Being a tourist can be tough when you are in an unfamiliar country. You may or may not speak the native language, likely have no clue where you are or at least have not been to where you are going. The point is that you have a lot on your mind, just make sure that your gear is not forgotten.

It can be easy to feel like your camera/gear is safe if you have it on you, but that is not further from the truth. The video I’ve embedded below is proof enough of that. In the video some Russian thieves manage to gang up on a photographer and steal a lens right off his camera without him even noticing (at first). Its actually quite cool if you can get past the fact that a photographer lost his hard earned and likely very expensive lens in the process. Lets hope the poor man had some insurance on that lens.

It is rather beautiful terrible how they are able to pull it off isn’t it? If you would like to avoid being the victim of a group of thieves like this you can follow a few simple steps to try and avoid it.

Step 1: Have insurance on your Gear – Seriously, this should be a no brainer – especially if you travel often. If anything happens to your gear you will be able to get it replaced, or at least compensated for it in someway. Believe me, this is much better than a long plane ride home wondering how you are going to replace a $2,000 lens.

Step 2: Hold on to your gear at all times – Nothing gives away a tourist like a big camera hanging around your neck. Sling the camera around to your side and hold onto the body with whichever hand the camera is closest to. This way if anyone touches or tries to mess with your gear you will feel it, even if you can’t see it.

Step 3: Avoid groups like the one in the video – If you all of a sudden get swarmed get out of there ASAP. Most importantly beyond getting away from the group, secure your gear. If you are wearing a coat put your gear inside the coat, at the very least hold onto it for dear life.

In some cases you can still get duped and have your gear stolen. But that is what step 1 is for, so in the horrible case where that happens you have some light at the end of the tunnel, even if you vacation or trip is ruined.

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