Scroll down for images from these adventures that Philip and I talk about as well as links to a lot of the travel gear he uses.
recent PVC Podcast we talked HDR of course but we also brushed on some of Philip’s adventure filmmaking. Philip travels the globe from the Ukraine to Kazakhstan to Australia and lots of places in between. I mentioned in the HDR chat about sitting down with Philip again and having a more All Things HDR with Gary Adcock and Philip Grossman detailed chat about his treks around the globe, how he prepares and the gear he carries. The gear is always of interest for this kind of filmmaking but I don’t mean just cameras and lenses. I was curious about how he packs he gear and what he packs it in. That was part of our chat.
It wasn’t just a little chat it was a
chat and we’ve broken this into two different PVC Podcast episodes. Here is part 1 and we’ll release part 2 next week. big
Here’s the podcast stream below or
you can get it on Anchor or your favorite podcast catcher.
You can visit
Philip at his website but the best place is on Instagram where Philip posts tons of great photographs from his adventures.
Philip also provided a ton of images from his travels, many of those with and about the gear he uses. See those below with captions and link about what gear he is using and what he is carrying.
On long-distance hikes it important to carry only the minimal gear to conserve weight. Here I am sleeping early morning in the Arial Desert (Formally the Arial Sea). I typically take a NEMO 40 degree quilt style sleeping bag, a NEMO sleeping pad and a 2GoSystems SING UL BIVVY. This system weights less than 3 pounds and can provide sleep comfort down to 20 degrees.
This is a fairly typical loadout for an expedition. This all the gear for a 16 day trip to Kazakhstan which included visits to the Baikonur Cosmodrome and Semipalatinsk which is the site of the USSR’s Nuclear Bomb testing. I use Eagle Creek packing cubes to help keep everything organized in my bags. I also use a lot of Hard EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) cases as they are fairly rugged yet lightweight and come in a nearly infinite selection of sizes.
My fStop Gear Suhka bag packed and ready for the 26-mile hike through the Kazakhstan high desert step. The pack weighed about 74 pounds which included all the food and water for 2 days.
Beginning the 26 mile hike across the Kazakhstan desert to the hanger housing the remaining Buran Class Orbiter. The structure in the background is the remains of an ICBM silo complex. Baikonur where the USSR developed and deployed its ICBMs. It was also the location we slept on our return.
Taking a break after about 15 miles of hiking through the Arial Desert (formerly the Arial Sea). I’m using the shade provided by an abandoned ship in the desert.
When exploring the world you have to figure out how to make things work for you. Here I am inside a 50-year-old Soviet hanger which was our home for 2 days while filming the Soviet Shuttles. No electricity, no lights, no water. (Editors note: no bathroom??)
My specific sleeping area inside the Energia-Buran Hazardous Servicing building about 4 stories up. This trip was late March and it would get down to about 10 degrees at night. I make extensive use of MRE’s on expeditions as they have a huge calorie load to keep you going and are fairly easy to pack and carry around the world.
Filming inside the Energia-Buran Hazardous Servicing building in the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Access to this area is off-limits and required a 26-mile hike one way at night. Inside this building stands the last of the Soviet “Buran” class orbiter vehicles.
When filming the Soviet Space Shuttles I had to carry the minimum amount of gear in order to have room for food and water. On this hike in I took the RED DSMC2 Helium 8K and my Canon 5Dmk4 and two lenses (16-35 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8) and 4 x Blueshape Granite Mini 140 wHr v-mount batteries. Since there is no electricity for charging batteries at night I had to do a lot of battery management on this trip.
Filming inside the abandoned hospital in the town of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture. This is a “red zone” area and required us to hike through a bamboo forest at 3 am in the morning to access.
Hiking near the Hospital in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture. This is the fStop Sukha bag which holds the large internal camera unit or X-tra Large ICU.
I will carry my fStop Gear bag onto the plane with me and will pack my north face duffle with cloths and other items.
On a lot of trips, I have to figure out how to make things happen. While in Australia I decided to hire a helicopter to get some aerial shots of Sydney. I rigged up my Odyssey 7Q+ and FoolControl to my RED DSMC2 Helium in the back of a Robinson R44.
The trip to find Aralsk-7 (Anthrax Island) in Uzbekistan required a really light pack load. This is my stripped down “accessories” to my camera.
This is part of the contested border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This is the location our driver was supposed to meet us, but after waiting an hour beyond our rendezvous time, we decided we need to start hiking, we found him 10 miles further down the road. There were military border patrols along this area and he was afraid of having his car confiscated for being in this area. The sign says “Stop, State Boundary.”
Another example of “figuring things out”, we hiked into the desert in Uzbekistan in October and the first day it was well over 90 degrees. The next day it dropped to 40 degrees and I did not bring a jacket, so I cut up my 2GoSystems Bivvy and turned it into a poncho. It is made of Tyvek with aluminized threads which allows it to be breathable but also reflects back your body heat.
Again the beauty of the fStop Gear Mountaineering bags is the use of the ICU’s. I use the TrekPak divider system to reconfigure the ICU for each adventure.