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12-08-2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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Keeping a camera kit in the trunk of my car -- suggestions on storage?

Once too many times (most recently as last week) I've been driving around and seen a great shot, and been unable to capture it because I have no camera. While circling back is an option sometimes (I have several spots bookmarked on my GPS ) sometimes the event only lasts one night (i.e., some gorgeous fog recently in Toronto).

Looking at my gear I now have enough to keep a basic camera setup in my car, permanently: 24/2.8, 50/1.7 and a 135/3.5. Or in doubt, I can switch it up with two spare zooms I have (28-105 and 70-200). The point is: I have enough for a second kit to capture the image.

One thing that concerns me is storage, especially now that winter is coming. I'm concerned about the bouncing humidity in the trunk of my car as the temperature fluctuates, and exhaust heating up the back (I drive quite long distances); I've had tools corrode from a winter's moister accumulating in my toolbag, and read horror stories of some cars where the moisture actually rusts through part of the trunk. My major concern is fungus though, which thrives in a moist environment. If I were to keep a kit in my trunk, does anyone have any suggestions? Does anyone know where I can buy silica gel or similar anti-moisture products? Should I invest in a Pelican case to store everything, or will a regular bag do, such as a LowePro?

Thanks for any help!
-10d

12-08-2009, 09:58 PM   #2
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I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to store a camera kit (or any other valuable item) in a car for any reason. It is far too easy to have your car stolen or broken into while you leave it unattended. I almost always carry my camera bag with me and when I'm driving, it sits on the passenger seat. At work, it sits under my desk. If shopping or such is on the agenda, I usually leave it at home because I'd hate to lose my gear to some thieving POS.
12-09-2009, 06:38 AM   #3
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Just find a small shoulder bag you can store a small kit in and take that with you, don't leave it in the trunk of your car. There are too many things that can happen in an environment such as that.
12-09-2009, 02:11 PM   #4
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Basically I would also recommend to have a readyly loaded bag in your house/office, which you just grab, when you go to your car. If you insist on storing lenses in the car permamently, I would use a Peli case and put some silica gel inside. I would never store a DSLR in the car, because the batteries will be dead anyway if it gets cold, but a film SLR might work.

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12-09-2009, 03:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tendim Quote
Once too many times (most recently as last week) I've been driving around and seen a great shot, and been unable to capture it because I have no camera. While circling back is an option sometimes (I have several spots bookmarked on my GPS ) sometimes the event only lasts one night (i.e., some gorgeous fog recently in Toronto).
Well, I tried to do this - carry a DSLR with me at all times. Too heavy, another bag to carry everywhere, and I didn't really get it out that often anyway (I'm not Mike Cash).

One option I considered was a very high quality fixed lens camera such as a Lumix or something Fuji.

Instead I just got my 80's XA cleaned up and I keep it in the case in the glove box.
12-09-2009, 04:10 PM   #6
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I'm not worried about theft; common sense prevents that. Don't show off your gear, keep a careful eye out, etc. Plus if you don't have anything worthwhile in plain site, usually thieves will move on to something easier/better. And an alarm doesn't hurt either.

That said. I'm using a film SLR, and the gear is gear that I can afford to lose.

So far a Pelican case suggestion matches mine. But anyone know where I can get some silcal gel? Online maybe?
12-09-2009, 04:55 PM   #7
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I always carry a small lightweight 35mm film camera in the chest pocket of my coat.

Chris
12-09-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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It's not a very good or practical solution, at all, for the most part. When I was back up at about your latitude, I had a minor 'scat bag' which would contain a couple of lenses I wouldn't ordinarily carry, (usually a 28 and cheapo longer zoom for the old Canons) and maybe a backup 'slow film' body, ...things I wouldn't be screwed if I lost...I'd put those in the back seat on the way out, (not advisable where someone might break a window over it) This, I could leave by the door and pick up if we were taking a little trip. The bag would essentially tend to moderate the temperature and moisture concerns as we went.

I basically wouldn't leave em there permanently to freeze or bake, though.

If you must, maybe put an old TLR in there. Those ought to work.


Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 12-09-2009 at 05:11 PM.
12-10-2009, 11:06 AM   #9
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Trunk and auto storage in the summer is bad news on computers. Inside temps out west can approach 200F. I have measured 180F+ under the back window of a 911 in August in Palm springs. That was with an expensive test thermometer.

If you are in a humid area, it might be a good thing to pack some disecant with your expensive gear. It is cheap enough. Years ago I was taking a photo lab class at night and I kept my gear in a thick brief case. Well I tossed a small terry hand towel I used in the proccessing lab in the brief case with the intention of removing it in an hour or so. Never happened and when I got to the case about a week later my ME Super would not function. I think there were mushrooms growing in it. Major dumb move.

I use this:
disecant
12-10-2009, 02:03 PM   #10
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If you MUST keep a kit in your car (considering batteries will probably run out because of the cold) I would place everything in a Pelican case (the sealed type) with a lot of dessicant. That should do the trick.
12-10-2009, 05:41 PM   #11
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Makes my pocket sound better and better...

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12-10-2009, 07:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If you MUST keep a kit in your car (considering batteries will probably run out because of the cold) I would place everything in a Pelican case (the sealed type) with a lot of dessicant. That should do the trick.
The batteries shouldn't die because of cold. Heat is what kills them. I keep the AA in the fridge for my flash units. Had some in there for over a year past expiry and worked like brand new after a warm up.
12-10-2009, 07:51 PM   #13
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"I now have enough to keep a basic camera setup in my car, permanently:"

DON'T. You are tempting fate.

I know of two instances (in Toronto) of expensive (both were Nikon) outfits being stolen from car trunks. All the police can do is take your list of items and serial numbers and tell you not to hold your breath. They will also tell you that your risk depends to some extent on the kind of car and the neighbourhood in which it is parked. The more expensive in both instances the greater the risk.

Minimize your kit and take it with you - always.

In my LowePro Slingshot 200 AW I carry a Pentax K100d, Pentax DA12 - 24mm, Tamron 28 - 80mm, Quantaray 70 - 300mm and various accessories. It is always on the passenger seat secured with a seatbelt. It is hardly a minimum kit but I don't mind schlepping it. I also have an inexpensive monopod which I do leave in the car.

Mickey

Last edited by mickeyobe; 12-11-2009 at 12:24 PM.
12-10-2009, 08:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Basically I would also recommend to have a readyly loaded bag in your house/office, which you just grab, when you go to your car.
Ben
That's my strategy--I agree that you shouldn't keep the gear in the car 24/7. In summer, I put the kit in a soft cooler bag under a blanket in the "way back" of my Forester. I've been amazed at how effective that is in keep the gear at a moderate temperature.
12-11-2009, 11:40 AM   #15
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I got fed up of missing "that" shot when I was in the car with no camera so now I take a bag wherever I go which consists of K10D, 10-17mm fisheye, Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 and Sigma 70-200mm f2.8.

Since I started this 6 months ago I have not had one photo opportunity
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