I made it! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be so that means that anyone can do it.
There were a few days when I wasn’t so keen on going out, mostly due to the weather, negative something degrees with wind or being really tired. But as soon as I got out, poof, the negative feeling was gone.
A while ago I apparently lost/misplaced my Patagonia Torrentshell rain jacket somewhere, I can’t find it. If you know where it is please let me know 🙂
Fortunately for me when I realized this the Patagonia Alpine Houdini jacket was on sale, 50% off so I instantly grabbed it. As you might know I already own the Patagonia Houdini jacket and it’s a jacket that I like a lot. The difference between the two is that the Houdini is a windbreaker and the Alpine Houdini is a “lightweight emergency rain shell”. Emergency rain shell really translates into that the jacket will (probably – not yet tested) withstand a heavy downpour but not prolonged sessions of rain unlike the Torrentshell that will take everything you throw at it (10,000mm- vs 20,000mm water column – waterproof rating).
As with every rain jacket out there you’ll eventually get wet anyway so for me this is not really an issue. Compared to the Torrentshell the Alpine Houdini is also much lighter which is nice, saving me about 160g of weight (345g vs 184g).
The only thing that I’m a little disappointed about is that they went “stupid light” with the front zipper. This is only a normal YKK-zipper with no extra taped seams or anything just a storm flap on the inside. When I read reviews of the jacket this is where most people complain that it’ll leak through for the most part, no big surprise there. But since I haven’t tested it myself I can’t comment on this.
Zipper storm flap and membrane. On the right you can see the only pocket on the jacket that doubles as a stuff sack.
Size medium, Classic Navy. I’m 176cm, 65kg.
Highly water-resistant woven nylon shell, with laminate membrane and DWR (durable water repellent) finish holds a 10,000mm water column
Taped seams throughout entire garment
Full-zip hooded jacket has minimal interior storm flap and single-pull adjustable, helmet-compatible hood that rolls down and stows
Zippered, interior left chest pocket doubles as self-stuff pouch with streamlined shape and carabiner clip-in loop
Elasticized cuffs and a minimal single-pull adjustable drawcord hem seal out weather
1.5-oz 20-denier 100% nylon ripstop shell, with a waterproof/breathable membrane and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
Having a GoPro Hero3+ Black and comparing it to my Contour cameras the audio out of the box is anything but good. Quite sad as the camera otherwise is great…
As I want to use it for when I’m out and about I needed a solution for audio that meant not bringing something big and bulky like my Rode Videomic Pro. I Googled a lot and found this small mic from Edutige, ETM-001. The mic is omni directional which means that it’ll pick up audio basically from all directions. And it’s a stereo mic. Some will probably argue that it’s better with a shotgun-like microphone as the audio is only picked up from the direction that the mic is facing, hence removing a lot of background noice. And there are microphones for that too in the same size as the ETM-001.
As the new GoPro’s don’t have a 3.5mm jack anymore like the Hero2 you need a adapter cable for it to work that connects via mini-USB. I didn’t want the mic to just be hanging from the camera body I needed something to hold it in place. At first my plan was to glue it to the GoPro Frame and/or the waterproof body but then I couldn’t use it stand-alone with the camera or if it breaks you’ll have to replace it and that will be quite hard so that plan went out the window. I tried a few different places before I saw that the USB-adapter had a part that wasn’t flat but rather rounded where the 3.5mm jack could be glued and fixed in to place.
This is the final result! Works like a charm! I want to get a deadcat (windscreen) for the mic too but I guess that will be a problem. I don’t want anything showing up in the bottom left corner of the picture. I haven’t tried every video setting but 1080p works but 2.7k wide shows the windscreen. I guess that if I don’t use it the problem will be solved. However I nearly ever shoot in 2.7k wide other than for timelaps and stuff where I don’t need sound so for me that’s not an issue. If this is not the case for you then this particular mod won’t work. If you place your adapter so that it’s aligned with the USB-plug it won’t be seen in 1080p at least.
Made a short timelaps where you can see the mic in the bottom left corner of the screen in 2.7k wide.
Here’s a short video in 1080p and you can see a little bit of the windscreen at the bottom. So if I just make a small adjustment on the image crop it won’t be there and I won’t be loosing much of the picture anyway. If you make yours so that it’s aligned with the USB-plug you won’t have my issue. I bought 3 of these USB-adapters so if I get annoyed with this I’ll just make a new one. You can find them really cheap on eBay like four dollars a piece, just follow the link above. Make sure to buy the one that’s not a 90 degree angle USB-adaptor because that one is all flat on the USB-plug and gluing the 3.5mm jack to it will be harder, but not impossible.
Looking through all my test footage I can see that I don’t have this issue with the windscreen showing in all my videos. I guess that the windscreen just came of the mic just a little sometimes. But like I suggested, glue it so that it sits aligned with the USB-plug and you’ll be just fine!
Having two kids of my own I find Mikael quite nuts or to be a true adventurer. 🙂
I have just spent one of the coldest winters in my life. I was fully dressed both on the inside of the Victorian house and outside. This is Moss Side 2014, Manchester, England. It is one of Europes poorest areas, but one of the most diverse and vibrant. Not at all the England I expected. To find out more about contemporary England, I am walking 600 km to London with my daughter in a stroller. And a local girl from Bolton, Georgia.
If you haven’t heard about Mikael before you should check out a few of his other trailers on YouTube and see if you could watch one of his documentaries. I think I saw one of his adventures, the one when he walks across Yemen. It was shown on Swedish television about a year or so ago I think.
“You´ll die. Or get kidnapped by Al Qaeda. What you want to do is impossible!”
That is what all experts, analysts and the Yemenis themselves told me. But I have done the impossible. I have made my way into what many say is one of the most difficult countries in the world to enter, and one of the most dangerous. Together with the Swedish journalist, Tanya Holm, Kensington the Camel and a few of the oldest inhabitants of Arabia, the Bedus, I have traveled through one of the hottest deserts on earth. We didn´t meet any terrorists, religious extremists and nobody got killed. I didn´t even feel any serious fear.
What we found during this adventurous walk, in our search of the real Arabia, was a Middle Eastern country very different from the one portrayed in the global media.
Teaming up with Greenpeace and DDB in Paris to help raise awareness of the growing disappearance of honey bees, this short film was produced and animated at WOODBLOCK with support by our friends at Soilfilms.
This is well worth a watch and some thoughts… The footage is awesome too so you get two things at once 🙂