Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Wednesday, 03 December 2014 00:00

Carrying Your Camera Gear on the Water

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I have been a photographer for the last twenty-five years, and a kayaker eight of those. It was inevitable my two passions would come together. This “Tips” article is for those of us who like to bring more than just a point-and-shoot camera along for the ride.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the right way to protect my gear while out on the water. I have always had a tendency to bring way more than I need, same with my fishing gear, but what helped whittle that down was the space and the problem of storing it safely without the fear of it taking a thousand dollar bath.

The Plano “Guide Series” boxes are great for the small stuff, but what about bigger cameras? My standard payload now consists of a DSLR camera: the Nikon “D7000” and an 18-105mm zoom lens. It's a good setup to handle most my needs. It won't work for a quick selfie with a fish - that's what my GoPro or Fuji “XP60” are for - but when I look over and see something in the distance or feel a bit creative, I can whip out my Nikon and get the shot I want.

There were many different solutions I went through, from the cheap to the expensive. After measuring my camera and lens together, I set out to find a case that would fit. I was amazed at how many there are out there. The first issue to address is the size. There's plenty of room in most kayaks, but having something within arm’s reach you can get quickly could be problematic. I found all sorts that were too big, and too small, and quite a few that couldn't handle the rigors of kayaking. Then I came across the Pelican “1300”. I have many Pelicans I use for holding all my camera/video gear, but not a small one for just a camera and lens. Once I got the foam cut out to the camera, it fit like a glove. On my Ocean Kayak “Prowler 13” it stays between my knees, below my fishfinder, and out of the way.

This has gone on most my trips the last year and a half, and has worked great for me. Of course, what camera and lens you choose to bring will determine what size and where to put that case. A standard DSLR and small lens will fit perfectly in the 1300. Some others I tried were the “Sportsman Dry Box” from Cabelas, Action Products “Sport Utility Dry Box” , Flambeau “14" Dry Box/Ammo Can” from Academy and the Plano “Guide Series PC Field Box”. Each of these would serve the purpose, but would have to be stored behind me instead of where it is easily accessible.

When choosing the right case for your camera, you need to figure out what you're going to bring, where you want it, and how safe it will be from the elements. Once you get those set, the photos that you once couldn't get are just an arm's reach away.

Read 10678 times Last modified on Sunday, 30 November 2014 18:48
Scott Gartman

Scott Gartman is a photographer, filmmaker, and an avid outdoors man. He has been a fisherman for over 25 years with the last 7 on a kayak. His love for the outdoors has always been a focal point for his photography and films. He and his family live in Texas, and are always ready for the next adventure.


+1 # tomjones 2014-12-03 13:23
Thanks for the heads-up. Like you I was a photographer for 38 years.I just didn't feel comfortable taking my DSLR with me in a kayak. I Will look into the Pelican 1300.
+1 # marsh_life 2014-12-03 22:50
Great tip and awesome photos!
+1 # Minorcan 2014-12-04 08:56
Thanks Much for posting, your photos are wonderful. I especially like the Heron and the next one of flowing water which can be a little tricky to capture. I have a larger format but with the smaller waterproof technologies I went that way since I was willing to accept the sacrifices that come with it.
# droche 2015-03-13 13:38
awesome article. i too am in the process of marrying my two obsessions, i mean hobbies, and thought of getting a Lowepro Dry rover backpack with the waterproof camera section. but its better for carrying around in streams and wading, rather than getting to it quick in the yak.

Question - does this pelican 1300 float? I would assume so if it's a dry box. wondering if you tested

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