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About Andy


I am an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. My photographic safaris allow my travelers to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

Banana Republic recently used my photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and my images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. I was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008 and a highly commended in the ‘Creative Visions of Nature’ category in 2007.

I launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. I was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of my photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited my needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born. More products are now available on the Gura Gear web site.




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Spare lithium batteries and the DOT

You have to be kidding me. Looks like our wonderful DOT wants us to hand carry our 'extra batteries' in our carry on luggage, and not in our checked baggage. Uh yeah. Like that is going to happen, since I have to fly overseas often and have limited carryon allowances. Starting January 1st, 2008, you can no longer pack loose lithium batteries into your checked luggage on flights. If your battery is attached to a device you are okay.

Read on for your enjoyment.

The new TSA policy on extra lithium batteries

[update Jan 1, 2008]
It appears that the TSA has issued a clarifiction on the rules. Here is a link to read:

Safe Travel with Batteries and Devices

"Effective January 1, 2008, the Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will no longer allow loose lithium batteries in checked baggage. These batteries may continue to be packed in carry-on baggage.

Under the new DOT rule, lithium batteries are allowed in checked baggage under one of the following conditions:

  • The batteries must be in their original containers.

  • The battery terminals must not exposed (for example placing tape over the ends of the batteries).

  • The batteries are installed in a device.

  • The batteries are enclosed by themselves in a plastic bag.

Loose lithium batteries found in checked baggage may be removed."

[update Jan 4, 2008]

Safe Travel

"Effective January 1, 2008, the following rules apply to the spare lithium batteries you carry with you in case the battery in a device runs low:

  • Spare batteries are the batteries you carry separately from the devices they power. When batteries are installed in a device, they are not considered spare batteries.

  • You may not pack a spare lithium battery in your checked baggage

  • You may bring spare lithium batteries with you in carry-on baggage. see our spare battery tips and how-to sections to find out how to pack spare batteries safely!

  • Even though we recommend carrying your devices with you in carry-on baggage as well, if you must bring one in checked baggage, you may check it with the batteries installed.

The following quantity limits apply to both your spare and installed batteries. The limits are expressed in grams of “equivalent lithium content.” 8 grams of equivalent lithium content is approximately 100 watt-hours. 25 grams is approximately 300 watt-hours:

  • Under the new rules, you can bring batteries with up to 8-gram equivalent lithium content. All lithium ion batteries in cell phones are below 8 gram equivalent lithium content. Nearly all laptop computers also are below this quantity threshold.

  • You can also bring up to two spare batteries with an aggregate equivalent lithium content of up to 25 grams, in addition to any batteries that fall below the 8-gram threshold. Examples of two types of lithium ion batteries with equivalent lithium content over 8 grams but below 25 are shown below.

  • For a lithium metal battery, whether installed in a device or carried as a spare, the limit on lithium content is 2 grams of lithium metal per battery.

  • Almost all consumer-type lithium metal batteries are below 2 grams of lithium metal. But if you are unsure, contact the manufacturer!"


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Reader Comments (3)

IP: peetnik3@comcast.netURL: http://Andy,For one spare camera battery, you may perhaps get around the policy by installing the spare Nikon or Canon battery in its charger. That way, it is installed in a device. Doesn't help if you have more than one spare though.
December 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterpeetnik3
IP: andybiggs@gmail.comURL: http://www.andybiggs.comThat might work, but it might not. What a huge pain, since I pack all of my spare batteries in my checked baggage.
December 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Biggs
IP: peetnik3@comcast.netURL: http://Definitely a huge pain in the butt. Yet another reason to upgrade to Nikon D2x/D3 cameras with longer battery life. :)

Andrew Chan
December 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterpeetnik3

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