Iceland Adventure – Day 0 – Loading Up

Of all the things in the world that I procrastinate about – and there are a few – packing for a trip is the one thing I try to put off the most. 

My wife finished packing yesterday and clearly has better Tetris skills than I do.  She did a week in Tokyo last year with just a carry-on.

Granted, I’m not traveling as light as I had planned from a photography standpoint.  I had this grand idea to switch to a mirror-less primary like my wife shoots with, but I forgot to actually buy one and make that switch.  

So out rolls the Pelican.  This thing is bomb-proof, but sitting empty it’s already halfway to the 10kg weight limit for carry-on bags.  I’ve had to check it once, just once, on an overbooked  flight back from shooting a wedding in San Francisco and was on pins and needles the entire time.  
I’m trying to cut everything that’s not necessary but I can’t bring myself to leave the 500mm telephoto at home and miss out on obligatory Puffin close-ups.  At 2000 grams, this lens is case and point why I’m over the limit.

For my checked bag (autocorrect thinks “cracked” bag and may be correct) I can have up to 23kg in it, but nothing breakable.  

I find myself weighing things on a kitchen scale, 50 grams here 75 grams there, and so forth.  Did you know a AA battery weights 25g?  That really adds up and not in my favor.  After taking the batteries out of everything and moving it to my checked bag, I have ended up with a bunch of batteries zip tied together in what I can only imagine looks like a redneck dirty bomb on an X-ray machine.
The trick is to see when they are weighing things and make some modifications once I’m in the tunnel to board.  My backpack and Pelican collectively weigh 20kg, the allowed limit for steerage like myself flying coach.  However the split is uneven due to the weight of the hard case.  By switching my three lenses to my backpack and being exceedingly careful with it for weigh-in, I can switch them back to the safety of the Pelican once I’ve made my fighting weight.

So I’m off with 41kg of gear and clothes for 10 days near the arctic circle.

I seriously need to make the switch to mirror-less.

Gear list

  • Canon 5Dii
  • Canon 550D
  • Canon 24-105mm F4
  • Tokina 11-17mm F2.8
  • Sigma 150-500mm F5.6
  • Siri carbon fiber tripod
  • LED lamp (for fill and light painting)
  • Pelican 5150 with mesh upper dividers.
  • Cokin graduated ND filter kit
  • 3-stop 77mm round ND filter

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