Gear Photos

 

geek gear.jpg 

A window with a view.  Here is a photo of the "Geek Gear" I took to McNeil.  My Handspring PDA, Targus Keyboard and of course some tunes from my iPOD Video 30 gig.  When we returned at night and everyone settled in for the night (if you call it night) I would write in the journal for the day and listen to some tunes.  At times, I was very tired from the all day trek in the rain and hauling all my gear around.  I know all you journal readers will appreciate the effort.  I often got strange looks from the other campers there at McNeil and I am sure at first they though I was another one of those technology geeks that could not let go of the electronic world.  Later I would tell them what I was up too and they were cool with that.

me blog.jpg 

Me in action!  Another blogging day at McNeil.  Lucas took this shot with his Sony 7 mega-pixel point and shoot camera.  The camera is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and has a very sharp and clear LCD screen on the back.  Really a sweet camera.  I'll post some of the snap shots from the trip a little later. Photo by Lucas Condliffe.

hyperdrive.jpg 

 Here is a photo of the way cool Hyper-Drive Kevin and I used on the trip.  This model is a 60 gig hard drive and operates on 4 AA batteries.  It lasted about 7 days before I had to change the batteries.  The drive would transfer a two gig card in about two to three minutes.  It's all automatic and really works good.  It does not allow you to view images, but that is not it's function in life.  Once you get back to the real world, just plug it into any USB port and transfer the images to your computer.  I hope we see more devices like this for nature and remote digital photographers.

me pack.jpg 

Me with my Lowe Pro Photo Trekker back pack.  The bear on top is "Cubby" and was given to me by my daughter and he goes with me on all my photo trips.  There is another pack attached to carry food and water as well as two side pockets for gear or what ever.  The crazy creek chair is attached to my pack to act as protection from the water on the ground as I lay my pack down to get stuff out of it.  This area of McNeil is very wet and it is easy to fall in this combination of mud, grass and water.  Photo by Lucas Condliffe.

wimberly.jpg 

Here is a snap shot of the Wimberly tripod head in action with my camera attached.  The tripod head is really great for use with 300mm and larger lenses.  The neat thing about the Wimberly is that you can let go of the camera and it will balance where it was set up and not fall or knock the tripod over.  the head is very easy to use and I highly recommend this tripod.

tent.jpg 

Here is my Eureka Timberline tent that I have used for many trips to Alaska and it has worked every time EXCEPT this time!  I just need to seal the tent and it will be ready for the next big adventure.  Note the rocks all around the tent, a necessity here at McNeil.  There are no trees to block the wind and the wind blows hard here.  In 1998 when I was there, the wind blew 70 MPH on night and left some campers without tents.  So be prepared when you go to McNeil!

kevin.jpg 

Kevin and Lucas on the way to Mikfik Creek.  As they walk across the sedge flats, you can see they are ankle deep in water and mud.  This is where we would spend up to 8 hours a day out with the bears.  On the other side of that ridge ahead is where the McNeil river and falls are located.  With cameras all tucked away safely in the packs, they are protected from a fall in the mud or water that would ruin a camera for sure.  Only a few people are used to travel in this type of environment, so it is advised to pack your gear while trekking across these flats.

tom.jpg 

Tom Ulmer is one of those few who can travel in this type of environment.  Tom is from Little Rock, Arkansas and lived in Alaska for several years and know his way around very good.  Tom was traveling with camera on tripod and did not take a spill once.  I wish i could say that for my self.  Tom was able to be ready to shoot a lot faster than the rest of us, as well as get some amazing images.  Tom's backpack provided extra stability to his tripod for shooting in the wind and rain that we had.  I think he had an Opti-Tech cover for the lens and camera that allow the photographer to shoot in the rain.

stuff.jpg
This is what it look like when your camera bag does not do a good job of keeping the rain out.  At the end of the day this was a familiar scene around the camp.  Our camera gear would dry out in a few hours, but our clothes was a different story for sure.  At times we were so soaked that the next day our gear was still wet and could not be used till the following day.

Just be prepared for any kind of weather at McNeil.  You might get lucky and have no rain, but if you have no wind you better watch out for the bugs!  That's when they come out and eat you! 

 

 

 pack.jpg

My pack showing my travel companion "Cubby".  Cubby has been to McNeil twice and Alaska many times.  He never gets tired of my travels and he is always with me on my journeys.

You can see my Gepe water proof card cases there in my pack.  If you don't have any of these, you need to get some.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

snappys.jpg 

 Lucas with his digital snappy camera getting prepared to take a shot of us near camp.  The digital snapshots are really fun and help you capture the memories of the trip.  That's about all the gear shots I have for now.  Enjoy!

-mark