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Thread started 04 Apr 2006 (Tuesday) 16:22
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Suggestions for beanbag for Africa trip?

 
condyk
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Apr 05, 2006 16:01 |  #16

judyg wrote:
Can anyone recommend a beanbag that would be practical to pack and easy to use?

I was 18 months over there travelling and really the sand idea is good only if you have your own vehicle to leave it in, otherwise you are carrying around a big heavy thing all the time, to and fro from hire vehicle to accommodation, or having to empty it and fill it. Hassle :rolleyes: Also, if you're swinging the camera around in a confined space, esp with other people in a game drive situation (most of whom have no real interest in photography) then it's inconvenient because of the weight.

I spent a lot of time in Namibia which has plenty of sand :lol: but it's just not worth the trouble in my experience, even drivinmg just the two of us in our own vehicle. I could have easily used it but the beads and Pod worked perfectly so why throw out a convenient solution for something that is more like harder work? Very easy to screw a Pod into the tripod mound and even walk around with it attached.

Putting sand in a ziploc plastic bag is not based on reality. Wouldn't last the pace for most people.


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ScottE
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Apr 05, 2006 19:06 as a reply to  @ post 1368568 |  #17

condyk wrote:
Yeah, to save £10 I'm really going to spend time making a beanbag and then go looking for rice or dry heavy sand when I arrive :lol: :lol: I've got better things to do. But for those that want to then it's a good suggestion.

Who said you have to buy a bean bag. I'm sure you can find one to buy for a lot more than £10 if you try hard enough.

So you are going to get right off the plane and hand yourself over immediately to a safari operator? Take a day or two to look around and see a bit of Africa instead of just the tourist spots the tour company will show you. You might even learn to slow down and enjoy Africa. I always take time to go to store to pick up some bottled water, snack food and a small bag of rice. I have had some very pleasant interchanges with Africans while doing a bit of shopping. There is more to Africa than getting bumped around in the back of a 4x4.




  
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condyk
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Apr 06, 2006 02:21 as a reply to  @ ScottE's post |  #18

ScottE wrote:
So you are going to get right off the plane and hand yourself over immediately to a safari operator? Take a day or two to look around and see a bit of Africa instead of just the tourist spots the tour company will show you. You might even learn to slow down and enjoy Africa. I always take time to go to store to pick up some bottled water, snack food and a small bag of rice. I have had some very pleasant interchanges with Africans while doing a bit of shopping. There is more to Africa than getting bumped around in the back of a 4x4.

:rolleyes: I assume you're talking to me rather than the OP. Yes, thanks for that tip. I'll remember it next time. I should have slowed down and even spoken to some of those Africans eh while I was living there all that time. I never though of buying anything from a 'shop'. Gosh, thanks a lot, really. Great tip! All those pleasant interchanges I missed. Darn. As to getting bounced around I did that a couple of times, for the 18 months I was there I drove my own 4x4. Maybe it makes a difference to the sand/rice debate. I doubt it. Do what works and if rice works for you then do it. Don't forget you can always eat the rice or give it away when you've finished with it, as we know.


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Az2Africa
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Apr 26, 2006 08:23 |  #19

Scott and Condyk are right. Slow down and enjoy the people as well as he scenery. I have lived in Africa and still return every year. This year it's Botswana Oct.1st ! I still take an small empty zip-up bag and buy rice at a local store.Sand is not a bad idea if it has not been raining. I may cook the rice later, but usually give it away. Self drive is the way to go if you are a reasonably experienced traveller.


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blackviolet
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Apr 26, 2006 09:41 |  #20

i had a bag that i intended to use for rice/peas/sand, but i ended up using a rolled up windbreaker on the first day. after that, i generally just hand-held a majority of my shots (bigma on 1dmk2) as i was leaning out of the vehicle most of the time. given that the drives are very early in the am or very late in the afternoon, they turned out very well.

edit: i had my monopod with me on my safari, but found it way too restrictive in the vehicle. it was great on foot.


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turski
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Apr 26, 2006 10:13 as a reply to  @ post 1368791 |  #21

Completely agree with taking a beanbag empty and filling it out there... easy..

