Sierra Leone Gear List

Choosing my Sierra Leone gear list was a difficult task. I wanted a balance between mobility and high quality.

What do I mean by that? I needed gear that was easy to transport but could still shoot great photos and video.

Sierra Leone Gear List

Before we travelled to Sierra Leone, I knew it would have to be light on gear. There was no way I would be casually getting a portable slider/ dolly in my flight bag. That was out of the question.

On previous trips, I have overcome this challenge by taking a steadicam with me.

This time on the Sierra Leone gear list, I wanted it to be functional and lightweight. This was going to be difficult.





In my bag is my favourite toy, the DJI Phantom 4 (Get it here).

This drone massively ticks those functional and lightweight boxes. Some drones are huge, this one is decent. It will still raise questions at airports. You’ll get the usual prompt to open the case and explain it’s contents. I found it much easier to describe it as a camera, until one airport security guard knew it was a drone… Fortunately, he was excited to see it. WIN 👍

Whilst the Phantom 4 does come with it’s own case, I would highly recommend getting an actual carry case as it much easier to sling a purpose built protective rucksack on your back. Best one I have seen so far is the Anbee Hard Shell (Link), but there is a cheaper alternative (here). That hard shell just gives you a bit more peace of mind knowing your drone is safe.

— Additional Note: I bought my DJI Phantom 4 with extra batteries. Trust me you’ll need them because once you fall in love with aerial photography/ filming you’ll want to keep going. Here’s an alternative bundle of the DJI Phantom 4 with extra batteries just in case (Link)

Photography and Filming

Now this is where it gets tricky…

#Repost ・・・ 🇸🇱 Squad goals 💪 #wildminds #adventure

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I knew if I was going to stick to the functional and lightweight rule, it was going to be impossible to bring two cameras. One for photography, one for filming.

My first thought was “my Sony a7sii was going to be overkill” – and it’s not as robust as I would like it to be. Any dust on that mirrorless sensor and it’s game over. On this occasion I opted for the Canon 80D. A great mid-range DSLR. I knew from experience I could still get decent stills but also great video. But that’s not all.

I paired the Canon 80D body (link) with two lenses… and I spent a great deal of time justifying to myself, why these two:

  • Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS II USM Lens – Black (link)
  • Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Canon* (link)

* That ‘Canon’ bit is important to make sure you have the correct mount for your camera.

With these two lenses I covered myself all the way from big wide shots at 10mm all the way up to capturing distant shots at 105mm. Anything beyond that I was just going to have to walk nearer.

Backup Camera

Different tasks need different tools. For backup I always like to have a small compact camera on me for those occasions.

This time I took with me the ever reliable Canon G7x (link). I even shoot a good portion of my vlog series on the Canon G7x because it’s so functional and lightweight!!

A great alternative is the Sony RX100 iv (link) – only because it shoots 4k video and at 1000fps – YES, one-thousand frames per second!

Check out the vlog series here if you haven’t seen it yet.

Smooth Filming

It is not always possible to transport a stabiliser or steadicam. They are completely worth it, but not always practical.

Clearly I can’t leave it there. There is always a solution, and about one week before this trip, I found it.

DJI have their second entry on my Sierra Leone gear list. It’s the DJI Osmo Mobile (link). I’d known for a while there would be occasions where we would benefit from filming with some stabilisation, but how to achieve it had been playing on my mind.

I had come across the DJI Osmo (similar tech but more expensive – link), but once I heard there was one you could incorporate with your mobile device, I was sold. It meant I could shoot 4k stabilised footage on my iPhone, genius.

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Sierra Leone Gear List in Full

All the items mentioned in my Sierra Leone gear list are listed below on Amazon. I would be grateful if you are considering purchasing any of these items you use my affiliate links (below) as they help towards the cost of maintaining this website.


Whilst this has been a very specific look at my Sierra Leone gear list. Basically what I could squeeze in my bag at the time, here is a better look at my favourite gear I take with me on my adventures.

My Gear List: VLOGGING KIT (On the Road)

Behind the Scenes: Volvo Round the Island Speed Record

Volvo athletes, Team Bridge (Guy, Olly and Steph Bridge), set out to break the Round the Isle of Wight record on foiling kite boards. The team went on to set two world records, Guy set the fastest single handed sailor in 2hrs 32mins 25secs and Steph set the fastest female in 3hrs 3mins 24secs.

