Trip To Borneo Rainforest. Advice Needed.


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Scuderia

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Sep 7, 2006
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#1
Hi,

I'll be going for a expedition in the Borneo rainforest for 3 weeks in Nov. Currently facing alot of headache trying to find a bag capable of stuffing all my gears inside. I'm also facing the dilemma of what to bring along for this trip. Currently suffering from "packeverything" syndrome.:bsmilie:
Our journey will start in Kuching (Sarawak) and end in Sandakan ( Sabah). We will be travelling by 4X4 all the way. Places of coverage includes waterfalls, nature reserves, caves, villages and small towns along the way. I really wish a could pack the all my gears into one bag. But my problem is that I'll be spending most of my time in the rainforest and not to mention the bloodsuckers that is waiting to empty my veins..:eek:

Any exprerienced Csers can help? Thanks in Advance.
 

Ally

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#2
I haven't been on expedition to Borneo, so hoping this will be of help..

I assume that's your current gear in your signature..
So bring: 5D + 17-40 + 180 macro + either telephoto
(100-400 longer reach but 70-200 is faster in low-light of forest, u decide)

May wanna bring tripod (for cave-shots or macro) and lotsa anti-moisture gear..
Flash may be useful too.. And insect-repellent..

Would the North-East monsoon be hitting Borneo end-of-year?
Water-proof everything; I got real drenched in Taman Negara both from rain & sweat..

With the 4x4, I would stow my personal non-cam kit there, deploying camera gear etc from there..
That's what we did in Mongolia; chuck clothing bags in van, manpack camera stuff..

Hope this helps.. :)
 

Scuderia

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#3
Thanks alot for the help Ally. I've been told that we will be hunting down the magnificient Hornbill and maybe a fish owl or two. ( to photoshoot of course):bsmilie:. Should I bring a extra body for backup? Or should I just bring my G7.

We will be hiring native guides to bring us in to the wild boar trails and will most probably be travelling through swamps and creeks. Any advice on how to prevent leeches from crawling up your legs? I've got bad experience with leeches in my NS days. I heard they use tobacco leaves or tumeric powder to ward off these bloodsuckers :dunno:
 

#4
buy tobacoo leaves... wrapped around your legs... that should be ok...

when walk into jungle... be the first or second... if not be the last few... normally... those walking in the middle of the line will have quite a big share of leaches...
 

Scuderia

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#5
Wah..Walking in the middle gets more leeches? :eek: My understanding: First few that walk past woke them up, then the middle ones get sucked and the last ones are safe cos the leeches are on the middle ones right???:D Haha.. Great tips. Note with thanks
 

scenar

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Thanks alot for the help Ally. I've been told that we will be hunting down the magnificient Hornbill and maybe a fish owl or two. ( to photoshoot of course):bsmilie:. Should I bring a extra body for backup? Or should I just bring my G7.

We will be hiring native guides to bring us in to the wild boar trails and will most probably be travelling through swamps and creeks. Any advice on how to prevent leeches from crawling up your legs? I've got bad experience with leeches in my NS days. I heard they use tobacco leaves or tumeric powder to ward off these bloodsuckers :dunno:
I hv never been to borneo..however, after shooting under canopy in singapore, I am certain u r gonna need a fairly stable tripod! (and very likely a longer telephoto....)
shooting @ f5.6-f11 under canopy gets u very low shutter.... 1/20s - 1/50s is very common... a flash extender would be very useful too

Wait for the birding gurus come in with their vast amts of experience!
 

Scuderia

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#8
Thank you Scenar. For birding, my longest tele is only at 400mm f5.6. :embrass: I usually shoot with a monopod as I find that a tripod is too cumbersome. Maybe I should try it this time. I find it very challenging to setup a tripod on the uneven forest ground with roots and vines all over the place.
 

Scuderia

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ranger hats and long sleeves... a must... basically what you wear in bmt.. only lighter and better material...
Yes, a must. I've just found a insect repellent at contains 99% of DEET by the brand of REPEL. Dunno if it will repels the insects that i wanna shoot or not.:bsmilie: :bsmilie: :bsmilie:
 

laokayu

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#10
Keep moving, try not to stop. The leeches would have less chance of getting on to you.

