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

A post shared by Be Adventurous ( on

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.

A post shared by RedMH (@redmh) on


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)

5 Reasons to Visit Sierra Leone

There are so many reasons to visit Sierra Leone, but let me give you just five to put Sierra Leone on your travel radar.

Last October, I travelled to Sierra Leone with a friend on a project to capture stories and tell one in particular (Going to Sierra Leone). Before I left friends and family had a lot of questions for me. Why was I going there? Isn’t it dangerous? Are you mad?

Initially I agreed with them, why was I going to Sierra Leone of all places?! However, once I got there I found 5 great reasons to visit Sierra Leone. I would like to share those with you.

The Country’s Beautiful Landscape

A tropical climate with jungle in every direction. When you’re down amongst the jungle is stunning. From the air it’s even better!

The People

Cannot say this enough, the people of Sierra Leone are amazing. I’ve never met such happy people, the kids were all too keen to be “snapped”.

Check out this guest post from WildMinds on the People of Sierra Leone and the impact they have on travellers.

Epic Sunsets

Grab a beer on a rooftop in Makeni and watch the sun go down.

Adventure on your doorstep

A post shared by WildMinds ( on

Jungle and Motorbikes. What more could you ask for, than riding through some incredibly beautiful surroundings and tackling sometimes difficult terrain – just makes for an awesome adventure!

If you haven’t seen it yet – here is our video on that adventure, cleverly named “Motorbikes. Jungle. Sierra Leone”.


A post shared by WildMinds ( on

Yes, bananas – No I haven’t lost the plot. The bananas there are a great reason to visit Sierra Leone. They’re so sweet!

5 Reasons to Visit Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a stunning country with so much more to explore. I only made it to the Northern regions, imagine how much beauty and adventure is out there!


7 Ways to See the Philippines by Drone 🇵🇭

Seeing the Philippines normally with your own two eyes and feet rooted to the ground is spectacular, but seeing the Philippines by Drone… Absolute winner.

Seeing the Philippines by Drone

Those deep blues never get old. It seemed like I was doing nothing but fly the drone, but I wasn’t getting tired of seeing these views.

Las Cabanas Beach, Palawan

Spend a few hours on this beach and wait out the beautiful sunsets.

Outrigger Boats, Boracay

A nation consisting of over 7,500 islands, boats are a pretty important part of everyday life.



Puka Beach, Boracay

The waves crashing on this beach were powerful. Chilling on a lounger listening to them was hypnotic.

Las Cabanas Beach, Palawan

Great place to spend your birthday 🎂

Isla Blanca, Taytay

Find yourself a private island and own it.

Sunset from 400ft

Waited a long time for the sun to eventually disappear over the horizon to reveal those last rays of sunlight.


Private beach from the top

Did I say it clearly enough? PRIVATE BEACH!

More Content from BeAdventurous

Of course there’s always more content somewhere on the internet. Check out our Youtube channel.

There you’ll find more episodes from our adventures, just like this one:

Journey through Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone, in West Africa, has suffered a lot in recent times. Torn apart several years ago by a bloody civil war, it emerged from internal conflicts in 2002 with the help of Britain, the former colonial power, and a large United Nations peacekeeping mission. Critically the country was only recently (7th November 2015) officially declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organisation. Any journey through Sierra Leone isn’t without its perils.

As a country on the mend after a long period of conflict and prolonged virus outbreak, Sierra Leone is a region of Africa not easily navigated, and only attempted by the few in the last 15 years. Its scars may be ever present but the beautiful and friendly people of the country are like no other.

Journey from the Capital

The journey from the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown had taken 3 hours by car to Makeni, 85 miles East of the capital. Staying overnight in Makeni, we had to make the decision to leave that day or the next to get to Kamakwie, another 4 hours drive north on a very ‘bumpy’ track in a 4×4.

We left that afternoon. This was probably, the wrong decision.

The journey through Sierra Leone in the light of day was okay. For the first part the road was fairly good- a shingle covered mud road. Our journey crossed some fast flowing rivers over narrow bridges, by this time the light had faded.

The driver stopped and passed his phone to me, it was one of the local staff suggesting we had left too late and should turn back – with the language barrier it was difficult to tell what he was saying, we pushed on.

We Pushed On

As the days light started to fade, the sky rapidly grew dark, that’s when the rain started.

Ahead of us we could see a huge weather front hanging over the bush, dark intimidating clouds with shocks of terrifying lightning smashing through them, and we were driving straight towards it.

Into the Storm

In an instant, we found ourselves in the middle of a tropical storm, rain smashed against the land rover. Visibility was almost impossible and we were surrounded by water.

It was at this moment, I recall the pitch darkness and the state of our chosen ‘road’ worsening and worsening. In and out of deep mud craters filling with water we went crashing and crunching around. Amazingly I thought to myself in disbelief, how has no water come into the car?

The bush crept in on the vehicle and soon we were forced to push bush and vegetation out of the way of our land rover. As the storm carried on, lightning was shooting down left and right of us, very close to the vehicle but still we ploughed on through the bush.

Soon we came to a slow run behind a large 4 ton truck carrying people in front of us. After a few moments, the lorry had subsided off the road with what looked like a river running down a hill in front of us.

In amongst the chaos, we managed to steal an eery half an hour stopped in the pitch black bush during a lull in the storm whilst people cleared a path ahead.

Eventually, we carried on, starting to climb hills with water pouring down the slopes, and lightning striking down at the road only about a hundred metres in front of us. I thought we might be struck by lightning and as a medic realising I would be the one who treated anyone, started to go through in my head what I might do with a casualty of this sort.

What could I do? It became clear to me with the lack of equipment, and being in the middle of the bush miles away from anything, that any effort would likely be completely hopeless.

Journey through Sierra Leone

By good luck alone, we made it to Kamakwie, and all these worries were not realised- thank goodness.

My only regret is that I did not take any photographs during the chaos. That regret stems from the sights I saw around me, which I have never seen the likes of before.

Finally though after hours of gruelling travel, here was where our work would start.

The next step of our journey through Sierra Leone would see us travel on dirt tracks through the bush towards Guinea and into the Tambaka region. There we would try to help the local population in the aftermath of an Ebola epidemic in the shadow of the previous civil war which still has left many marks on this country. 

Our journey was only just beginning.

More Information

For more information on Sierra Leone and it’s recent history, please refer to the BBC’s country profile. Click Here


Featured photo by Simon Davis/DFID (Creative Commons / Flickr)

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.


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