Most photographers have been in situations where there is a chance someone could steal their gear (whether you know it or not) and if someone pulls a gun or knife on you it’s almost always a good idea to give them exactly what they want. You may just be forgetful and leave your gear under the table at your favorite restaurant. Either way, it’s a good idea to have a way to find your gear if someone less than honest comes about it and decides they want to take up photography… with your gear. You’ve got a couple affordable choices here.
Choice 1 – Tracking Device
The Garmin GTU 10 GPS Tracking Unit costs about $132 and comes with a free year of service ($50 a year after that) and is probably the best solution out there. At first glance most criminals won’t know what this device is and will assume it’s part of your camera gear. Put the tracker at the bottom of your bag or even hide it in the bottom slot where your weather cover is stored (newer camera bags have weather proof cloth that pulls out of the bottom of the bag and covers your bag protecting it from the elements) and there is little to no chance someone will find it before you find them.
The Garmin has up to 4 weeks of battery power and is waterproof up to 1m. When you aren’t using it on your camera gear you can use it on Fido, in your boyfriends/husbands car (just kidding), or in your luggage while traveling.[easyreview title=”Garmin GTU 10 Review” cat1title=”Battery Life” cat1detail=”The battery lasts up to 4 weeks.” cat1rating=”5″ cat2title=”Size” cat2detail=”The device is small enough to hide in your bag inconspicuously.” cat2rating=”4″ cat3title=”Ease of Use” cat3detail=”You can track the device from any computer or smart phone, set up is a breeze.” cat3rating=”4.5″ summary=”All in all this is one of the best solutions I’ve found at a reasonable price.”]
Choice 2 – iDevice
iPhones and iPads have an app called Find my iPhone that acts as a GPS tracker for your phone or iPad if you lose either. You could simply place one or the other in your bag and if you misplace the bag you can log onto the web and track your gear. There have been many articles in the news where people have been apprehended by the authorities after stealing iDevices because of this app. The biggest risk you run is loosing both your gear and iDevice if the criminal is smart enough to turn off your iDevice.
The Garmin tracker above is the best solution I’ve found. Do you have any tips or tricks you use to keep an eye on your gear? Share below in the comments.