Year: 2012

Tips for Adventure Photography

By in Default Comments Off on Tips for Adventure Photography

Hello, my name is David Boswell.  While I am not a professional photographer, I am a serious amateur who has traveled throughout the world with Bio Bio and, hopefully can use that experience to help others navigate the complexities of traveling with camera gear. 

This article will deal with gear selection and airport issues I have encountered.  Here are some things to remember when planning what camera gear to bring. 

First, you may encounter regulations different than the US.  For example, internal flights in Argentina have a carry on weight limit of 8k, or about 18 lbs. 

Second, you need to be aware of the specifics and limitations of your particular trip.  On a recent trip to Africa I spent 4 days in the Okavango Delta of Botswana that involved flying on small planes that had strict luggage requirements with regards to weight and size. 

Third, you need to know what you will be photographing and what your goals are.  For example, on an African safari you will be photographing wildlife, frequently at a distance so a long lens is very important while on my trek to Everest Base Camp a wide angle lens and low weight are more important.

First, let me talk about gear selection then I will touch on packing and airport issues.  I start with my base setup that I always take and work from there:

1.      24-105mm f/4 lens: 1.5 lbs
2.     70-200mm f/2.8 lens: 3.5 lbs
3.     Camera body either 5D or 7D: 1.8 lbs
4.     Flash: 0.8 lbs
5.     Extra batteries/charger/filters 0.5 lbs

As you can see, I already have 8 lbs and I will typically take my tripod and ballhead which then adds another 5 lbs, bringing me to 13 lbs.  Now, from this list I then add-on based on what I need with the options including

– 2nd camera body,
– 100-400mm lens at 3 lbs,
– 2nd flash,
– remote trigger for flash,
– off camera bracket for flash,
– extra filters,
– 1.4x & 2x teleconverters 0.5/0.7 lbs.,
– Epson P-7000 160Gb Photoviewer 1.5 lbs, etc.

As you can see, taking everything gets quite heavy, 30+ lbs not including the pack/case, as well as being fairly bulky.

For Nepal, there was no reason to bring my 100-400mm lens since I would be mostly shooting vast landscapes in the Himalayas and street scenes in Kathmandu.  On a recent trip to Africa, I definitely brought my 100-400mm, my 7D (better for wildlife and action than the 5D), and the 1.4x teleconverter since I would be shooting wildlife at varying distances. 

While I can’t tell you exactly what to take, I can advise you to look at what you are shooting and the likelihood you will need a particular piece of equipment to get a meaningful shot while balancing that with the trip constraints. 

Those of you not using pro lenses will have a much easier time as your lenses aren’t nearly as bulky or heavy.

There are 2 main factors when looking at what you will be carrying your camera outfit in: How will you be moving around on your trip (trekking, vehicles, boats, etc.) and getting through airports.  I have found that a camera backpack seems to work best.  I pack my tripod and ballhead in my checked bag but the rest of the camera gear I carry on. 

While I can’t tell you what brand or pack to use, I can say the Clik Elite has some nice packs but they are heavy and if you have a small waist the hip belt is too big with their one-size-fits-all sizing.  I also like LowePro as they have many options. 

The main piece of advice I can give you here is to keep it as small and compact as possible while still being able to safely pack and protect your expensive equipment.  My pack was weighed and had to check it in Argentina because it was a bigger pack and caught their attention.  I have never had a smaller unobtrusive pack weighed.  While it is rare, I have had to open the pack at times and show the gear at security so the pack contents should be accessible.  In countries other than the US I have almost universally had to take my tablet out and put it through security separately so have that easily accessible also.
You may also join me on Facebook and Youtube by searching DBoswell Photography.

Alex Nicks and high water Zambezi

By in Raft The Zambezi River Comments Off on Alex Nicks and high water Zambezi

Long time Bio Bio guide Alex Nicks talks about running the Zambezi at record high water, solo! 

Most people will have seen footage of the Zambezi and it’s
famous huge volume pool drop rapids. 
Of the many facets that makes the river so special a significant one is
its variation in flow. Victoria Falls is Approximately mid way through the
2500km course of the Zambezi and with natural flows rising during the rainy
season or ebbing during the dry season. This means that over 12 months the
White Water section below the Falls is always either rising or falling with a
vertical cycle of over 8 metres in some places in the gorge.

The result is that the world famous run occurs at the low
ebb of this cycle but as rains bring it up the upper section (rapids 1-10)
become commercially un-runnable. There are two reasons for this. Mainly because
the pools disappear and the raging, thunderous volume of water causes huge
boils and whirlpools that would swallow rafts and paying clients. Specifically
because the level means that the one portage (rapid no 9) can now no longer be
portaged. Putting in at rapid 1 commits you to a class 5+(++) rapid.

It can however be run by a kayak. And after finding myself
in the Zimbabwe for a shoot it’s too hard to pass up a run on this upper
section. Unfortunately I can’t find any one to go with me. Most of the river
staff are working in other countries as the commercial rafting is closed due to
the level and the locals are perhaps just too wise.

