is obvious; if your battery runs flat, there’s nothing else to do but pack up and go home!

7. Lens

If you’re using a camera with a changeable lens, it is vital to have at least one extra lens. This is to give you greater choice with your focal length and will also be a backup lens if anything happens to your primary lens.

camera lenses

“70-200” captured by Nathanael Coyne

8. Manual

Keeping your manual in your bag, might just save you one day. It can be used to sort out a camera problem or a setting you are struggling with. It can be difficult to remember the variety of settings on your camera, so always keep it handy!

About the Author:
This article was written by James Cottis from Photo Cameras Online.

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14 responses to “8 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Camera Bag”

  1. Mosley Hardy says:

    I always keep a small roll of gaffer tape in there too.

  2. Rick Hollis says:

    Including a manual is good idea. If the manufacturers still provided them. The nice little ones we used to get were quite nice, but many times now, all you get are pdf files.

  3. Jurek Jerry says:

    I keep the *.PDF manuals on my phone.

  4. Jacques Mc Carthy says:

    Never thought of the plastic bag for rainy days…..
    Good Idea !!!

  5. Jack Preston says:

    Shower caps provided at many hotels make a wonderful pocket sized rain shield.

    E-readers that support pdf is a great way to save your user manuals.

  6. Howard says:

    an alternative to the plastic bag is a roll of cling film. Wrap the camera in this should falling water be around, and the controls of the camera are still easily available.

  7. Nino Xerri says:

    I always carry a couple of shower caps as well plus a small towel and a puffer/blower if I am using interchangeable lens. instead of a mini tripod, I carry a Gorrilapod more useful.

  8. Steve says:

    I also include a kneeling pad, a must for me as I am waiting for a knee replacement, and you can use it for your camera to rest on, and a small torch, you never now when you will need it for lighting a dark shot, ot to finding a droped item.

  9. matthiasausk says:

    and … don’t forget your towel!

  10. Stefanie says:

    I have the manual on my phone together with apps for dof , golden hour and stars, for rain I bought an stormcover for my camera, fits better than a plastic bag, i still carry a plastic bag but for kneeling in the dirt. Another thing that should be on the list (no9) is a flashlite, i used it to get around in dark spaces, to get to the perfect spot for a sunrise, to check my camera settings in the evening and even as backlight on macro pics

  11. Jean-Marie Navarro says:

    Stefanie is right and I have done that for years : keep your camera manual not in your bag but in your smartphone, as it is quite easy to download it as a .pdf document : it saves some room and weight, and there is the useful search engine to get rid of any issue…

  12. Garthgoyle says:

    I keep Ziploc bags to put my camera and extra lens before I enter a warm building to prevent condensation. I shoot while I’m snowboarding in bellow 0 temperatures.

  13. DevianPanda says:

    What about a camera? If we’re stating the obvious

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