January 5, 2017

15 Random Things You Should Always Keep in Your Camera Bag

You don't know you need them until you do.

You're about to head out to your shooting location, but before you do, you check your camera bag to make sure you've got everything you need. Camera? Check. Lenses? Check. Memory card, batteries, cables, tape? Check! Sweet, you're ready to go, right? Maybe not. There are a bunch of other random supplies that may not seem useful on a film set at first glance, but end up being total life savers when you're in a pinch, and David Bergman of Adorama shares 15 of these essentials in the video below.

If you're an experienced filmmaker you might have your own list of weird supplies that you keep in your camera bag, but if you're just starting out, Bergman's list is a great place to start.

  • Ear plugs: In case you're in a noisy area, like a concert or construction site.
  • Small screwdriver: These come in handy when you need to make some adjustments to small screws, like the ones on your lenses.
  • Sharpie: You will always need a marker in life.
  • Blower: Dust and dirt want to mess up your lenses. Don't let them.
  • Cleaning cloth: Again, dust and dirt.
  • Bungee cord: Great for tons of things, like hanging your gear up.
  • Small flashlight: These come in handy when you need to see in the dark, as well as when you need a little more light on a subject.
  • Small sandwich bag/large garbage bag: Rain and water destroys our most precious gear. Store your camera/lenses in these.
  • Business cards: Just in case Darren Aronofsky or Mila Kunis shows up on set.
  • Phone charger: Because we're all addicted to our phones.
  • Extra batteries: AAAs, AAs, whatever. Just keep some on hand.
  • Extra memory cards: This is a no-brainer...for most.
  • First aid supplies: Especially for the accident prone.
  • Breath mints: Again, just in case Darren Aronofsky or Mila Kunis shows up.
  • Cash: You'll never know when you're going to need cash money.

What are some random things you keep in your camera bag? Personally, I always keep a lighter, rubber bands, and a granola bar or two in there just in case. Let us know in the comments below!      

Your Comment

12 Comments

Tampons and gaffer tape. Not necessarily used together. Gaffer tape is self explanatory. Tampons can be used as tampons, or for nosebleeds, other injuries, soaking up liquid, or starting a fire.

January 5, 2017 at 9:22PM

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I always keep small pouch bag to keep my handphone and wallet inside it.. And I also keep a small mirror and a comb ! Who knows Maybe Beyonce or Seleena Gomez Turn up? Hahaa have a great day ahead

January 5, 2017 at 10:45PM

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I always keep blue tack in my bag. Insanely useful stuff!

January 6, 2017 at 12:46AM

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I always have a bottle of water, a multitool and some food. Usually I like to have a small umbrella.

January 6, 2017 at 4:04AM

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AvdS
1204

Clif Bars!

January 6, 2017 at 3:15PM

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esso
Filmmaker
18

Food - breakfast bars or something. I've been on shoots where food was poor or absent and REALLY needed the boost from having food in my stomach.

Small white, gray and focus cards.

Benadryl for allergies. (I think they might help a little with minor reactions to insect stings.)

Sunscreen, ideally a spray that leaves no greasy residue.

A few cable ties, Bongo ties, and my favorite - Matth-Ties, good for more than just butterflies and such.

Foil hat, bazooka, blow-up doll, the usual stuff...

January 6, 2017 at 3:43PM

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An extra 3.5mm to 1/4" headphone adaptor. Often we take these off to listen to audio on a computer or camera. Most recorders and mixers require 1/4". Without the easily misplaced adaptor no monitoring audio. A body cap and rear lens cap. They fit nicely together. For those times when you grabbed your camera with lens attached and later realize you'd like to store them properly. Powerstrip, (an extra stinger in the car is not a bad idea too). You might consider some extra lens caps or tripod plates. Usually lens caps show up later on but you never know. Tripod plates can be left on a B or C cam back at home. You are really screwed without one of these. Better safe then sorry. Protein bars, fruit, water, a chair or apple box. A pen and paper. A poncho. The list can go on and on really. Always think ahead.

January 6, 2017 at 3:57PM

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Michael Kleven
Sound Mixer, Camera Operator
82

Coins for baseplate screws etc. At the right moment, a penny is priceless.

January 6, 2017 at 6:45PM

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Heath Blair
Film maker and composer
41

Excedrin & Ibprophen. Nothing worse than a headache on set/location. Eye drops for myself as well as for talent. When I shoot weddings often brides and grooms have a bit too much to drink and their eyes can show that In a bad way.

January 7, 2017 at 1:03AM, Edited January 7, 1:04AM

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Love this thread! If I'm trying to travel light, I always keep a few feet of gaffer tape wrapped around my Sharpie so I don't have to schlep the whole big roll.

January 8, 2017 at 1:43PM, Edited January 8, 1:43PM

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Liz Nord
Editor-in-Chief & Lead Producer
Documentary Filmmaker/Multi-platform Producer

Oh yeah, and some sort of blotting papers or anti-shine powder for shiny/sweaty interview subjects!

January 8, 2017 at 1:44PM

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Liz Nord
Editor-in-Chief & Lead Producer
Documentary Filmmaker/Multi-platform Producer

Some stuff I don't think has been mentioned:

-- iPhone earplugs (if you ever forget to take or can't fit headphones)
-- USB stick
-- handkerchiefs (for padding stuff and drying stuff) + microfibre cloths
-- small bit of rope
-- small plastic sandwich bags (storing stuff)
-- plastic shopping bags (makeshift camera jackets)
-- allen key for tightening monopod joints
-- extra front lens caps (they always go missing)
-- some random adapters, like 3/8 to 1/4-20, or like hotshoe to 1/4-20
-- random video cables, like HDMI, component

January 8, 2017 at 7:20PM

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Adrian Tan
Videographer
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