Behind the Scenes

I was onsite filming with Helical Productions as Camera-B and Photography for two of the four days of production. Here’s some shots from the project.

Volvo BTS-2

Team Helical headed out early morning to pick up additional b-roll footage along the West Cowes Parade.

Volvo BTS-23

Two ribs for the crew, ready to chase the kite surfers on their record attempt.

Volvo BTS-6

Back in the edit suite at the Into the Blue base.

Volvo BTS-10

The team gearing up with the epic Sony FS7 ahead of the big shoot.

Volvo BTS-20

Charging everything. GoPros at the ready to be mounted on the Volvo athletes.

Volvo BTS-12

Filming the introduction in beautiful sLog-2 and 150fps.

Volvo BTS-16

Team Bridge having a quiet moment to themselves.

Volvo BTS-24

90% Preparation, 10% Perspiration

Team Bridge going over plans the evening before the round the island record attempt.

Volvo BTS-22

End of a long few days of production and behind the scenes.

Helical Productions

Team Helical provide broadcast and digital quality productions for the clients including,

BBC | CNN | NBC | CANAL+ | Red Bull TV | SKY | Radio-Canada | Channel 4

For more information and examples of their work visit their website.

Gear Up

Here is a quick run down of the equipment I used during the shoot.

All photos were taken on a Sony A7s ii, using a combination of lenses:

  • Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 OS
  • Sigma 10-20mm f3.5

Pro tip – Be prepared for your gear to get wet. Bring protection.

Bonus Content

Additionally I took with me the Theta S 360º camera and managed to capture a shot onboard our rig. Check it out on my Facebook here:


What I learned writing my own job ad

How often do you really ask yourself, what is it I do?

Writing my own job ad

Whilst writing my own job ad, I recently had the chance to help shape what the job description for my replacement looks like. And naturally, who knows my job better than myself?

But asking me what it is I actually do is a difficult question. I know what my job title is and general responsibilities are, throw in some corporate jargon and that’s what I tell friends and family.

I know that when I talk to friends they skate over the details and justify the lack of detail by saying “and some other boring stuff”.

Sit Back, Orientate Yourself

Our working lives are naturally ordered by hours, days, weeks and months. That makes it difficult to sit back and really think about what it is you do day-to-day vs month-to-month.

I began writing my own job ad description by placing myself within the context of the team and how I help them get things done.

But it hit me when I started listing off the skills I bring to the table. Once I broke down all the work I’d had a hand in or had led on, it was startling to realise the number of skills I actually had.

My advice is to sit back and look at the body of work you’ve been involved in, even over the last six months and then attribute the skills you’ve used on each project.

**Embrace that immediate moment of pride**

Thinking Space

As a Digital Creator, thinking space is an undervalued asset as it should be for any professional.

Finding the time is your first challenge. At first it won’t seem natural, but you’ll begin to put the pieces together correctly as opposed to bashing them into place to meet your deadlines.

I’ve seen high-flying professionals tackle this in their own way. Thinking space can manifest in many different ways:

Reclining in your chair, staring out the window, taking a walk around the park, talking it through with a colleague…

Whatever it is, use it to your advantage.

Writing my own job ad needed thinking space. I wasn’t recruiting for myself, I had the team in mind and how that person needs to integrate and stand out to deliver their role.

An important part of that process is understanding where that job will likely go. You can’t predict the future but you can have a good stab at it.

Thinking space will give you the perspective needed to keep asking “what is it I do?” and what will the next person in my shoes be likely to do.


If you want the opportunity to create within a large financial services firm and continue to innovate in that space, this could be it.

Ageas Direct are seeking their next Digital Creator to work as part of their Innovation Team. This is a team not like any other. They’ve been building their in-house capability for the past 18 months, to deliver products customers actually want, redefining processes, and improving our workspace for our employees.

You’ll be fuelling that process, by bringing their ideas to life. How often can you say you get to create startups to put in front of consumers for direct feedback, develop content plans that showcases the great work you’re doing and work in a truly innovative business?

Digital Creator

And of course, here’s how I expressed what it is I do everyday:

Alternately, check out my Linkedin here.


