Essential Travel Doc Filmmaking Gear List

In podcast episode #102, I discussed best practices for packing for two entirely different shoots: an annual corporate video gig and our current doc project, Elvis of Cambodia. In the episode, I mentioned a few of my critical pieces of travel and film gear.  And so I want to share those items with you here – the actual filmmaking gear list that I use.


Some of this filmmaking gear list may be helpful to YOU and can act as a guidepost for making some of your travel and film gear choices in the future! It may be especially appropriate for those of you #doclifers looking to take your doc ventures overseas.


And you know I’d love to hear your own suggestions and what gear you use, so please share by adding to the comments section found below!


Chris’ Essential Travel Doc Filmmaking Gear List


REI Co-op Roadtripper Duffel X-Large

Love this thing.  I can pack so much into it, starting with my tripod! It almost feels like cheating the system.




Think Tank Camera Bag

I have been rolling (literally) around with this camera bag by Think Tank for years. It holds my Canon C300mkii, two lenses, and a plethora of additionals and peripherals.  I highly recommend getting a bag like this if you don’t want to check-in your camera.  Fits in nearly every overhead space!




Rode RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System

You definitely need a wireless mic option when you’re out in the field.  There are many to choose from.  I own a slightly higher end Sony set, as well as this (relatively) inexpensive Rode wireless.  I probably even use this more than the Sony.



Sony ECM-44 Omni-directional Condenser Wired Lavalier Microphone

Although wires can be annoying, so can interference.  And for my money, I like the sound and faith of zero interference with a wired lavalier over my wireless one any day.  I’ve been using this Sony one for eons.  Yes, I may be that old!



Canon C300 Mark II

I hesitate to recommend a camera, because everyone’s budget is different. That being said, nearly every other email that I receive from a #doclifer, asks me what camera I use! I’ve been shooting commercial, corporate, and documentary gigs with this beauty from Canon.  (And the price is now about half as much as when I first bought it!) The form factor, durability, and incredible image, make this one of my fave doc cameras out there!



Canon EF 24-105 mm

Now this piece of glass I will not hesitate to recommend!  This has been my workhorse for years.  It’s versatility and clean lines and durable craftsmanship makes for one helluva trusty lens.  This coupled with the 70-200mm for your interviews are the perfect combo for doc filmmaking.



Dracast Yoga Bi-Color LED500 Flexible Panel

I replaced my older, heavier LEDs with a set of these just before leaving for my annual corporate gig and shoot in Cambodia.  They’re super lightweight, put out some substantial light, don’t require a ton of power and they fit nicely into the afore-mentioned REI duffel bag (along with my tripod!).




What do you recommend?

Okay, so now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear about some of your filmmaking gear list suggestions, so please share the gear you use or would like to use with the rest of us #doclifers in the comments section below.



Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

1 Comment

  1. […] the episode, Chris mentions his Essential Doc Film Gear List, which can be found by going […]

Leave a Comment