chasejarvis TECH: How to Pack, Prep & Travel with GoPro Cameras (<—bonus, also works for almost camera system)

I’ve been shooting religiously with GoPro cameras since they came out way back in the day. Love those little monsters. At a minimum, I travel with three or more Hero3’s for any shoot – I’ve just found they just come in super-duper handy for all sortsa great stuff. BUT…. taking into account mounts, memory cards, chargers, spare batteries and all miscellany associated with the GoPro and you’ve got yourself quite a load of gear to keep track of.

That’s why I’ve come up with a pretty tight little system for packing & traveling with my GoPros. The above video really gives the full insight, but all cooked down into a tasty little reduction, it smells something like this:

1. Find ONE bag/pack that can carry everything (for Belize I brought a Dakine Mission)

2. Separate gear & accessories into smaller pouches (ThinkTank little pouches described in the vid work nicely here)

3. Clearly label said bags (make the labels moron proof – and really visible in low-light / bleary eyes / tired person can read them without question)

4. Take EVERYTHING in this bag with you every time, regardless of shoot location – you never know when the need/opportunity for a funky mount may arise. (I know this might not sound like good advice, but trust me, it is. Take it from me, this is the only way you’ll ever NOT forget something random.)

5. Get creative. There are tons of ways you can mount a GoPro (see the egg-timer and scuba mask mounts in the vid), as well as clever ways to extend battery life. Use them all.

This vid above comes at you pretty fast, so feel free to ask questions and I’ll jump into the comments and answer. Got GoPro tips / thoughts / hacks of your own? Do share ‘em.

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Just wondering which dakine pack you use.
also what are the small bags you have as well and were can i get them from

Kory says:

Great video chase. Love to see how others organize and transport their GoPro Gear. I went to ThinkTank in search of those individual pouches that you used in video and I couldn’t find them. Any specific name or section on the website where they are located? Thanks for your help!

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Brilliant. Mind if we share on our site? It’s advice we commonly give to people too. Bring EVERYTHING with you! You never know what you’re going to need. If you’ve ever seen a professional production assistant in action you’d know this to be true. Those guys always have a bag of tricks by their side. Cheers!

SoCalDude says:

Do you use lens covers for your cameras?

My concern is: 1) when the camera is not in a housing, I don’t want to scratch the lens, and 2) even when in the waterproof housing, I don’t want to scratch its lens either!

If you do use covers, which do you recommend?

Mike Sewell says:

What Memory Cards / capacity do you use? You stated the Micro SD Cards — any particular brand and what capacity do you recommend? For the Gopro 3 — Im guessing you need larger cards for the new improved formats? Right now I have the Gopro2 so would be interested in knowing what you use?

Suzie says:

I love the backpack – that zips open completely from the back, went to the web site and couldn’t find it – can you provide a link? Thanks for always sharing your knowledge!

Bo says:

Baller. I’d never seen those Think Tank packs…brilliant. I have 3 or 4 GoPros I’ve acquired over the years & it’s always a nightmare to keep track of everything. I designed a Pelican Case type setup, but it just got ugly & I really missed the soft-sidedness of a backpack. This is good stuff…thanks Chase!

Chase says:

thanks Bo! this is a good way to simplify all those little parts!

chad jaeckel says:

Very interesting to see how you organize your equipment and your workflow. Have been following you for a longtime. You have been a huge inspiration on my road to professional photography. I’ve finally made it!

Chase says:

great to hear you’re living your dream chad – like so many of us in this industry. glad to have helped even if just a little – i’ll keep doing my part if you keep doing yours.

murray says:

Thanks for the great video and tips Chase. I see a lot of photographers using the same red tape to label their gear, even on actual lenses, lights and such. Can you/anyone tell me what type of tape this is and can it be easily removed without leaving any sticky residue?

Chase says:

the tape to which you are referring is simply “gaffer” tape. or “gaff” tape more casually in the industry. it is a necessary staple on every photo shoot / set / studio. can buy it at any pro camera store – comes in bunch of colors. we always have black, white and this orange on hand in large volumes.

murray says:

Thanks Chase. I should have known it was plain old gaffer tape. Cheers!

faisal says:

To many GoPro accessories means you need to orgazine your self.

CancunSteve says:

bring the camera anywhere with that bag

Dan Oksnevad says:

Little bags with labels in a bigger bag… I like it! Last GoPro shoot I did I lost a battery and a memory card. Little buggars! Never lost anything with my DSLR setup. :P

Chase says:

i know – pretty simple – but took me years to figure it out ;)

Bram says:

Chase thx for sharing, I have 2 quick Qs:
– Any word on battery management? # of packs you take, how do you keep them all charged etc?
– Bag doesn’t seem to be waterproof and you carry some GoPros outside of their housing in the vid. Seems like taking unnecessary risk?

Chase says:

1. for the hero 2’s we had a custom made batter charger rig. we have yet to make anything custom for our hero 3’s which have better batteries. our current solution is to have a lot of batteries ;)

2.yeah – very few bags are waterPROOF. but generally bags provide plenty of protection from rain or even getting dropped in a mud puddle. (not for dropping in the ocean – but if that happens you got bigger problems ;) genearlly speaking a full waterproof bag is overkill IMHO. this dakine pack does a great job but so would a lot of other packs.

good luck!

Tim says:

Great video Chase. Thanks for the tips. I love my new Hero3, but I find the choices of video formats confusing. I would love to know what your “go to” format is or what formats you use for certain situations, shoots, or effects. Thanks in advance for your response.

Cameron says:

And Chase walks off into the ocean as if he’s going to swim to the next caye after showing us those GoPros are not in their waterproof cases. ;p

Next time I’m on location on a shoot, I’ll shoot a response video showing my GoPro packing system. It’s also with 3 GoPro’s but a little smaller packed in an Eagle Creek Medium Protect-It Cube and little organizational packs similar to the Think Tank pouches for the accessories. Amen to never knowing what you’re going to need. I’ve been saved many times by bringing everything along.

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