Writing my own job ad

Winning at 360º video

Over the last year, there’s been a lot of noise surrounding 360º video. Some has been speculation around it’s long term survival, will it just be another short-lived trend? And others have been praising, but there’s been little widespread uptake. Instead it’s been limited to just a few specialist brands and filmmakers, and those who’ve gotten into it are winning at 360º video.

In this article I will highlight a few of the people absolutely crushing it in the world of 360º video. In my opinion, it’s predominantly the bold who are winning at 360º video at the moment. From experience it’s not an easy format to work with as you’ve immediately lost the ability to frame your shot and it is immediately obvious that changes how you construct your narrative.

Worst of all, there’s nowhere to hide…

Winning at 360º video

1 // Corridor Digital

Whilst that’s an extremely daunting prospect not being able to hide from the lens, the team at Corridor Digital used that problem to their advantage. Their ‘Where’s Waldo’ 360º video addresses that head on by using their environment as their stage.

If you’ve a burning desire to see how they planned it all out, watch their Behind the Scenes.

2 // National Geographic

If performance = art, then Mother Nature is the greatest performer of all time. National Geographic have been pioneering in their field for decades, 360º video is no different. Their approach is true to their brand and in 360ºs it is formidable.

You’ll want to watch this one a few times to take in all the glory of the Victoria Falls. Whilst you’re at it check out their other 360º video on the National Geographic Facebook page.

3 // Fun for Louis

Speaking of pioneering, if vlogging wasn’t good enough for you, try 360º vlogging.

Over the past 3-5 years, vlogging has been carving its niche and building its popularity. Dubbed the Godfather of vlogging, Louis Cole (Fun for Louis) has evolved his craft to include 360º video, and its a pleasure. Just another way to immerse the audience that little more.

Future of 360º video

It is very possible you are still unconvinced by 360º video. Whilst its engaging and new, does that mean it will be around in a year’s time?

Facebook and Youtube definitely seem to think so. Facebook announced this week they are looking to bring 360º photos to the newsfeed on desktop and mobile. That makes a lot of sense as Facebook owns Oculus (the Virtual Reality headset manufacturing firm), whilst 360º video has been available on Facebook since September 2015.

Youtube have likewise had 360º video on their platform since last year, but they’ve gone one step further. It needed to happen, but LIVE 360º VIDEO is here, and I couldn’t be more excited!


360º Video is Now

Yep, 360º video is now… Doesn’t seem like anything new, and you’d be right, it’s not.

I remember all those rubbish ‘experiences’ at Science museums when I was younger, trying to give you the 360/ 3D experience. And then we have VR headsets, but this is something else.

Go Mobile

What has truly made 360º videos pop has been two things.

Facebook and YouTube have invested in the format. Almost overnight these two companies have ensured their platforms are relatively easy to upload 360º videos to.

But where they really shine is on mobile devices.

For a while, we’ve seen the growing trend that people are interacting with Facebook and YouTube via mobile. This is the right place to roll out new features to keep them hooked.

360º on mobile takes full advantage of the devices sensors to allow you to move around the video with out clunky mouse movements. If you tilt the device, the video tilts.

…where they really shine is on mobile


Suddenly 360º recording devices are affordable. Yeah, I know they are in reach of us mere mortals.

The Ricoh Theta S is around $350. This makes it cheap enough to become one of the gadgets in your toolkit.

Added bonus is it is a realistic size. No bigger than your mobile device and easier to use.

Why 360º Video is Now

Four buttons…that’s it. On/Off, Wifi, Photo/Video and Shoot. No instructions needed.

You are able to upload your 360º videos straight into Facebook and YouTube without any complicated editing methods. The metadata is recorded straight into the video file, so the platforms recognise it is 360º, and you’re done.

Without the adoption by FB and YT, and the availability of affordable technology, 360º video would be the mainstay of highly skilled production companies and sure to die a death in tacky ‘educational’ science demos.


Choose the Middle

I was asked to come up with a short of my own choosing, and this one phrase had been running through my head.

Choose the Middle

Our generation has many freedoms our parents did not. We live in relative comfort and have more options available to us, hence ‘Choose the Middle’.We are afforded those choices many are not, at home and abroad.

