I have no shame!
…if you think THAT’s bad…
…check out my attempt at the Tyra Banks booty tooch.
Aaaargh! Time to go to Nepal and have the stuffing kicked out of me by real life.
At last it is complete! I have spent a rediculous number of hours these past two weeks, finger knitting my survival belt out of paracord. This completes my kit for my upcoming elephant expedition to Nepal.
Do read my blog ‘A good belt can save your life‘ for instructions on how I made it. Here is the result.
I’m pleased. I’m proud. It fits! It is functional. It even looks rather good (considering). Although it certainly wouldn’t make it on the cat walks of Milan’s fashion week.
…there is one major problem!
It took so many hours to make I will literally have to be at death’s door before I could even imagine pulling the damn thing apart to get at the 100 feet of paracord, one heavy duty brass buckle and two rubber hairbands it took to make.
It turns out that this is more than just a belt; it’s also a true incentive for ensuring that I never have to get into a situation that warrants its destruction for my survival.
Good grief… I just collected together all the electrical equipment I plan to take with me on my elephant expedition to Nepal next week. Forgive the bad focusing – I think I was suffering from shock when I took the photo!
Luckily for me, this all packs away rather easily and isn’t as horrific as it looks. Additionally, as luck has it, the nifty Kata shoulder bag – purchased to keep my kit safe in the field, fits neatly into my carry-on bag.
Suddenly it all doesn’t seem quite so daft after all! I even have room left over for my passport, money, documents and a few snacks for the plane!
Dontcha love it when a plan comes together.
Here is the information we have been provided regarding the personal medical kit we should take with us on my upcoming elephant expedition to Nepal. Its seems like a lot of stuff but, once you remove all the outer packaging it reduces to a manageable size.
It’s a useful list and followed by some sensible advise worth paying attention to if you ever plan a trip to Nepal yourself.
Medical Kit should contain:
Advice on ticks
If you walk in the jungle rub DEET on your legs, tuck your trousers into your socks and do a tick check in the shower that evening. Ticks are small (like tiny grains of black rice) and harmless. Remove with a tick extracting hook. You push, twist and lift off – don’t pull it. Ticks do not transmit any diseases in Nepal.
Where to go to get help
Have a look at the CIWEC clinic website at: www.ciwec-clinic.com
Print off their front page which contains a map of how to get there and all the contact details. (They have blocked printing it from their website (January 2012) so use “Shift plus Print-Screen” together, open Word, right-click and paste the page onto the document. Then do the next bit.)
Having the roles of both videographer and photographer in my upcoming elephant expedition to Nepal, I have spent some serious brain time researching and considering the need to comfortably juggle two bits of precious tech while trekking.
I know that I can video with my camera and take stills with my camcorder but neither produces satisfactory results. So, before anyone suggests it, I’m sticking with both bits of kit.
Bouncing kit becomes irritating very quickly
Until recently, I was considering some type of shoulder strapping. However, following a recent trip to the Brecon Beacons I quickly discovered the impracticalities of having both camera and camcorder swinging freely. To be frank, it’s irritating enough to have even just a camera freely swinging from around your neck when you’re trekking. So, you can elect to have it immediately accessible, yet bumping around up front, or confine the strap under an arm and have to pull it around every time you wish to take a snap. Neither option is perfect and neither of these options leaves much room for a second camera of any sort.
I did eventually end up having my video camera up front and using the around-the-waist strap of my backpack, with its quick release buckle, to tie it down when not in use. At least then all I had to do was unclip, point and record. This setup was till a whole pickle when having to negotiate walking sticks too!
The paparazzi solution doesn’t cut it in Nepal
Online research (outlined in a previous blog) revealed multiple strapping solutions of various types used by the paparazzi. However, none of these offer much protection for the precious tech when it’s not in use. This may be OK when running around after celebs through the streets of London, but in dusty Nepal I do not want my cameras to be open to damage. I need them to be safe – but immediately to hand.
I was at a loss!
My solution: the Kata shoulder bag
Until I spotted the nifty double case pictured above on Amazon.
The Kata DL-H-531 Hybrid D-Light Shoulder Bag has two perfectly sized sections for my hybrid camera with its long lens attached and my video camera. Each section can be connected or disconnected from one another and carried using a single shoulder strap and/or connected to my survival belt (which is the crux of preventing that annoying bouncing and I have to wear the belt at all times anyway). It seems like the perfect solution so I have purchased one.
I envisage having the tech straps round my neck but keeping them snuggled in each pouch, nose down and ready to be grabbed at will. I have yet to test it out and don’t really have time to do so properly before I leave, but I have high hopes for this solution and shall let you know how I get on with it upon my return.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinion and/or any advice. Have you ever managed to successfully solve this problem?
In addition to the more usual expedition stuff – like hat, boots, survival belt. shirts, water purification tablets mosquito net and insect repellant etc. included on the kit list, the pile of weird items I need to take with me on my elephant expedition to Nepal just keeps growing:
An odd and growing pile.
How exciting and extraordinary!!
On my Bardia-Nepal expedition kit list, it is strongly recommended to include a belt kit to ensure that, even if parted from your day pack, you will still have the most important survival gear on your person.
