Who is Mike...?
As part of the Boundless Southern Africa Expedition 'Mike' arrived from the sky via parachute at the launch of the Boundless Southern Africa Expedition to deliver the scissors for Miss South Africa to cut the symbolic ribbon as well as at Boundless Soccer Challenges in Lesotho and Zimbabwe, flying in with soccer balls to the respective Ministers of Tourism and Environment to start Boundless Soccer Challenges.
Message from Mike Rumble:
It has been an honour, a privilege and a pleasure to have been part of the Kingsley Holgate-led "Boundless Southern Africa Expedition". This was a first of its kind journey to link and unite Nature, Culture and Community through nine Countries, seven Transfrontier Conservation Areas, more than thirty National Parks and Nature Reserves and most importantly the Communities living within or adjacent to these areas.
The expedition has helped keep the Peace Parks Foundation's vision of Transfrontier Conservation alive, mapped, photographed, filmed, documented, raised awareness for and opened up what we are confident has the potential to become accepted internationally as one of the greatest coast-to-coast 4x4 adventure routes in the world.
The responsibilities I undertook included the detailed route mapping and point of interest documentation (for Garmap), and expedition photography. I also sponsored and managed this expedition website and compiled a number of interactive 360x360 images at select visually incredible environments along the way.
The success of the Boundless Southern Africa Expedition would not have been possible without the generous support of both Kingsley Holgate's official sponsors and supporters and some select additional sponsors that supported my rolls on the expedition. With the support of sponsors and the provision of some specialist equipment I have fulfilled my roles on the expedition of route mapping and photography to the best of my abilities, efficiently, in style and comfort.
Thank you for your support, being part of this first of its kind expedition, and taking interest in the objectives off the expedition.
Peace and Regards
Equipment Utilised and Techniques Employed
There are a number of items of kit, technical points and a couple of techniques I used and employed that are worthy (in no particular order) of a mention:
Garmin Oregon 300 - used for all route planning, navigation, track logging, waypoint recording and for the wealth of other functionalities and information, the unit provides more than any one person will ever make use of. Waterproof and shockproof, with a colour touch screen, a superb car mounting bracket, a great carabineer belt clip or just hand held, shaded relief and detailed contour mapping, it is ideal for the bush. Garmin - You'll be Lost Without it.
Garmap - provision of detailed mapping, points of interest and contour data for the entire region explored by the Boundless Southern Africa Expedition. Garmap - Gets You There.
General Dynamics GoBook XR-1 "bomb proof" military spec laptop built for the real world (not just rugged - super rugged!). It has a touch screen that can be viewed in direct and bright sunlight (not just a claim!), it is dust proof and waterproof, and you can swing it from its handle, drop it and drive over it - all whilst its processor is running. With its built in GPS you can simulate a Garmin device (touch screen remember). A phenomenal top-spec laptop you use for everything you use a computer for in all conditions without any regard for its well-being. General Dynamics - High performance fully-rugged notebooks. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
SanDisk 8 Gig Micro SD Chips - were utilised for all backups. A minute percentage of the size of DVDs with twice the storage capacity, you can't scratch them and don't need a sensitive DVD burner. SanDisk - Innovative flash memory data storage products.
EvoSat BGAN Point and shoot, plug and play, use anywhere, connect in less than a minute to the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) and hassle free nice and fast Internet Access via a small Evosat Satellite Dish. This system works through the canvas roof of the vehicle and even thatched roofs. I used a 15 metre network cable so I could work inside while the BGAN dish sat outside in the cold and rain. www.Evosat.com - Voice and high-speed data connectivity.
Canon D5 - my current shooting weapon of choice. A 17-35 and a 28-300 lens, the 550EX Flash and a remote trigger. I made 9,382 shots with this baby over 102 days (shooting in RAW). A superb camera. Canon - You Can.
Camera Armor. Straight up, a rubber protective housing for the 5D (and most other camera bodies and models). It most definitely protects the camera from all the chaos happening around it... which on this expedition was lots. Camera Armor - Protection in Action.
Singer Photographic distributes a range of premium brands to the consumer electronic and imaging industries in South Africa. Singer Photographic
Canon Ixus 860is. As a professional photographer I find it amazing that so many of the images I shot on this expedition were made with this point and shoot digital pocket camera. The fact is it is 8 Megapixels, has a superb 28mm wide angle lens, optical image stabiliser, 3.8 x zoom, 3 inch viewing screen, works superbly well and continues to be on my person and quickly accessible at all times. A total of 4,251 images were shot with the Canon Ixus over 102 days. Canon - You Can.
Lowepro Nova 180 Shoulder Bag, everything in one place, over the shoulder, organized, accessible and protected. This particular Lowepro shoulder bag also fits perfectly into the Dryzone 200 Rucksack for the longer on foot legs where there is the risk of getting wet and dusty. Lowepro Nova 180 - Innovative carrying solutions for the imaging world.
Lowepro Dryzone 200 Rucksack - the airtight waterproof dustproof bottom section is obviously for the expensive camera equipment. Scooby snacks and bits in the top section, it also has a built in drinking water bladder. The Lowepro Nova 180 Shoulder Bag conveniently fits onetime perfectly in the Dryzone part of the Rucksack. Designed and made by people who know! Keeps the expensive kit completely dry and dust free. Lowepro Dryzone 200 - Innovative carrying solutions for the imaging world.
