8 More Non-Photography Items To Take on Your Nature Shoot - Cramer Imaging - Quality Fine Art Photography
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8 More Non-Photography Items To Take on Your Nature Shoot

8 More Non-Photography Items To Take on Your Nature Shoot
Last week, we talked about 8 things which are not photography or camera related which you should take with you when going on a photo shoot.  If you want to catch up on last week's article, you can find it here.  We know that last week's list was far from exhaustive so we decided to do it again this week with 8 more things you should take.

You need more than your camera gear on a nature photo shoot.  Check out what else you need.  www.cramerimaging.com #nature #naturephotography

8. Signal Mirror

Cramer Imaging's photograph of a signal mirror against a black background
A good non-audible signal device in the form of a signal mirror is also good.  Some people suggest using an old CD, and you can do that, even a compact mirror will work, but a proper signal mirror is far faster and easier to aim.

A good signal mirror can be used to signal to rescue personnel in helicopters, or on neighboring mountains, and even the small ones used correctly can have a range of a couple of miles.  Far farther than a whistle, or even, depending on conditions, the report of a firearm.

7. Warm Clothing

Cramer Imaging's photograph of a winter jacket or coat, a knitted scarf, and a matching knitted hat
Some way to keep warm other than your fire.  So what if it's warm when you leave.  If you're going to the mountains (and most wilderness areas tend to be up from civilization), it's going to be colder.  It also gets cold at night.  You're going to want a jacket or even a coat, even if there's no need for one when you leave.

I've left home at 90+ temperatures, only to get into the mountains and have it freeze at night.  I've even camped in areas where it was over 90 in the day and in the 20's at night.  Then, there's the freak snow storms which can happen anytime in the part of the world.  Take warm clothing just in case it happens.

6. First Aid Kit

Picture of a bright red cross or first aid symbol on a white background created by Cramer Imaging
Never go anywhere in the wilderness without a first aid kit, and not one of those cheap car kits with some band aids, but something that can be used to help stop heavy bleeding, help create a makeshift splint and the like.

The reason for using something more substantial than band-aids is for those times when you twist your ankle or break something.  We hope those never happen but you still need to be prepared for them anyways.

Keep your kit small as you may have to carry it, but make sure it's useful.

5. Rope

Cramer Imaging's photograph of a coil of white rope against a black background
Rope, paracord, or similar is invaluable.  Learn to tie a few useful knots and how and when they're used.  You can generally get by for most things with 6 or 7 knots.  There are hundreds available, and some work better for specific tasks, but the ones in the Boy Scout Handbook (pretty much any edition) will get you through most things you need.

Most paracord is thin, light and very strong and you can have 100' or more in a small place type 550 is common, and tested to 550 lb.  Other kinds of rope, such as the kind depicted to the left, will work too in most survival situations.

4. Poncho

Cramer Imaging's photograph of a coil of white rope against a black background
Even if bad things don't happen, a poncho is a must.  If the weather decides to rain, a poncho keeps you dry.  A large poncho can be draped over your gear when carrying it.  Even if you aren't in some type of survival situation, it will not only keep you dry, but more importantly keep your equipment dry if it rains.  You want a poncho handy any time you're taking your equipment out in the field.

Most ponchos are both light and portable.  They are also easily acquired at most local stores.  If you have a sensitivity to PVC, make sure that you air it out before use or you might regret your decision with a headache.

3. Multi-Tool

Cramer Imaging's photograph of a Leatherman or multi-tool against a black background
A good multi-tool, like a Gerber or Leatherman tool, is extremely useful not only does it have a knife, but also because it has several other tools that we've found useful when dealing with photography equipment, or many, many other things.  It's useful even if you aren't going away from civilization.  I use it and my knife daily.

They usually have a belt pouch which you can easily attach to you and have with you at a moment's notice.  If, for some reason, your model doesn't come with a pouch, such pouches are available to buy by themselves.

2. Sleeping Bags And Extra Blankets

Cramer Imaging's photograph of a sleeping bag stuffed in its sack with a blue blanket on top
While you may not want to haul such big and bulky things with you away from your car, having something to help keep you warm should you become stranded will help keep you alive until rescuers can come.

A sleeping bag rated for well below freezing is great, but can be awkward if you have to carry it very far.  It will, however, sit in your car or truck nicely and wait for you to get back.  If you want something warm to carry on you, a smaller fleece blanket can be rolled up tightly and be carried with you.

1. A Friend

Cramer Imaging's professional fine art photograph of a railroad or train bridge over a river between Fremont and Madison counties, Idaho
Never go alone.  The buddy system is used in so many youth organizations for a reason.  We teach it in Boy Scouts for a reason.  It works.

Take a friend, a lover, an assistant, or whomever.  If you're injured, the friend can go for help.  The friend can help carry things.  The friend keeps you company and can watch out for problems when taking a picture.

In this picture of a rail bridge to the right, one of us took the picture.  The other stood by the tracks and looked the other way.  Taking a photo on a live railroad track is dangerous.  We were only able to do it safely because the tracks had several miles of visibility in both directions, and there were two of us.  Use the buddy system.


These 8 items, in addition to last week's list, will help keep you safe when you're out taking beautiful landscape or nature photos.  We know that there's probably more which you could take with you.  We might discuss more in a future article.

In the mean time, we turn the discussion over to you.  What other things can you think of which could help out in the field?  Let us know in the comments below.