From Big Cats to Silver Voles in Mongolia

I’ve been wearing Páramo gear for several years now and it has seen me through lots of different situations. Working as a wildlife camera operator, you’re exposed to all the elements, so the flexibility and choice in the Páramo range has been really helpful. I’m often working at either end of the day, starting out before sunrise and finishing after sunset. Even in warmer countries these times of day can be pretty brutal, so I’m a big fan of layering! The Páramo gear easily allows this.

Last May, I was filming Pallas’s cats on the Mongolian Steppe and while some days the temperature reached the high 30s, there could be gusting winds howling through When I’m sitting still behind a stone hide, I need to keep that wind out. I would often layer up in the mornings with a baselayer, the Alize Fleece and the Zefira windproof jacket, which I could easily peel off as the temperature rose.

One of the issues when concentrating on filming is I don’t think too much about where I put my clothes when I do get too warm – and really, why would I when I’m in the middle of the Mongolian Steppe without a soul near me, I’m surrounded by nature…and herein lies the problem; some of the wildlife become curious, so much so that they take to nibbling at my gear and as the photo shows, they chew right through. I wasn’t expecting to have to keep an eye out for silver voles as well, albeit for other reasons than filming them!

Another item I won’t leave camp without is my Páramo Poncho because, even if I don’t need any more protection, it’s a great cover for my camera when any unexpected rain turns up. That poncho has seen some sights and is probably overdue a clean – there is still a faint smell of penguin carcass from a shoot in Patagonia. Oh the glamorous life of wildlife filmmaking!

It is great to see Páramo evolving and responding to the needs of the wearer with more imaginative styling, without sacrificing the effectiveness of the materials. For my profession, you are often in need of a whole range of items and the Páramo gear integrates perfectly into my clothing tool kit. There is a comfortable practicality that I have come to rely on, so it will always be joining me on shoots.

Sue Gibson
A freelance camera operator since 2008, Sue’s most recent credits include over 100 days in the field filming for BBC Big Cats – Pallas’s cats in Mongolia, fishing cats in Bangladesh, caracals and cheetahs in Namibia and pumas in Patagonia. Follow her on twitter @smgibson15

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