This post is not going to be dedicated to photography, but to the gear, outdoor gear in general. People ask me why do I spent so much money for the outdoor gear such as tent, sleeping bag, shoes, backpack etc? Why do I buy a tent for 300-400 euro if it’s possible to buy it for 50 euro in the nearest shop? I truly understand their point as most of those people have never been in the real trek in the wilderness. And if to go by car to the nearest camping for the weekend indeed a tent for 50 euro is more than enough. Everything depends on the purpose. It’s not in my habit to convince other people in things or to prove them anything. But just a couple of little examples which could probably explain a huge importance of a good quality gear as a matter of life and death.
Two years ago in the end of October I went with my dog to Alps. In the purpose was a Northern German part of Karwendel Mountains. I planned to camp with my tent partially in the campings and partially in the wild. A day before departure the weather forecast informed about red warning for a wind storm exactly on the night of my arrival. I managed to quickly find and book a trekker hut at one camping for that night as storm indeed looked pretty bad. Happy that I found a solution I took a trip. But life likes to joke. My beloved DeutscheBahn failed and a couple of trains were late. So when I finally arrived there was nobody at the camping to give me hut keys. After first wave “Oh my God what do go??!” all I could really do was to find a place as furthest as possible from any trees and set my tent. That what I did. I set the tent, let my dog in, covered him with a down jacked. And stayed outside for a while. It was deep dark with amazing starry sky. Few fluffy snowflakes were lazy falling here and there. And that silence. I have never experienced SUCH a silence. That night I truly understood what an expression “Calm before the storm” means. In 10-15 min a little wind appeared, then it became stronger, and the clouds were crawling on hiding the stars. I went inside the tent and the show started. The sound was as if a few high speed trains were rushing around and my poor tent was flopping and banding. Sure I didn’t sleep that night. Only my dog peacefully snored in my jacket.
Before morning the storm calmed. When I opened the tent I saw a huge amount of trees fallen in the forest. When I finally got to the camping a German radio informed about heavy damages the storm caused in this area. But my tent survived. Now to imagine that in the middle of the night at the temperature below freezing it would collapse. This is one mild story though.
There was another story happened a few years ago when I with my friend and dogs went for a weekend trek to Carpathian Mountains. We were caught by an extremely heavy wind and rain storm and were stuck in the mountains for another 5 days. The wind in fact was sweeping away from the feet and the rain was not just rain, it was a wall of rain. And of course that typical mountain fog when you can see no further then 2-3 m around. It was about 15 km to the closest civilization, and under that closest civilization I mean random houses of the mountain village typical there. There was no choice, in the heavy wind and rain with zero visibility we had no chance and had to camp and wait. There was so much water falling that there was a river flowing under our tent floor. But, in 5 days of that hell, and it was a real hell, no single drop soaked inside the tent. Later when we got to the train we found out that this ‘storm’ destroyed and completely flooded a few villages, roads and bridges in the region, and so it was called a natural disaster that never happened there before. But a little piece of fabric with poles withstood, isn’t it amazing? It literally saved our life’s.
Sometimes small things are important and it’s good to take it to the account.
The photos are randomly chosen from that trip taken to Alps in 2014. I tried to select only unpublished yet ones.