Manfrotto Tripod and Grip Head - quite simply because you will always need a good solid, smooth tripod, and that is exactly what Manfrotto make. Manfrotto - Proven Professional.
Gorilla Pod GP8 - The ultimate wrap it anywhere around anything instant stable camera platform that is forever faithful when the situation is too much for or too far away for a traditional tripod. The GP8 is the largest and strongest Gorilla Pod yet.Gorilla Pod GP8 - The go anywhere, do everything flexible tripod.
Dust-Off - propellant cleaner used to remove particulates and dust, 'Cos it gets dusty out there, really dusty! Dust-Off
Olympus Digital Dictaphone -I can't imagine how anyone could possibly document or remember hundreds of snippets of vital information, conversations, interviews, points of interest, way point details, thoughts, ideas, things to do etc… while on the constant move without a digital dictaphone. Olympus Digital Dictaphone.
Uniross NiMh Rechargeable Batteries - Save the planet, use recyclable batteries. Uniross batteries and chargers were utilised. Uniross - The Rechargeable Battery.
Auto Excellence kindly loaned me their pride and joy Short Wheel Base Land Rover Defender 90. A canvas topped Land Rover with much character and sex appeal. The real deal of expedition vehicles. Auto Excellence - Only sell vehicles that have experienced adventure and want more!
African Outback Products installed an Aluminum Box into the back of the LR90 that I could access the contents from the driver's seat. Inside was everything that I needed to keep safe and secure, dust free and dry. On top a useful tray for storing all manner of things. Lockable and, as a final touch nicely carpeted both inside and on the top section. African Outback products - are tested and designed in the harsh African bush.
4x4 Mega World installed a dual battery system in the LR90 in its own independent and self-contained box with a 220v power inverter mounted on top. The entire system could be unplugged, removed from the vehicle and used as an independent power source if power was not available where we were based if I needed to work through the night far from the vehicle. 4 X 4 Mega World - Complete Outdoor World.
Quechua 2 Second Tent - It says 2" Seconds XL on the side is truly is a no effort, set-up-in-seconds tent. The most spacious of its kind I can find (that's the XL part!). Essential when the last thing you want to do is spend time you don't have messing around with poles and clips and hooks and fly sheets and ropes - in the dark. Pop it out and either peg it down or place a rock in each end. Practice putting it away in private first though! Quechua 2" Seconds Tents - Contact details: email@example.com
Therm-a-Rest - the sleep on in comfort anywhere, self-inflating air mattress. No pump to inflate, no suck to deflate. Saves vital seconds and effort when all you want to do is lie down and sleep. Unbelievably comfortable and warm on almost any surface. Therm-A-Rest
RoboGuard Perimeter Security - Instant stick a pole in the ground, wireless, outdoor and portable perimeter security solution for the bush. With one RoboGuard an arc of 110 degrees and 20 meters in distance can be covered. This specific, portable camping solution was tried and tested on this expedition and is endorsed by Kingsley Holgate. RoboGuard Perimeter Security - The Instant, Wireless, Outdoor, Portable Perimeter Security Solution.
Merrell Footwear - has been my first choice for outdoor activity footwear for many years. In one phrase: "Merrells are luxury all-terrain activity extensions for the feet that seem to have been ergonomically developed to embrace the foot and provide a surround that enables a person to flow: over; up; down or sideways across any terrain or object". Merrell Let's Get Outside.
Buff - Neck warmer, beanie, scarf, sun blocker, messy hair cover, pull it up over your mouth when it's dusty, keep it on your wrist. An essential piece of kit for all weather conditions and situations. A rather dynamic and stylish piece of material that provides protection and comfort. Buff - The original multifunctional headwear garment.
BluEye EyeWear - my personal choice for the sports and activities I partake in. My Blueye Skydiving goggles were used by a couple of expedition members when a windscreen disintegrated and they were exposed to the elements whilst driving. I use different models and lenses for different activities and air speeds. Blueye Eyewear - Every type of Blueye Eyewear has been specially developed to meet the particular demands of a specific sport.
CapeStorm - Cape Storm provided functional, innovative and smart shirts of the highest quality for expedition members. CapeStorm - specialised apparel for the discerning outdoor enthusiast.
Gedore Tools - Without the right tools you might as well call Ghostbusters. A comprehensive set of high quality tools is a must for any expedition. A Gedore tool kit is just that. Gedore - Tools for Life.
Thanks to Sponsors and Supporters
The success of the expedition would not have been achievable to the level it has reached without the right combination of the right equipment, all of it up to the demands of the task at hand.
The support and contribution of specialist equipment enabled me to fulfill my roles on the expedition to the best of my abilities. I am most appreciative for the support received from the various elements that come together to make up the collective requirement to perform the task and to take such endeavours properly equipped, head on with confidence, in style and comfort.
The support received goes a long way to being part of the overall success of expeditions such as this high profile Boundless Southern Africa Expedition.
Special Thanks to the Holgate Family and all of the other Expedition Members and Supporters, The Boundless Adventure Cycling Team and Shaun Forster of Shaun's Power Cycles.
To Department of Environment and Tourism congratulations on the initiative, thanks for the support and organising and good luck going forwards with Boundless.
To everyone that assisted, hosted, supported, encouraged, welcomed, entertained, fed, promoted, covered, shot and reported on the Boundless Southern Africa initiative a huge thanks to all of you.
Mike At It!
Be sure to check out the updated Photolog galleries by clicking here.
Equipment In Action
Mike on YouTube
Delivery of Scissors