Travel Like A Girl

As a working journalist being prepared for any assignment is an absolute necessity. If you told me that I had 30 minutes to get ready for a trip into the bushveld, it would take me a solid 15 minutes to pack, maybe 10, since my bags are still barely unpacked from the last trip. I can roll khakis, t-shirts, shorts and under garments faster than anyone; toss in the binoculars, lip salve, sunglasses, the latest edition of a critical field guide and still carry under 12kg of weight in my duffle. I do this with one simple rule… I just don’t over pack.

Most of the time I am forced to travel on light aircraft and there is absolutely no dispute over the weight or size of any hand held bag, or a bag that may go into the cargo hold of a Cessna two-seater.  Cessnas taught me to travel light, and bring only what is essential.  I would not have it any other way.

Cameras, laptops, and communication devices are work horses for me and are essential on any assignment. But, I never leave home for far away lands without the things that bring me the most comfort.  Sunglasses are as mandatory as camera gear, and being comfortable while lugging gear in 42 degree Celsius is crucial.  

My favorite sunglasses and my Chan Luu scarves are the first things on my person, along with my Rosebud Lip Salve.  

If all goes missing, I can still travel like a girl.

Robyn Gianni
What's In Your Camera Bag, Robyn Gianni?

NIKONNIKON, and more NIKON, which isn't to say I carry a lot of stuff, I just carry what is necessary. 


I carry a Nikon D810 mounted with a 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor lens.  I don't go anywhere without my Nikon camera body, and the 50mm lens attached. This is one set up I just can't do without. It is the first thing into my bag along with the extra batteries, charger, portable external hard drive, and the international plug adapter.


My Nikon wide angle 16mm f/2.8 Nikkor is something I always carry, I love this fisheye lens and it is perfect for a different perspective on any situation.  I prefer this lens over any other for landscape shots and "capturing the moment."


I use my 50mm when lighting is very poor, usually in the evenings, but the majority of my photos come from a super telephoto Nikon Nikkor 300mm 2.8 VR II. The 300mm gives me a crystal clear shot when I need more reach, and is the perfect companion in low light. 



My Macbook Air is my mobile office.  It has seen four continents and has been put through the paces enduring the harshest of conditions. With a weight of 1.08 kg (2.3 lbs) it is my laptop of choice and my biggest asset on the road.

But never underestimate the power of Apple's iPhone. Along with being a communication device, it is my GPS, my point-and-shoot camera, emergency flashlight, official time waster, and a whole lot more. I can view maps, data, and documents with a touch of a button. I am never without it.


One company has unequivocally had my back (literally), making a journalist's life on the road a pleasure.  For transporting heavy gear and getting through any airport quickly, I use the THINK TANK Airstream Rolling Camera Bag. This bag has endured the harshest  conditions imaginable and still is THINK TANK tough.

Robyn Gianni