1. Páramo Halcon jacket - £330
Field-tested by outdoor photographers and wildlife cameramen, this jacket offers premium all-weather protection and more pockets than a pool table. The Nikwax Analogy Waterproof fabric and generous cut allow for easy, rustle-free movement, while a fleece-lined collar and hand-warmer pockets, a wire-rimmed hood and reinforced shoulders offer enhanced comfort.
2. Manfrotto 290 Xtra Carbon tripod - £195
Telephoto lenses are hard to hold over extended periods, but a tripod will ease the burden. Manfrotto’s 290 Xtra leg set is a versatile upgrade option, being a lightweight 1.5kg, but able to support a payload of up to 5kg. It can get down low for ground-level shooting, too. Here we’ve twinned it with a Manfrotto XPRO Ball Head in magnesium with a 200PL quick-release plate (£114.95).
3. Leica Ultravid 8x32 HD-Plus binoculars - £1,350
To get close to nature, you need to be able to spot it in the first place. Yes, these bins are pricey, but you get what you pay for in terms of optics and build quality. The rubberised shell protects your investment as well as offering grip in the wet, while fluoride lenses and Schott HT glass prisms ensure brightness and crisp contrast.
4. Canon EOS 7D Mark II - £1,300
With a durable magnesium-alloy body and weather-sealed controls, the EOS 7D Mark II is right at home in the great outdoors. A flexible, responsive 65-point autofocus system and a blistering shooting speed of up to ten frames per second mean it can easily capture fast-moving critters. Alternatively, take advantage of its 60p Full HD movie recording to capture nature in slow-mo.
5. Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Sport lens - £1,600
When you can’t get physically close to the animals and birds you’re trying to photograph, you need a long lens that can effectively ‘pull them in’. This 150-600mm ‘hyper-zoom’ hits the sweet spot between price and performance, offering excellent optical quality, a dust- and splash-proof design, and a new accelerometer-driven Optical Stabiliser to reduce unwanted blur.
6. Lowepro Whistler BP 350 AW backpack - £257
When it comes to schlepping your kit in the wilderness, a backpack beats a traditional shoulder bag every time. This one blends comfort with capacity, and boasts a detachable All Weather AW Cover to shrug off rain and snow, along with a hinged back, giving you access to gear without having to expose the pack’s full innards to the elements.
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