Theft is an inherent risk of travel, but Ecuador is a nation that depends on tourism as a major source of revenue and, generally speaking, the people are very kind. The best deterrent is vigilance: keep your gear in sight. Minimize the equipment you bring, so it is manageable. Bags and clothing emblazoned with manufacturer logos might draw unnecessary attention. One of Bruce’s favorite camera bags in and around the touristy areas of Quito is a potato sack.
Raw Rainforest Photo Tours chooses the finest lodges and hotels, but as a traveler you should always be aware of your surroundings. Precautions can be as simple as placing a camera bag strap around your leg when sitting for a spell. Additional information and country-specific travel bulletins are available at the U.S. State Department (found under Links: “Ecuador Travel Info” on this website). There are some nice products on the market for securing your camera and laptop cases while traveling, and these can be found on our Resources for Nature Photographers page on this website. the Pac-Safe photography security products and the computer security accessories of the Kensington company.
If you don’t have insurance for your camera and portable electronic equipment, look first to your homeowner’s policy. Verify that loss or damage which occurs during international travel will be covered. You may need to obtain an additional “maritime” or “floater” policy. If you photograph professionally, your homeowner’s policy may not cover your photography equipment. Consider supporting a professional association and obtain their equipment coverage. Look at the North American Nature Photographers Association for more information, as well as the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).