The Wild Within

Using our experience from thousands of miles of backpacking The Dusty Camel works as gear consultation for The Wild Within on The Travel Channel.

We prepare teams of producers, crew and cameramen for just about everything. From the snowy Scottish Highlands to the hot and humid Amazonian jungles of Guyana, South America. We know they need reliable gear for a spectrum of climates and filming situations.

During consultation we need to take into consideration a wealth of factors for planning each shoot, down to the last sock. First we look at average temperatures, precipitation, humidity, altitude and wind speed. Next, we factor in how the shoot will be performed. Will the crew be on the move for the length of the shoot, or will they have a base camp close by they can return to each night?

General climate and crew movement are the largest factors to providing an appropriate gear-comfort ratio. Just like backpacking, if they are on the move we recommend they stick with down products that are easily compressible and light, waterproof shells from Mountain Hardwear/Patagonia and boots with rigid soles, without insulation. If it is a more static shoot that is in a cold climate, we recommend insulated boots, heavy layered jacket systems and lots of handwarmers!

The show features adventure, hunting and lots of food porn. What it takes to capture these diverse scenes are processes as varied as the climates they work in. Waiting for hours on a hunt in knee high snow is extremely different than capturing the preparation for a traditional feast by campfire. However, even with the differences between shoot days we have a few mandatory gear recommendations.

1. Synthetic, or wool - When on hunting scenes, the crew goes from being active to being stationary. One of the benefits of wool is that it regulates temperature better, allowing you to stay warm when you want to be, but not as much when you don't need it.

2. Polartech glove liners- these give the perfect balance between comfort, warmth, and quick drying. While they aren't wind proof they do offer a good amount of protection. Since they are close to the skin, you have uninhibited use of your hands and fingers. For those super cold days, they slide in regular loves like a charm.

3. Layers, layers, layers! From the lightest layer situations that comprise of a Patagonia M10, Cap 1 and a Mountain Hardwear Wicked light t-shirt to the heaviest layering system with a cap-3, 800-fill down and Mountain Hardwear Optimo shell you need layers. Each day adjusts and so should you.

Follow the adventure (and all the great gear) on The Wild Within, premiering January 9th at 9pm, only on The Travel Channel.

- Andy