Belt pouches should not be filled too heavily and maps, compass and emergency whistle should be kept in a pocket or on a lanyard around your neck.
So what should you keep in an emergency belt?
The kit list states:
“A strong wide one-piece belt with a quick release device is useful for carrying items vital in an emergency. This provides good abdominal support and old army ammunition pouches make useful carriers. If you are separated from your main pack you should be able to survive on the items carried on your belt.” Scientific Exploration Society expedition joining instructions
Top 12 things you should keep in your survival belt:
How to carry emergency rope the smart way
Of course, there’s also the recommendation to carry emergency rope. But strong rope tends to be extremely heavy and to be of any use at all you would need to carry a significant length.
Well, here’s a nifty idea: create a belt out of parachute cord (see image).
A belt like this can both hold up your trousers and incorporate at least 100 feet of paracord, while a wrist band can provide an extra 10 feet or so. The cord can be purchased online for about £5 for 100 feet and you’ll also need a belt buckle.
You can buy these ready-made online – in both belt and wrist strap varieties – but I also found these useful instructions on how to make your own: How to make a survival belt
As part of the kit list for our upcoming expedition to Bardia in Nepal, we have been recommended to bring a wide-brimmed hat.
Well, a good hat doesn’t just prevent sun burn and keep off the rain, it also stops things that drop off jungle trees from falling down the back of your shirt. Things like ticks, snakes, spiders and leeches…
So, a good, wide-brimmed hat was at the very TOP of my christmas list this year and my wonderful sons obliged by clubbing together and buying me the most beautiful Burmah leather hat I could possibly imagine. And I look SO COOL in it! I’ve had this confirmed by everyone who’s seen me in it but I also just stood and looked in the mirror and knew this hat and I were made for each other…
Not only does this hat feel comfortable and look good in of itself and on my head, it is also highly practical. Although solid it still FOLDS UP into a small pouch!
I simply can’t describe to you how much I LOVE this hat. For a girl who suffers from alopecia and has to spend her life wearing headscarves, buffs and hats, this one is my absolute favourite of all time. And, the fact that I can wear it during my adventures and remember that it was a gift from my sons makes it priceless.
Love me, love my hat. I’d sleep in it if I could.
As a scientific copywriter, I spend a lot of my time at work writing about functional materials and how important they can be in life. The ‘materials’ I tend to write about are not usually the kind you would use for clothing. Environmentally friendly plastics, semiconductors, cement and biotechnological advances are all more likely to be my day-to-day focus. However, as someone who enjoys travel and adventure, I am also well aware of the difference that modern technology has made to outdoor clothing.
Performance before visual perfection
Whether you’re aiming to stay warm at the top of Everest, cool in the Sahara desert, or comfortable in Bardia, Nepal, it pays to take heed of your clothing choices. A small investment in both time to research suitable gear, and the occasional financial outlay of a little more than the minimum, can make all the difference when you’re in the field.
I’d choose to have one good wicking underlayer, than several choices of colourful T-shirts. I don’t care who I might meet and want to impress. What might be trendy on the streets of London will leave me too hot, too tired and too sweaty to care when I’m out in the Sal Forests of Bardia. If it’s too bright it might also prevent me from seeing any wildlife.
Functions to consider
Performance fabrics can provide many functions including:
Other aspects to consider are:
High performance fabrics
When researching my adventure wardrobe, I came across a very useful article titled, ‘How to choose travel clothing‘ on REI’s website. It included the following section that highlights the pros and cons of different fabrics:
Nylon and polyester: Most performance fabrics feature one of these synthetics. Some are name brands, such as Supplex® nylon, CoolMax® polyester or Capilene® polyester.
Tencel® and polynosic rayons: Tencel is a brand name for lyocell, a wood-pulp-based fiber that is part of the rayon family. Tencel and polynosic rayons offer similar drape and comfort, plus both offer machine wash/dry convenience. (Note: The other common type of rayon, known as viscose rayon, is typically dry clean only, so look at the care instructions to be sure.)
Silk: Luxuriously soft, it’s most often used in underwear.
Cotton: This is commonly used for casual, all-around styles.
Cotton/polyester blend: Another common fabrication for casual wear, this blend seeks to offer both comfort and performance.
Plated fabrics: “Plated” refers to garments with one fabric (e.g., cotton) on the outside face, backed with another fabric type (e.g., polyester) against the skin. This approach is designed to offer the best attributes of both fabrics.
As regular readers of this blog may know, I have been researching hybrid cameras in search of a light weight, small volume, high-performance photography solution to take with me on my upcoming expedition to Bardia, Nepal.
Well, I did eventually get to Jessops in Milton Keynes as planned where a lovely female assistant spent a considerable amount of time and effort helping me select my final camera of choice. This turned out to be a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 which came with 2 lenses (14mm & 14-42mm). I also purchased an additional 42-200mm lens, which I then used to take these practice shots. As I have never previously got too used to a traditional DSLR, and have no issue with the lack of viewfinder, I’m a very happy customer indeed!
All custructive criticism and hints and tips for better shots welcomed.