I have done a few safaris and the one thing I always take is a monopod... doesnt have to be expensive, and dont b other with a head, and very good with that lens. I have had many uses from a monopod in the bush .. including using it out of the car window.. sounds daft but really works... and a proper tripod I find impractical.

By the way... where in Africa are you going?




  
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Cathpah
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Apr 26, 2006 20:35 |  #22

i am one of the more frugal people i know, but these suggestions to make sure you go shopping for beans/rice or filling a sock with dirt sound ridiculous to me.

How much money are you spending to go on the safari of a lifetime?! a lot...and it will be worth every penny (I was in tanzania a few years back). but to spend time worrying/shopping for beanbag stuff is just silly. spent the couple of bucks and get the best darn beanbag you can get. these will be some of the best photographic opportunities of your life....don't risk it or lose any technical advantage that a real beanbag may give you to save a couple of bucks.

oh, and if you get the chance go on a hot air balloon ride there. I went on a sunset hot air balloon ride that ended in a champagne breakfast on white tableclothes in the middle of the serengeti (and to think, I was only 17 at the time, certainly didn't appreciate it as much as I should've/could've). I even saw a lion kill from up in the balloon. definitely one of the top 5 experiences of my life.


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blackviolet
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Apr 26, 2006 21:12 |  #23

i think the main reasons for filling it there are a) weight and b) customs and organic materials such as rice, beans, etc.
on my safari, we were limited to 15 kg per person of luggage on the charter plane. i carried on my camera and a few lenses. i had my monopod in my luggage.
i totally agree that this will be the OP's trip of a lifetime and definitely not worth skimping if it means not having the best opportunity to get shots.


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judyg
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Apr 26, 2006 22:40 as a reply to  @ turski's post |  #24

turski wrote:
Completely agree with taking a beanbag empty and filling it out there... easy..

I have done a few safaris and the one thing I always take is a monopod... doesnt have to be expensive, and dont b other with a head, and very good with that lens. I have had many uses from a monopod in the bush .. including using it out of the car window.. sounds daft but really works... and a proper tripod I find impractical.

By the way... where in Africa are you going?

I'm going to Botswana.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.




  
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Az2Africa
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Apr 26, 2006 23:14 |  #25

When will you be in Botswana? I will be there from Oct 1st thru the 16th. Maybe the ultimate POTN meet-up !!
As far as the poster who said filling the bag there is rediculous for the trip of a lifetime.Maybe he is right. But the advice came from a number of very experienced travellers including myself (85 countries, some of them many times), so I think we know what we are doing. Or maybe to me it's just another exciting trip.


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ScottE
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Apr 26, 2006 23:27 |  #26

Maybe some of us make more than one trip in a lifetime.

This time I'm headed for Uganda in August. We have pre-booked our gorilla trekking (there are only 12 places a day available and many of them go to the organized tours). Other than that it is self travel, probably taking in a bit of Kenya and/or Tanzania




  
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Az2Africa
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Apr 26, 2006 23:35 |  #27

We went to see the Gorillas last year. ( the nkaringo group). If it's your first time there, be sure to exercise a lot before going. The altitude is about 2,200+meters and it can be pretty exhausting. I had been sick 2 days before we did the gorilla trek and really needed to keep hydrated just to get through it.
P.S. Be sure to tip the guides and rangers. It means a lot to them.I've seen those who don't and they should be ashamed of themselves. You are going to have an experience of a lifetime!!


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turski
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Apr 27, 2006 02:18 as a reply to  @ judyg's post |  #28

judyg wrote:
I'm going to Botswana.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.


Botswana... fantastic, my opinion is that its the best country to go to. I have been there alot and have worked for a safari company for a while... I will be there from 1st June to 3rd August.

Are you going on a self drive or doing to a lodge?... if you need any advice on where to go exactly I would be happy to help as my girlfriend runs an operation in Maun and really knows her stuff.

Roger




  
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judyg
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Apr 27, 2006 08:40 |  #29

I'll be there in late August - the 2 weeks before Labor Day. Staying in some nice lodges. I will be getting a bean bag and filling it there.




  
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Suggestions for beanbag for Africa trip?
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