What oddball equipment do you carry?

One day last year, I was cleaning out my Jeep Cherokee. Yeah, a rare event that caused quite the storm. And made headlines around the world.

Seriously, though. While cleaning it out, I was amazed at the photo stuff I carried. A lot of it regular camera gear as well as odd things that I actually needed to get some interesting images or just to get to the places I need to for those interesting images.

Thousands of rubber ducks flow down the Roaring Fork River on during the annual Rotary Club Ducky Derby. I donned my pair of fly fishing waders to get this shot. The water was about 2 feet deep.

And the whole smack took up a lot of room. Here’s a list:

1.  Fly fishing waders and boots. For when I need to get waist deep in the water to get the shot.

2.  Fire fighter’s bunker gear. In case I got permission to go into the building after the fire was extinguished.

3.  Construction hard hat, safety goggles, and orange vest. To cover constructions sites on roads and at building sites. I did this before the Federal law was implemented. It’s also a lot harder for construction foremen to say no when you have the proper safety gear

4.  Light stands. For a good light set-up.

5.  My NPPA Domke F2 camera bag full of extra strobes (4), cords, and batteries.

6.  Umbrellas (2 white). For both bounced and softbox.

7. Multiple police scanners. Two mounted to scan different bands and a handheld that I carried at all times.

8.  CB Radio. To talk with truckers while on a major highway so I know which roads are clear.

9  Extra jackets. Living in the mountains, you never know when a summer storm will produce snow and plummet temperatures.

10. Extra boots and socks. For when I get bold and get into a river or stream without my fly fishing gear.

11.  A set of hand tools in case I break down.

12.  Spare parts such as u-joints, oil, transmission fluids, coolant, gasket sealer and a tie rod end. You never know what can happen when off-roading and chasing news.

Taking some time away from the gas rigs, Ray Dale of Eagle Point, Ore., tries his luck on a quiet part of the Roaring Fork River downstream from Basalt, Colo.

13.  A ton of maps. A Colorado Gazetteer, local maps, city, etc.

14.  A phone book. To look up names and numbers and cell phone service was spotty and I was too cheap to pay for 411 service.

15,  Extra notebook pads and pens. I take a lot of notes, and have also lost a lot of notepads.

16.  First Aid Kit. I am a klutz. Ask my former editors Bob and Rick.

17. Snowboard and gear. You never know when you get a last-minute assignment to cover the on-mountain activity. Or it happens to be a powder day. Oh the bane of being a ski town photographer.

18. Tripod. A nice heavy-duty one.

19.  Laptop and satchel.

20. And last, but not least, all my cameras and gear nicely packed into a backpack.  What’s the point of all the other stuff when you don’t have this?

All this just to do my job in the mountains of Colorado. I really didn’t like to take chances.

Now what odd things do you carry in your vehicle for you to do your job?

My Jeep at the beginning of the Crazy T'Rain Park on Buttermilk Mountain, the site for the Winter X-Games.

Paul Conrad

Sky Fire Photography


  1. I still have my MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) . Do they have an expiration date? I hope I never have to find out.

    Chains for tires. I hate messing with those.

    Voltage inverter for powering chargers and laptop


  2. MRE’s are actually Meals Refused by Ethiopians. Ugh. No matter how much stuff I lug with me, I always need what I do not have.
    Mostly I need your great eye, Pablo!
    Loving the site,
    George K


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