Galapagos Islands Kit

In the spirit of Good artists copy; great artists steal,” I’m borrowing” from Jennifer since I’m out of ideas for the Buck Fifty and the sun’s getting real low. So here we are.

I’ve wanted to go to the Galapagos Islands since I was a kid. A steady diet of National Geographic fed this—and my draw to photography as well.

We started planning the trip in 2019 and booked it for 2020. Then it got punted to October 2021 due to the global pandemic.

We knew going in that space would be tight on the boat—did I mention that we were doing a live-aboard cruise on a 78-foot yacht? More on that later.

Camera Kit

So, packing light was the order of the day. My primary camera was my Fuji X-T3 with the 16-55/2.8. It’s a great all-rounder, walk-around setup. For snorkeling, I liberated the GoPro Hero 5 Black from the autocross kit and put it in a waterproof case along with a flotation handle.

Of course, the iPhone was the ultimate backup camera.

The 11” iPad Pro has been my on-the-road photo vault since I’ve owned it. Ideally, I’d want digital files in three places, but two is better than one on the road.

My go-to photography kit for the trip.

So, after nearly every activity, time permitting, I’d offload to the iPad. Videos to Apple Photos and stills from the Fuji and iPhone to Lightroom.

I do this nearly obsessively, even though I can’t remember a card ever failing, until this trip. After the last snorkeling trip—of course, the one when the sea lions joined us—the card wouldn’t mount on the iPad and threw an error back in the GoPro.

Thankfully, the other water sessions were safe on the boat.


All of this, and more, rode around in my nearly ten-year-old GR1. The ruck served as both my primary carry-on and day bag. I had no check bags on the way there, the bulk of my clothes road in an even older duffel bag. (Why do I have so many bags when I keep coming back to these two that, combined, are nearly legal to drink?)

The old reliable GR-1.

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