When you need to travel with gear that you want to keep safe, it can be a pain. Sure, you can just throw a bunch of stuff in a backpack, but if you’re going somewhere rugged and it’s being thrown around a lot during travel, a hard case like a Pelican or Nuprol case is often much better. But they’re not always that easy to organise. They usually come with pick and pluck foam or generic dividers that don’t really do the job as well as you’d like.
The best solution for hard case storage is custom foam. There are a number of services out there that’ll do this for you but you can also do it yourself. There are a bunch of different foam options out there, but Jonathan at Shadow Foam in the UK has put together a complete tutorial showing how to plan out, cut and build your own case interiors – including a very cool charging dock that’ll charge up to 16 batteries at once.
Jonathan uses two foam inserts for the large Nuprol case and cut off a section to use for the charging station, which has eight dual battery chargers for their Panasonic GH5s attached to it. These are all powered by a massive 50,000mAh power bank. This lets them charge 16 batteries while on the go to keep things topped up at all times. With the charging area sorted, cutting out the actual foam is as simple as figuring out where everything’s going to go and using a sharp scalpel or similar blade to cut around everything.
Some items, like the caged GH5 required a little creative thinking to cut the foam and layer things in a way that the camera still lies flat and one of the lenses was a little long and required a little foam to be cut out of the lid, but ultimately, it all fits in there quite snugly. And those tiny pieces all go into little tins, which also have their own dedicated slots in the foam. There’s no audio gear in this big long case. That’s all in a separate backpack, which is also organised thanks to the use of those little tins and foam cutouts. Jonathan and the team filmed that tutorial, too.
If you want more foam cutting tips and ideas, be sure to check out the Shadow Foam YouTube channel.