Your Digital Camera In A Travel Soap Case

A hard plastic travel soap case makes it a snap to keep your digital camera safe from getting bonked around. If your camera is small enough, an Altoids tin works too. Spotted this in the March issue of Real Simple (which I found a copy of left on the train, so I get +5 frugality points).


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  1. Plates says:

    Mine wouldn’t fit, not even if I took the lens off.

  2. laserjobs says:

    I always keep soap in my camera case but never thought of the other way around. Thanks Ben!!!

  3. legwork says:

    For the budget, I used to wrap that kind of goodie in a sock, and then wrap the ball into another sock.

    Then I learned that small camera cases were often on sale for $5, provide the cushion, water resistance, and have battery/memory storage.

  4. sonneillon says:

    My soap comes in a paper wrapper I don’t think this tip applies to me.

  5. Dennis Judd says:

    I’ve kept my digital camera in an Altoid’s Tin for years now…


    • Anonymous says:

      I have the same camera that you have. It was common knowledge that it fit inside an Altoids tin even before you could buy it. It was marketed and advertised that way.

    • jackal676 says:

      @Dennis Judd: And where’s the pic you promised that disbeliever to prove that you can close the case? Looks like you just left ’em hanging in the breeze. I’m very disappointed, Dennis Judd.

  6. Outrun1986 says:

    Sounds like a good tip but the camera cases I have cost me around $2-3 each so it wasn’t exactly a huge expense.

  7. WaywardSoul says:

    Well, I suppose you can get a tiny camera case for the cost of a tin of Altoids, but if the airport employee going through your luggage before it gets on the plane sees a small camera or small camera case he might pocket it. He’ll probably pass up the Altoids so your camera will be safe.

    • reflection717 says:

      @WaywardSoul: Really? You think they’re going to steal your stuff at the checkpoints?

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @WaywardSoul: i keep my cigarettes in an old altoids tin and i know they can see into the tin because they had me take my carryon away from the checkpoint, open it, moved all the security personnel away while i opened the altoids tin to prove i was not carrying tiny sticks of dynamite.
      i was traveling with my sister and got an earful for several hours on the plane about how mortifying it was for her to be subjected to that.

  8. adrew says:

    “…from getting bonked around a snap.”

    What does this mean?

    • dclamster says:

      @adrew: replace ‘a snap’ with easy. Or remake the sentence: A hard plastic travel soap case easily keeps your digital camera safe from getting bonked around.

      It took me a second too.

      • ScottRose says:


        Not only that, but it’s not true. Unless my camera and soap case are destined by fate to be together, it’s gonna “bonk” around against the walls of the hard soap case.

        Then you need to go out and get padding, cut it, and line the soap case.. and at this point I’m thinking “what in the hell was wrong with my pocket? It worked last Tuesday.”

  9. Chris Miller says:

    What exactly is an altoid’s tin or a soap container supposed to protect a digital camera from? Neither of those seem any sturdier than the camera’s own casing, and neither would do much to dissipate the transfer of force to the camera’s more delicate innards. Legwork’s suggestion of a sock or two sounds more productive.

  10. jenjen says:

    In my film SLR days I used to carry my gear around in a small igloo cooler in which I had placed foam rubber with cutouts for the items. Much less conspicuous than “proper” camera bags plus the insulation keeps things inside from getting hot in the sun. If you just carry an SLR with one or two lenses this might work for you. True, no pockets like dedicated camera bags, but you can just throw your accessories in a ziploc. (+5 frugality points for me too since the igloo cooler was an unwanted promotional vendor giveaway a friend got at work.)

    • b.k. says:

      @jenjen: In a similar vein, my parents used to keep the family video camera in an old diaper bag during vacations (this was in the 80s, when video cameras were big enough to fit in a giant diaper bag.) If someone’s paying close attention, they’ll see that you either don’t have kids, or the kids are too old to need diapers, and may call shenanigans. However a diaper bag is usually pretty cushy and has lots of pockets to store accessories, and rarely do I think a potential thief will want to swipe your wet wipes, so it’s a pretty decent ruse.

    • Plates says:

      @jenjen: Bike messenger bags are good. They are fairly common, waterproof, and nobody knows if it is just books or camera gear in there.

    • SonOfNannerPuss_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @jenjen: You could slap a biohazard sticker on it, and label it “kidneys or blood samples”. Then you only have to worry about alcoholics and vampires.

  11. Dinkwater says:

    No way. Hard case for a pair of sunglasses is way better. See this:

  12. TechnoDestructo says:

    I carry my camera in my pocket when I travel. Even if it’s hot, I wear a jacket, so that I have extra pockets for things from which I do not want to be separated.

  13. FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

    My D90 won’t fit. Even if I take off the lens AND battery grip.

  14. JohnOB1 says:

    Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I saw this post on Lifehacker although it was/is a Consumerist post… kind of like the olden days… is there a glitch in the Matrix here?

  15. Eilonwynn says:

    Well, I happen to prefer the Pelican line of cases, which also happens to be waterproof, and they’re very inexpensive.


  16. erinrichie says:

    It’s amazing this has not been invented till now

  17. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Long ago, I bought a cheap camera case on Newegg. Since cameras just keep getting smaller, I just keep getting more space for accessories!

  18. tsume says:

    I get +10 frugality points for not having a digital camera aside from the one built into my cell phone which was free (w/ contract).

  19. jorge242 says:

    I keep my soap in a small Samsonite camera bag that I got a Walmart for around $5. It has some little pockets in it. I keep an extra memory card, battery and even the charger in there because it won’t fit in the soap case with the camera. If only I could find a soap case large enough so I don’t have to separate my camera gear…

  20. Tom Conger says:

    Now I just need to buy some giant soap, so I can have a soap tin large enough to fit my D80.

  21. goodywitch says:

    I keep my digital camera (point and shoot) in an empty wallet (A tacky vinyl one, but I also use the wrap that came with the package + I don’t hit people with my handbag). Ditto for my external harddrive. Unless your camera fits snuggly into the soap case, I would be worried about it being banged around more in the case than in my bag. Then again, cushioning it with a sock would work.

  22. c_c says:

    I keep my mp3 player (Sansa) in an Altoids tin that I lined with foam and drilled a hole for the headphone jack. Fits great and is much better protection than expensive cases.

  23. econobiker says:

    Real Simple is for the Real Wealthy.

    I had a free subscription to this POS mag and it always seemed that “Real Simple” was hocking some sort of $395 simplicity…

  24. Mark says:

    Pelican Cases <$20 @ Fry’s