Photographers: How do you avoid losing your camera?

I was paddling with my new camera (TG6) today and it dawned on me as I was trying to photograph the fish/crabs while paddling that I could easily lose my new camera…forever! (By dropping it overboard).

How do you store your camera so it is readily accessible but safe in the event of a tip/wipeout when you are kayaking?

I’m thinking some sort of tether to the lifejacket…but not sure exactly what to use?

I have the same question for my phone too…

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I have a soft case with a shoulder strap, and i run the wrist strap thru the shoulder strap. Then I either attach the shoulder strap to the thwart or to me (around neck or on pfd).

Yeah it gets tangled and i haven’t done the perfect anchor location yet, but it’s not gonna get lost.

I’ve pondered one of those fabric spring type tethers, to reduce tangles

This is the waterproof point and shoot, the big camera doesn’t go on the boat

Phone in a dry box.

I use my phone, which is in a waterproof (Lifeproof) case. When not actively using it, it fits into a zippered pocket on the front of my PFD. I do realize that I probably will drop it at some point (almost lost it into Lake Okeechobee a few years ago!) but so far so good after 9 years and a lot of paddling and photo taking. I haven’t found a tether that I trust enough more than my own fingers.


I have a TG-3. It came with a wrist band/float. I added a neck strap. I keep it around my neck, with the float dangling. Always ready, but doesn’t interfere with my paddling. Since the camera is waterproof, I see no need to keep it dry. If I take it off my neck for a shot, I have the float in case I drop it.


Lanyard clipped to my PFD that goes in a front pocket. The lanyard needs to be strong enough to hold the camera, but not so strong that it could get hung up and hold you in an obstruction in the water - not usually a problem with cheap camera lanyards.

You also need a PFD with a front pocket that you can easily pull the camera from, and a place to clip the lanyard. Not all PFDs have nice big front pockets. When I buy a PFD that is what I am looking for. Some people just stick the camera in the PDF (between the PFD and the body) because they don’t have a pocket.

I have an Olympus Tough waterproof camera. I use the strap from an old Pentax.


I loop the lanyard on my Nikon waterproof around any attachment point on my PFD. A shoulder strap or preferably an attachment point inside the pocket I keep it in. I keep my Lumix FZ300 in a waterproof deck bag on the kayak and a dry box in a canoe and pull it out while stationary but put the neck strap over my head while using it.

Everything on me is tethered. The waterproof cameras and VHF, I have the wrist straps on, and ion my PFD I have a length of string attached to a key lash in the pockets. There is a loop at the end of the string, which is attached to the wrist straps.

I use scrap strings. Strong enough that I can’t break by pulling by hand, but not super thick that the bulk of the string would get in the way. Long enough too be usable (one for camera is longer than one for radio).

Me too…


Galaxy phone: IP 68, fits tightly in my pfd pocket. Plastic case but no zoom or strap.
Nikon Coolpix Aw110, waterproof, strap around my neck and it hangs (stuffs) inside the pfd to lessen getting water droplets on the lens. I did replace the black strap with a yellow one, less likely to lose it that way.
Panasonc Lumix FZ300, splashproof, under deck bungees while paddling if the waves are behaving, otherwise in the day hatch. I seldom use the neck strap. I drowned one of these when I failed to latch the day hatch, expensive lesson. It’s toast if I dump.


For the phone, get a CaliCase or similar. Use the strap on it as a lanyard, secure it to your PFD shoulder strap and just tuck the phone undrr the vest. I have taken a rolling class with my phone like that and it stayed dry and never came out from under the vest.


I keep my phone in a CaliCase, but rarely use it for photos.

I have a neck strap on mine (an old, waterporoof Pentax Optio WS80), which sounds like an entanglement disaster waiting to happen. But my kayak shirts all have front zippers and I drop the camera down inside my shirt and zip up the neck to trap the camera and strap under the shirt. There’s also a thin, neoprene case attached to the camera on a short tether.

Tether with Scotty clips. Or around my neck with strap.

GoPro suction cup and tethered to deck line.

Pelican Case for my DSLR . It is pricey.It is waterproof. It floats. Otherwise a dry bag for an I phone with a neck strap. Beware those… Make sure what you pick has flotation.Its no good to watch the phone sink out of sight and know it will be functional till the battery dies.

Since a neck strap is an entanglement issue yet I want to have my TG6 readily available, I attached a short length of paracord to the camera and the other end is tied to an attachment point inside the clam shell pocket (Astral Blue Jacket) of my pfd. The camera gets tucked inside the pocket when I’m not using it.

I sewed a D ring to the shoulder strap of my PFD, and have a tether with a with a small clip so it can be easily attached and removed from the D ring. Having a short tether anchored on the shoulder precludes a dropped camera from crashing onto the yak and going catatonic.

Be aware that the Samsung phones may be rated for immersion, but Samsung specifically exempts it from warranty coverage if the phone leaks. They consider it abuse. There are a lot of pissed off people that have complained about this issue online, to no avail.

I have an S20+ and Samsung makes great phones, but the only way I would take this phone on my kayak is in a waterproof case or drybag, preferably in a hatch. As a rule, I don’t take a phone on my kayak. Who needs an electronic leash? I have a waterproof VHF for communication, clipped and tethered, and a submersible point and shoot camera for pictures. Both have been in the water many times with no problems.

Phone is another source of communication I take it all the time. I carry two vhf radios also. One on PFD and one on deck.

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I never trusted the waterproof claims of the Galaxy phone. A Pelican 1060 waterproof case clips to my seat strap and holds my phone, which serves as a camera. There are added benefits to taking the phone.

The GeoTrack free app works in the background recording the date/times of the trip. I use the course track to analyze drift, to show others how to guide through complex channels, and to document where I’ve been. The app calculates the avg speed and also graphs the speed, which is useful for interpreting how tides, current and wind impact paddling efficiency.

Weather app radars are useful to monitor any threatening cloud mass, as well as to track the growth and direction of developing storm system. One of the apps indicates the nature, intensity, and direction of storms, as well as future potential.

I don’t answer calls or text on the water; the waterproof case muffles ring tone, so it isn’t a distraction. Having the phone enables me to contact others if necessary, and to research points of interest at a destination. I use to leave it in the car when I first started kayaking, but found that its more useful on the boat.