It’s always a dilemma deciding to solo. But sometimes
opportunities like being next to the Zambezi are just too good to pass up,
curiosity outweighs wisdom and I know this section too. So on the 18th
July I put in at rapid one on my own. The Porters who carried my boat in wish
me luck and wander off squabbling over the fist full of Kwatcha notes I’ve
given them.  I know their look,
they can’t quite work out if I’m mad but they’ve seen me here before so are
expectant that they’ll at least earn some more money carrying my boat out of
the gorge at the take out.

These huge flows mean I can’t even see the falls as I push
away from the boiling pot as spray 350ft high drifts though from the cascade to
the head of rapid one. It’s a quick hop across the cushion wave at rapid one
and I’m on my way, buoyed in confidence by the feel of the warm water across my
face and the rainbow formed by the mist from the falls. There are major hurdles
along this run, rapids 5, 7, the narrows at 7and a half, but at every stage of
this run Rapid 9, the commercial portage is at the back of my mind. If getting
there is a challenge, then certainly rapid 9 is the gauntlet.

It’s clichéd, but life is nothing without taking risks and
finding challenges. And none are more valuable than calculated risks based on
years of skill, experience and the odd arse kicking. Today I run Solo but I’m
with everything I ever leaned, I’m carrying all the confidence from years of
paddling with a huge array of paddlers on diverse runs around the world. Today
we’ll find out if that’s worth anything.

To see how it went …watch the footage from my head cam on
the short film ‘Solo’ at

Princeton Alumni Association, Annapurna Circuit and Sarah Ferris

By in The Himalaya Comments Off on Princeton Alumni Association, Annapurna Circuit and Sarah Ferris

Bio Bio
Expeditions,  Princeton Journeys
Alumni Association  & Bodhi
Tree Foundation with Sarah Ferris.

Not long
after giving birth to two beautiful children and “settling down” in Truckee,
California, Sarah Ferris realized that she is not really the stay at home
type.   In 2006, Sarah &
her husband (Mark Ferris) decided it was time to start traveling again so they
took their 2 & 4 year old daughters on a 16-day trek around the Annapurna
Circuit in Nepal.   Shortly
after returning from that trip, Sarah & Mark co-founded a small non-profit
organization, Bodhi Tree Foundation (BTF), which promotes and supports
Maternal-Child Health Projects in the hidden Himalayas of Humla, Nepal.  BTF provides safe motherhood
educational classes, clean delivery kits and pre/postnatal vitamins.  Sarah’s passion for helping the women
of Humla stems from her experience as a Labor & Delivery and Postpartum
Nurse and the seven months that she and her husband spent living and working in
Humla in 2000.  You can learn more
about Bodhi Tree Foundation at:

she is in Nepal, Sarah usually spends most of her time in Humla, overseeing BTF
projects and working as a Trekking Guide but she also loves traveling to other
regions throughout the country. This spring she went to Annapurna Base Camp
with a Princeton Journeys Alumni Association group as the Head Trekking Guide
for Bio Bio Expeditions. This was an amazing group and a beautiful trek!  Bio Bio organized a unique trekking
experience that included not only breathtaking scenery, culture and camaraderie
but also impressive and highly educational daily lectures on high-altitude
medicine and geology by some of the world’s most knowledgeable professors. This
led to stimulating conversation on every step of the trail all the way up to
4130 meters! The trip was a huge success and everyone was able to complete the
entire trek, including a truly inspiring woman with Parkinson’s disease.  This was the trip of a lifetime and is
highly recommended for everyone!


Where in the World is Bio Bio Expeditions?

By in Guides Comments Off on Where in the World is Bio Bio Expeditions?

It is no secret that Co-Founders and owners of Bio Bio Expeditions Worldwide, Marc Goddard and Laurence Alvarez-Roos, have lived an adventurous life.  Where in the world do two men who’s drug of choice is adrenaline, lifelong passion is thrilling whitewater rafting and kayaking, and home away from home is on the spectacular Futaleufu River in Chile, find suitable to call home here in the USA?  It is none other than the “Jewel of the Sierras”, breathtaking Lake Tahoe!  

Truckee California, Marc and Laurence home, is a small town with a great deal to offer these two adventure seekers that grew up only three hours away in the San Francisco Bay area of California.  Truckee offers all four distinct seasons, and is situated about 15 minutes from Lake Tahoe.  The Lake Tahoe area is well known as a winter destination that boasts 7 world-class ski resorts, including one of our favorites- Squaw Valley.  This is where you will often find Marc and Lars, when they are not rafting with clients on the Fu!  Squaw Valley was the home of the 1960 winter olympic games, which brought the mountain resort into the spotlight.  

In winter, there are plenty of outdoor pursuits to enjoy around Lake Tahoe, on blue bird and powder days alike.  From alpine skiing and cross country skiing, to hardcore back country skiing, you will find plenty of fun in winter.  BUT… with rivers rushing, and temperatures nearing the mid-70’s; Summer is Calling!  We wanted to share the paradise you will find in the Lake Tahoe area during the summer- what really draws us to this beautiful place!  

