Merida Bikepacking Scotland
If you've seen the trailer then you'll have had a tiny insight to how much of a bloody slog the the 3 days bikepacking in 25c plus heat ascending over 3000m in the Scottish Highlands was. Now I thought this would be a good time to share a few more photograpths from the trip and the gear that I took.
This was a completelyly unsupported bikepacking adventure meaning we were carrying everything we needed for the 3 days. Everything from bog roll to crocs...Yes CROCS! I know but we needed some type river crossing shoes(due to the heatwave most streams had dried up or had reduced to a trickle..FFS!). Myself along with cinematographer for the trip Dom we would also be carrying our camera equipment just to had some more weight to our bike setup.
We would both be using Panasonic Lumix cameras for the trip which was great as it meant we could swap lens etc. Dom filmed the whole trip on his GH5 while I would be shooting stills on the G9. It's worth mentioning that this year the Micro Four Thirds system turns 10 yrs old and the cameras and lenses have come a very long way in this time. We now have a system that I personally think should be in every adventurist backpack. Now I'm not going to list all the advantages and disadvantages but you only have to look at the specs of the G9 to see what you can get with this system.
Here is my trusty 6 year old Burton Zoom Backpack. It has to be one of the best bags I have ever owned. It's been out on the French Alps in freezing/blizzard conditions and in muddy bogs on the welsh mountains, zipped and unzipped hundreds if not thousands of times and still everything is in working order. Not even a hole or a rip in the outside of the bag, it is also extremely comfortable and sits well on your back perfect for my hikes and rides in the mountains. The bag is so good that Burton over a lifetime warranty just to further show how committed they are with the quality of this bag.
This was all the camera kit that I took for the trip;
Lumix G9 + 3 batteries
DJI Mavic Air + spare batteries.
ND and Polarising filters
2L water bladder
As you can see there was still room for maybe one more lens but I had all focal range covered from 24-200mm from f1.7-2.8. Now you try fitting a full frame set up in this space and imagine how much weight you'll be carrying!
Ok so enough of the kit as I'm sure you've read enough about the pros and cons of the Micro Four Thirds setup but I just wanted to quickly show you what my kit bag looked like for the trip.
As you can see from the pictures above the landscape and light we had was beautiful to work with along with the dim lit smokey ambience of the bothies also provided us with some great story telling. I was really pleased with how the gear stood up to the situations we faced. Ok it was more hot than pouring down with rain but It's the build and reliability of the gear that really counts for me. Countless times I needed to get of the bike throw the bag down, grab the camera and get the shot before the light or the scene in front of me had changed. Furthermore arguing the fact that the system is perfect for travel and anyone or is planning to document their adventures.
Lastly if you were still wondering about the quality that it produces then Merida Bikes even purchased a number of photos from the trip to use for printed brochures and online/in store advertising.
If you have managed to read this far then thanks a lot for taking the time out to have a read and I hope it has inspired you to plan an adventure for yourself. Cheers, Jim