I’m regularly asked about what are the rules around batteries when travelling. Make sure your batteries make it through check-in. Basically, if you are flying with spare batteries, they need to be carried on. Don’t lose your expensive batteries! You can bring spare lithium batteries in your carry-on bag, but not in your checked-in luggage.
BUT, if the battery is in an electronic device, the device can be checked in as long as it’s turned off, although never put your camera and lenses in your checked in luggage as it most likely will be damaged UNLESS you’ve got a speciality camera equipment case, and make sure you put it through the fragile bag drop.
What are the restrictions?
Spare or loose batteries must be carried in carry-on, they are prohibited from checked luggage.
You do not need approval of the airline for lithium batteries that do not exceed 100 Watt hours [Wh] or 2 grams [g] of lithium.
You can take a maximum of two spare lithium-ion batteries [or power banks], that exceed 100Wh but not 160Wh [or for lithium metal batteries 2g lithium but not 8g] but only with your airline’s approval.
Batteries that power any device can go in checked luggage if they are in the device and the device is turned off.
Each person is allowed a total of 20 spare batteries [including power banks] unless an airline has approved the carriage of more batteries. The 20 spare batteries can all be lithium batteries or a combination of lithium, dry-cell, nickel-metal hydride and non-spillable batteries.
Each spare battery, must be individually protected by being in retail package, individual bag, a protective pouch, or with tape placed over exposed terminals. Check out what I use.
When packing your camera equipment, unless you have a dedicated lockable case such as a Seahorse protective case, don’t pack your gear into your checked in luggage – I’ve seen lots of equipment damaged.
Please, always disassemble everything; don’t leave a lens attached to your camera, even in your carry-on bag.
Don’t overpack – you might think you need every single bit of gear you own, but you’ll hate lugging it all around. Pack two versatile lenses instead of six primes. Basically, take as little as you need to get the job done.
Of course, apart from your camera and lots of SD cards, this list is what I recommend. You can although get away with less.
55-250mm or 55-300mm
Rain cover for your lenses – these are invaluable and can be reused
I recommend a multi-purpose tripod which has a leg which detracts to use as a monopod, or tripod which also has a pan head
Neutral Density (ND) ND2-400 variable fader or Circular Polarising (CPL) to fit the lenses you are bringing.
A backpack is an easier way to carry all your equipment than an over the shoulder camera bag
Some days you’ll likely be out all day and don’t have the opportunity to recharge camera batteries so bring enough camera batteries with you; two is an absolute minimum, three is recommended, but it also depends on how quickly your camera drains the batteries
Don’t forget to pack your battery charging pack to charge your batteries at night
You may be laying down on the ground taking some photos or want some place clean to place your backpack, I suggest you buy from Bunnings a small tarpaulin (1.2m x 1.8m) – normally $1.48
Torch or headlamp
For those early morning and late evening photography outings, a headlamp or small handheld LED type torch is required plus don’t forget to pack additional batteries
Camera & Lens Cleaning Equipment
Pack travel lens and camera cleaning equipment in your backpack
Laptop or iPad/tablet
Your laptop with Lightroom (and Photoshop) preinstalled and registered this requires a paid subscription. If you’re new to photography, I suggest you use the free versions for iPad or tablet instead.
Or tablet with Lightroom & Photoshop Mobile installed – these are free to download snd use, but -lesse download and register prior. Please make sure your device has enough capacity to process your images.
Clothing & Other Equipment
This is my suggestion of what else to pack, regardless of season:
Lightweight wind and rain proof GORE-TEX (style) seam sealed jacket
Puffer vest – you never know when you just need a little light wind block
Lip balm, sticking plasters & sunblock
Lightweight thermal long sleeve top and leggings
Hand warmers – these last for 10 hours and slip inside the Kathmandu fingerless gloves
Small travel size deodorant for your backpack so you can freshen during the day
Comfortable and sturdy and worn in shoes for walking through water, climbing over rocks and walking on trails. Ecco are my go-to waterproof shoes which I live in and have never given me blisters, also available for men.