The last place you want gear failure to happen is overseas when you’re on a job or just on vacation. There are several different ways to avoid this and keep your camera data safe and secure so you can edit when you’re back home.

Regardless of whether you’re the most careful, conscientious person in the world, memory card and computer issues can and do happen, and at the worst possible time.

Option 1: Invest in a Portable Hard Drive

If you’re planning on taking a laptop with you, it’s a good idea to invest in a portable hard drive. These are often small and USB-powered, meaning they can easily fit in any pocket or small backpack.

Use the portable hard drive for the “main home” of your images, while you can use your laptop as a backup space. This way, it’ll be easy when you’re home to just plug in your portable hard drive and import your images.

If you want to stay a step ahead and edit on the road, be sure to start a new Lightroom catalog. This way, you can just import the images from your trip catalog when you’re home, and all the work you’ve done on them will be present.

Option 2: Keep Your Cards Safe

There are a few golden rules to keep your memory cards safe, which are good to keep in mind while traveling.

One item you might want to invest in is a hard, waterproof memory card case. This way, you can keep your cards safe, even if they’re submerged underwater or dropped on the hard cement.

A case is also a great alternative to having a portable hard drive. If you’re looking to travel as light as possible, and not have a laptop or any extra gear with you, you can store your memory cards in the case once you’re finished with them. This way, they’ll stay safe until you reach the mainland.

Option 3: Get a Portable Backup and Editing System

I only recently found out about the GNARBOX, what’s described as a “portable backup and editing system for any camera.” Really, though, it’s just a portable hard drive that you can plug your memory card into and then push to your phone for editing purposes.

This is handy for two things — fast editing on the road, and as a temporary backup platform. You don’t need a laptop or another portable hard drive. You can just plug in your card to the GNARBOX, import your data and manage it through your phone before making your way to your next destination.


Regardless of what route you choose to take, it’s important to keep your photos safe. The above three options are some great ways to enjoy your trip while making sure you can enjoy your photos just as much once you get home.