There are some good, heavy-duty raingear items available for your camera, lens, tripod, and you. If you are going to do a lot of outdoor photography, consider making the investment into one of these products to keep your equipment safe. For occasional outings, though, carrying a lot of gear can be a real pain, especially when you are trying to take pictures in crowded public places. And with some of the smaller camera bags on the market today, such as the digital bags, there just isn’t enough room to carry large gear.
An inexpensive solution is to visit your local dollar store and purchase rain ponchos. These usually are sold one or two to a package for one dollar. But the best part is that they are folded really small and only take up about a two-by-two inch square about a quarter of an inch thick. They can be easily carried in all but the smallest camera bag, in which case they can travel in your purse or pocket just as well.
The ponchos are fairly thin, which means they will tear easily. Unless you are climbing through brambles, though, a cheap poncho will do the trick of keeping your camera dry until you reach the great indoors. Ponchos can be worn so that you can put your camera around your neck or carry your bag under the poncho. I’ve even draped the poncho over a camera mounted on a tripod. The hood part of the poncho can be pulled over the camera and lens to allow you to continue to take pictures in a light rain, too.
Like maps, though, once these ponchos have been used they never go back in their packages! So be prepared to deal with this, and know that these ponchos won’t last forever. Still, a dollar spent to keep your equipment (and you) safe and dry is cheap insurance. And that’s what Photography on the Cheap is all about.