How I Lost Two Cameras In Two Weeks

After hours of hiking in Paradise Valley, behind Lake Louise, we finally reached the Giant Steps waterfall. Sitting at the edge of a rock, enjoying the gorgeous views of cascading waters all around me, I felt inspired and got out my pad to take down some notes.

I got up suddenly and that is when it happened: I lost my second camera in two weeks.

Wrecking camera number one


Cause of death: Drowning.

Consolation:  I managed to save the memory card.

What happened?

A storm was brewing as we set out in our kayaks in Churchill and, after I got a generic shot, the rain began to come down hard. Was I worried about my camera at this stage? No, not in the slightest as I thought it was in the safety of a waterproof pocket on my dry skirt.

When I attempted to get my camera out to grab a quick shot of the beluga whales close to my kayak, once the rain had lightened considerably, my heart sank. I realised the pocket had holes in the side and was designed to hold waterproof cameras. My camera was absolutely saturated and there was even water bubbling under the screen.

I instinctively got the memory card out and put it in an inner pocket on my waterproof coat and, after cursing myself, decided what was done was done and put it to the back of my mind so I could enjoy the amazing experience. Trying to look on the positive side, I thought this was a good excuse to purchase a camera with a better zoom.

So, when I arrived in Calgary for the day, before heading to the Rockies, I purchased a Canon digital, complete with a 20x zoom.


Losing camera number two


Cause of death: Dropped into a waterfall. Possibly, although unlikely, this camera could still be alive, floating down the river somewhere. Or maybe it has been adopted by one of the resident grizzlies. 

Consolation:  I had downloaded all of my photos the night before, so only lost the ones from that day.

What on earth happened this time?

After hiking for most of the day in Paradise Valley, Banff National Park, we finally reached the Giant Steps waterfall.

I had taken many photographs and was feeling particularly inspired so sat at the edge of a rock and scribbled down some notes. My camera was sitting beside me and when I stood up suddenly I saw it roll forward and fall into the tumultuous waters below. It was like watching something in slow motion. I wanted to scream, but had difficulty comprehending the fact that I had now lost two cameras in two weeks.

What have I done to deserve this? I began to think, despite me rationally realising these events had occurred due to my own negligence. I was absolutely inconsolable and then, again, tried to be positive and accept that there was nothing I could do, other than purchase my third camera. My lovely travel friends managed to cheer me up – especially Kazuko who comically made a moustache from a fuzzy-like plant that was draped from a lot of the trees.

Because we had to hike back the same way, I was able to take some of the same pictures with my not-too-shabby phone camera. I am hoping it is third time lucky, or rather third camera lucky, and have been treating my new one, which is the same Canon digital as its predecessor, like a baby.

Although, it is a good thing it is not actually a baby as I dropped it quite heavily on a shopping centre floor in Banff. Luckily it survived and now, understandably, I am paranoid every time I take it out. Thank you to my friend Ellie Kirchner for supplying the first waterfall photograph.


Have you ever lost a camera/memory card whilst travelling?




  1. September 8, 2012 / 12:00

    What a nightmare! I always have two cameras, my DSLR and a little compact, so hopefully would be ok. I also try to back them up as much as possible. I remember though back when I did my RTW trip my friend and I only had film cameras and I broke mine and hers go stolen within a week so there’s a couple of weeks of travelling around Vietnam we have no photos of. It’s a bit easier now as a lot of the time if you’re with other people they can send you some of theirs electronically. Hope you won’t need to again though!
    Lucy Dodsworth recently posted..In pictures: Flowers in the Jardin des PlantesMy Profile

    • September 10, 2012 / 20:06

      Hi Lucy, travelling with two cameras is a good idea! That’s a shame you lost two weeks worth of photos from Vietnam.