Leeches need not necessarily crawl on the ground to you. Some species get to you off leaves.

If you need to pee, get to higher level (eg rock) so that you can look out for approaching leeches.

Wear reasonably secure underwear. Boxers are not good. I had one sucker near the femoral artery.
 

Scuderia

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#11
Fuyoh!!!! Can't imagine one sucking at my jewels!!! :bigeyes: You scare me leh..maybe I'll need to wear cycling tights!!!
 

Ally

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#12
We used medicate oil (axe brand i think) to remove 'em suckers..
Just splash on the leeches, they squirm a bit then fall off..

I think there are anti-leech socks around, but personally I haven't seen/used those..

And small back-up camera always useful when squeezing/scrambling through vegetation, caves etc..

Did some non-serious cave thingy in Aust. & Krabi..
Just dropped cam into ziplock bag and pop it down my shirt; like that got hands free to hold rocks while headlamp lit the way..

Just make sure your shirt is well-tucked in lah..

Btw, if u just extend 1 leg of tripod, or have all 3 close together, think can make as a fair/modest mono..
Enjoy! :)
 

Garion

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#13
Yes, a must. I've just found a insect repellent at contains 99% of DEET by the brand of REPEL. Dunno if it will repels the insects that i wanna shoot or not.:bsmilie: :bsmilie: :bsmilie:
Yes DEET based repellents shld do the trick, spray copious amounts on your feet/lower legs or exposed areas. Use medicated oil (e.g Axe brand) to get rid of those that get stuck on you. Don't try to tear them off coz their teeth might get stuck in the wound. Remember to check regularly, especially under your shirt, your socks/calves (if you're not wearing leech socks) and also under your belt and underwear waistband...I was in Malaysia jungle couple of months back, one sucker managed to crawl undetected under my belt behind me (where the small of the back is) and sucked happily away! ;(

Get a pair of leech socks also....I think their available at places such as Nature's Niche at SBG.
 

Scuderia

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#14
Gee... guys, thanks for all the advices. I'm prepared to conquer the jungle!!!! :bsmilie: :bsmilie:.

Will be bringing alot more things than expected. Looks like I will exceed the weight limit liao.. Hopefully I can come back in one piece. :sweat:
Anyway, thanks for all the help guys, its greatly appreciated.
 

waileong

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#15
Less is more. It will make your trip more enjoyable, hurt your back less, let you take more pictures, and find creative ways to take pictures.
 

Scuderia

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Thanks waileong, I also wish to carry as minimum as possible. As we are traveling by SUV, I plan to stow the rest of my gear in the vehicle and maybe take my Adventure 9 for hikes. Anyone tried the Lowerpro S&F harness system before? I only use it on events like DnDs and sports, never in the rainforest. Waterproofing might be a problem if it rains.
 

thomas_lkt

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#17
Keep gears to a minimum as uneven terrain, slopes, heat and humidity will take its toll on you.

Wearing anti-leech socks does not guarantee keeping out the leeches. It is nothing more than a cloth stocking (without elasticity); with the open-end having a string to secure it to your leg. Leeches can still crawl in between the folds of your pants. As Garion has mentioned earlier, check frequently. I had 4-5 leeches even I has anti-leech socks.

One note on DEET; try to keep it away from plastics, painted surfaces (ie. your gears) as it is a solvent.
 

waileong

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#18
Exactly my feelings. Those who have gone jungle training in Brunei during Army days will understand. I wouldn't go. All sweat for no gain.
 

G-`FerRo

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#19
.. make sure u stop over to Brunei... besides the breathtaking cityscape .. u can even catch a glimpse of the proboscis monkey along the Brunei River ... just off the course of the famous water village...

... bring all your gears by all mean .. and bring some cash .. or cards ... u can get most of the necessities in Brunei ...

... good luck ....

note: .. if u happen to be in Brunei during the 2nd-4th day of Hari raya u might even be able to meet and shake hand with the sultan ... :)
 

Scuderia

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#20
Thanks for the tip.

Managed to round up one more member as a caddy. So can bring most of my gears liao.. Haha.. Hopefully can come out with some good results. Thanks for all the advises. Will post some pics once I"m back. Thank you.
 

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