Throughout the course of long, mentally intensive days covering events from behind a camera, likely the last thing on your mind is maintaining good balanced posture or equal weight distribution. String multiple days like this together in a short period of time and you are unknowingly causing long-term havoc onto your body, especially as this repeats and builds over longer periods.
Do you ever experience muscle soreness or tension headaches the next morning after hauling gear the day or days prior? Is this something you just attribute to father time getting the best of you over the years? Personally, I accepted this is how I should expect to feel, after long hours on a given day which involved a lot of stressful shuffling with my full kit. What I did not realize, or give a moments thought to, was I could be causing muscular imbalance by not necessarily choosing the right tool for the given job.
Personally, up till now, I have been an avid user of a few workhorse messenger style camera bags from Peak Design. They are great bags, and depending on the demands of the job either the Everyday Messenger 15-inch or the 10L Everyday Sling would accompany me during a shoot. Often I load up every last square inch of these bags to the point sometimes I can barely get the top latch to comfortably click in place. I still utilize good old fashion, decently-sized Canon DSLRs — the 5D Mark IVs — so you know this is typically a heavy and by nature lopsided bag. And while I am now on record as saying these are great bags, because they are, they also should not be the go-to for every event or trek depending on the circumstances.
On his YouTube channel, Jay Perry creates some awareness that maybe us messenger bag folk are not doing the upper body any favors by slinging all of this weight on one side or the other. Perry's longtime massage therapist friend Jarek Gora explains in detail what could happen behind the scenes to the body when we choose to do so.
So maybe you want to think about leaving the messenger style bag at home and invest some of those holiday gift cards on a shiny new backpack for those longer days ahead and save yourself down the road from any unwanted long-term injury.