We Choose the Middle not because it is easy, but because we can.
(Adaptation of JFK’s infamous ‘Moon’ speech from 1962)


Sash and Bronze BTS

Let’s go Behind the Scenes with Sash and Bronze. The Sash and Bronze team worked with Fashion Photographer, Lucie Desmond to produce a series of contrasting and stand out styles.

Sash and Bronze specialises in high end make up and hair styling for events and fashion shoots. Founded by Sukh Bhandal and Manni Sanghera, the sister team design and create their look and photoshoots to represent their smouldering and elegant brand.

For more of their work and insights into their designs, follow them on Instagram:

or Facebook Page. As featured in Elléments Magazine 

BTS videography and editing by BeAdventurous

MUSIC (Creative Commons)
Intro:Rous – Evoke Artist – License

Main Comp:
The xx – Fiction (Fever 105 & Kulkid Remix) – Artist – Release

See what I’m up to on

Give me a shout on Twitter what you’d like to see on the vlog. I’m always on the lookout for new adventure ideas.

Shot on – Nikon D5300 and 3200
Edited in Adobe Premiere
Check out my last two adventures

Tarifa Windsurf

Mount Toubkal | GoPro Holiday


Halo Accident Repair

Produced and shot a corporate partnership promotional piece for Ageas UK and  the Halo Accident Repair Centre.

Designed to highlight the unique partnership, featuring interviews with key members of staff from each company.

Brecon Beacons BTS

Behind the scenes footage not shown on the original Brecon Beacons video  As you may already know in November 2013, Charlie will be travelling to Nepal in order to commence a 3 week acclimatisation trek to Everest Base Camp area ahead of completing a 26.2 mile marathon on Mount Everest.

So far, fundraising has reached well over £1,000! Support has been incredible from friends and family alike. All support goes to Charlie’s chosen charities. Please head over to the Just Giving page ( if you would like to sponsor Charlie.

Charlie is undertaking this challenge to raise money and support for two charities, Women’s Aid and the Everest Marathon Fund – two great charities, both with the aim of helping others in need. None of the money raised will go towards paying for the expedition.

Women’s aid supports women and children fleeing domestic violence- did you know over two women per week are killed by current or ex-partners, and that one in four women in the UK will experience domestic violence in their lifetime?

The Everest Marathon Fund supports the Nepalese population in the Himalayas with basic things we would take for granted in the West.

(Music (cc) by Grapes – I Dunno)

Social Media

See what I’m up to on

Give me a shout on Twitter what you’d like to see on the vlog. I’m always on the lookout for new adventure ideas.

Shot on – Nikon D5300 and 3200
Edited in Adobe Premiere
Check out my last two adventures

Tarifa Windsurf

Mount Toubkal | GoPro Holiday


Marathon on Mount Everest

Combining a three week acclimatisation trek to Gorak Shep (5184m) and a final 26.2 mile Marathon across the Himalayas is the challenge many set out to achieve.

UPDATE: Charlie became the second highest contributor to the Everest Fund, thanks to donations raised from this challenge

Epic Adventure

The course throws up steep inclines and treacherous declines, all whilst running in conditions with low levels of oxygen due to the altitude. Altitude sickness is the ultimate obstacle for many a runner. Whilst over night, temperatures can drop to lows of -20C and runners experience highs of +30C during the day. If this wasn’t enough, runners can expect to cross icy/rocky terrain, rivers and glaciers. All the while dodging the renowned yaks of Nepal, responsible for transporting grain and other necessities to remote communities. If you come face-to-face with a yak on a narrow alpine pass, there is no right of way.

Regardless of these obstacles, here is Charlie’s adventure to Nepal, completing a respectable 20 of the 26.2 miles, in support of the charities Women’s Aid and the Nepalese based Everest Marathon Fund.

Sponsor Charlie

Watch Charlie’s Brecon Beacons training here:

And the Behind the Scenes (Brecon Beacons):

Have you seen the preview yet?

Music (CC)
Intro: Music For Quietness by Prem Rana ‘Autari’

Overwerk – Conquer
Flickr (CC) Gunther Hagleitner and Sam Hawley

Social Media

See what I’m up to on

Give me a shout on Twitter what you’d like to see on the vlog. I’m always on the lookout for new adventure ideas.

Shot on – Nikon D5300, D3200 and GoPro
Edited in Adobe Premiere
Check out my last two adventures

Tarifa Windsurf

Mount Toubkal | GoPro Holiday