Everyday Carry for Wildlife Photographers

The little things can add up to make a wildlife photographer’s day out in the field much nicer.

In this video from wildlife photographer Tom Mason, he shares the few important EDC items he brings with him while out shooting.

The undervalued featured item in this video has to go to the allergy pills. The number of times I’ve arrived to my shooting spot for the day, got out of my car, and immediately sneezed and remembered that I forgot to take some medicine before leaving is embarrassingly too many to count. Don’t go the day with sniffles and itchy eyes, be smarter than me and pack some allergy tablets right now if you’re affected by it.

Another underrated item is definitely the binoculars. For a long time I didn’t understand the appeal of having pair when I was carrying a super-telephoto lens anyway. After buying the standard-issue Vortex Diamondbacks for casual bird spotting from my car, it was soon apparent how valuable they become at all times, even while carrying the big camera setup around in the field. These days I feel naked without them on me.

For a look at all of Mason’s EDC items, check out the video above. What are some of your own daily essentials you bring along?

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6 Comments

Mutley Dastardly's picture

A rather complet list - maybe the following things are still missing:

Velcro?
Gaffer tape?
Some disinfectant?

Tom Reichner's picture

I am interested in knowing something ..... what would the still photographer specializing in landscapes use gaffer tape for?

Also, what would he/she use velcro for?

Michelle Maani's picture

I suppose you could use the tape if you have a tripod emergency.

Tom Reichner's picture

Thanks for the article, Ryan

What I have in my bag varies a bit, depending on what species I am photographing.

For songbirds in the spring, I have an old iPhone with eBird Pro loaded onto it, along with a JBL bluetooth speaker. Because mosquitoes are bad at that time of year, I also have lightweight gloves, a knit hat, and a lightweight polyester tee shirt, which I can put under the cap and hang down over my head to protect my ears, neck, and face.

For Whitetail Deer during the fall rut I have a rattle-pac, which simulates the fighting sound of antlers clashing. Also a grunt call. The rattling brings them in, and the grunt call gets them to look up at the camera.

Regardless of what I'm shooting or what time of year it is, I always have:

- a spare camera battery

- spare memory card

- microfiber cloth

- paper towels in a Zip-loc bag (can be used as T.P.)

- bottle of water

- and non-perishable snacks such as tree nuts and dried fruit

Lance Saunders's picture

Great list, in mine always; energy bar, bottled water, insect repellant, and toilet paper.

Bodkin's Best Photography's picture

Headlamp, water, gaffer tape, zip ties, fire kit, rain gear (we get over 2000mm or rainfall a year), toilet paper, knife, bear banger, medical supplies. This is just some of the stuff that rides in my pack all the time. If anything gets left behind it's a lens or accessory I won't be using that day.

Daily carry for photography gear usually includes a D850 with battery grip, XQD and SD, 150-600, 20mm, mini tripod, ND3200, ND200, CPL, rain cover, lens coat, dust blower, and a wired remote.