Travel Safety Tip: Keep Your Photos in Your… Boxers! No Joke!

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I got an email from the folks at SCOTTeVEST asking if there was anything in their product range that I’d like to take a look at to see if it would be a good fit for photographers. I jumped on their website and had a poke around and then saw something that I wasn’t expecting to want to take a look at: Boxer shorts.

Bear with me here because you probably weren’t expecting a boxer short review on a photography website, but you’ll just have to trust me that I wouldn’t bother with taking the time to write about these and take photos of them unless there was a good point to it.

Dealing With Photo Backups While Traveling

Whenever you’re travelling for photography, you want to have a solid backup plan in place, and for most people it’s going to have to differ from the one that usually use when they have access to their home or office. A 3-2-1 backup strategy is the optimal starting point, and this means that you have your images in three different places, two of which are local and 1 of which is offsite.

In a normal travel situation this means downloading the images from your memory card and placing one copy onto a laptop computer, and a second copy onto an external hard drive. So where’s the third copy? You have two options here: Firstly you could use a second external hard drive, which is my personal method. I have a pair of G-Technology EV Raw drives labelled Photo 1 and Photo 2. Your second option is to leave the original images on your memory card after the import process.

No, I had not worn these before taking photos of them. That seemed a bit weird… but I have now, and they are comfy!

At this point, we’ve got our three copies, we’ve got two local copies, with our local location being the hotel room, but we don’t yet have our offsite copy. Uploading to cloud services isn’t an option on slow hotel internet connections, and it could take days to do a single card even on a fast connection. No, you need to remove one of the copies of your images from the hotel room, or wherever it is you’re staying. In other words, you need to carry either that second external hard drive, or all your memory cards with you whenever you leave the room. This then satisfies a full 3-2-1 backup strategy, and its extremely important to pay attention to this in some countries where there are many light-fingered hotel staff members.

But what if you’re travelling in a place that is prone to pickpocketing and street crime? Sadly this is something you have to take into account, but with some smart preparation, and the right boxer shorts (not kidding), you can hopefully prevent the loss of your images.

The SCOTTeVEST Travel Boxers feature two pockets on them, one of which is big enough for a portable hard drive, and one of which is big enough for typical memory card wallets like the MindShift Gear House of Cards one that’s pictured in my photos. Storing your offsite images in one, or both of these hidden pockets will hopefully help prevent their loss at the hands of thieves. A second thing that I would advise doing if you are really concerned due to your location, is to carry a “dummy” money belt. Thieves know to look for money belts and those wallets that hang around your neck. If you carry one of those with a small amount of local currency in it, maybe even an old expired credit card, then you can give that to a thief in the event of trouble. Hopefully they won’t want to go rummaging around in your boxer shorts, and your photos will be safe.

The G-Tech ev Raw drives are perfect because they are the lightest drives I know of.
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Dan Carr

Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

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