In summer you will find kite surfers, kayakers, and stand up paddle boarders enjoying the lake, and plenty of lakeside beaches perfect for a day of fun with family and friends! The Bio Bio family spreads far and wide, and it is not unusual to find a Bio Bio lakeside barbecue going on with folks from several different countries, sharing a fantastic meal Bio Bio style (with plenty of libations)!  You will also find miles and miles of world class mountain biking, and some of the most challenging single track in the states.  

Even with all of this to experience around the lake, some of the best whitewater in the country can be found within an easy drive from Truckee…the REAL reason you will find Bio Bio Expedtions here in Lake Tahoe!  Within 2 hours of Truckee California you will find an endless choice of amazing class V creeks and rivers right in our backyard, including the South Yuba, North Yuba, North Fork American, South Fork American and many others. There is also a whitewater play park just 30 minutes away in Reno.  

It’s pretty tough to glue Marc and Lars to their seats here at the Bio Bio office, and with all Tahoe has to offer, who can blame them!  But if you ever find yourself in the area, please look us up and lets go paddle and have some fun!  Have a fantastic summer- you know we will! 

-From all of your friends at Bio Bio Expeditions

Awakening the Soul – Futaleufu Yoga Retreat

By in Futaleufu Comments Off on Awakening the Soul – Futaleufu Yoga Retreat

    Awaken your soul in the
heart of Patagonia!  A 9 day
immersion into deep yogic practice featuring 3 of the Lake Tahoe areas most beloved yoga
teachers, delicious organic cuisine, our beautiful riverside adventure camp,
incredible heart opening adventure activities, our amazing staff of guides, and the prana of Patagonia – This will
be a yoga retreat like no other!  As one of the premiere adventure travel companies in the world, we
are delighted to offer a yoga retreat at our signature destination in southern
Chile.  The Futaleufu River is the
place where we discovered and developed that magical alchemy of adventure,
rivers, culture, camaraderie, and unique touches that have come to represent
who we are at Bio Bio Expeditions. 
Blending a yoga retreat into our signature trip will truly unite
everything we stand for and will be the Yoga Adventure of a Lifetime! For more information please visit the following link –

January 9th – January 17th

Featuring the following Yoga Teachers –

– Shari grew up in St. Louis, MO and found yoga in 1995.  Yoga has been her faithful tool and “friend”
ever since!  Her first teacher
training, at the Nosara Institute in Costa Rica in 2002, confirmed that Shari
was on a spiritual quest.  Being a
passionate student, and wanting to learn as much as she could, she did
subsequent teacher trainings in Ashtanga with David Swenson, Maya Yoga with
Eddie Modestini and Nikki Doane, and a year of training at the prestigious
Iyengar Institute in San Francisco. 
After a 100 hour immersion into Anusara she found the style that most
expresses the joy and gratitude in her heart.  She has almost finished her Anusara teacher training with
Abby Tucker.  Besides yoga, Shari
is a passionate outdoorswoman with rock climbing and skiing being two of her
sports loves.  Shari is an
inspiring, graceful teacher who has committed to helping people dedicate
themselves to a daily yoga/meditation practice.  She gets so much joy watching the shift in others when they
commit to a daily practice.  Shari
is also the mother of a beautiful 4 year old daughter.  She warmly invites you to learn and
grow on this retreat and looks forward to providing you with guidance, support,
and strength in your practice.

– Shaelah is the founder and director of Yoga Studio Tahoe. She is known for her
transformational Bhakti style yoga classes. Her deep devotion, wisdom, and
energy are evident in all her classes and are uplifting to all.  Shaelah
has been committed to sharing the gift of yoga since 2000 when she did her
first teacher training. She has been blessed to study with some of the
world’s best teachers including Janet Stone, Baron Baptiste, Rusty Wells,
Bikram, Stephanie Snyder, and Dharma Mittra. She has over 1200 hours of
certified yoga training. Shaelah discovered her passion for yoga after
traveling the world as a professional skier. Yoga not only healed her injuries,
but took her on a journey far beyond anything she could have imagined. She
leads workshops and teacher training’s all around the world, including the
Wanderlust Festival, and bases herself in Tahoe for her love of skiing and the
lake. Shaelah’s yoga classes are designed to open your heart and transform your
life. They are vigorous, playful, full of sweat, sweet beats, and incorporate devotional
chants.  She is very excited to
bring all these elements to the Patagonia Yoga Adventure in January, 2013.

– Emily is the owner of Summit Lotus Yoga studio in the heart of the Sierra. Emily’s heart opening classes are inspired from over 15
years of experience in bodywork, meditation, wilderness therapy/ psychology,
guiding trips on rivers and mountains all over North and Central America, as
well as study and practice in various forms of yoga lineages along the journey.
 In her teachings, Emily’s deep connection to nature shines as she invites
you to go inside and surrender more fully to your natural rhythm of breath. 
As a competitive snowboarder and Class 5 whitewater kayaker, Emily knows how to
find stillness even in the most adrenaline filled moments.  On the Patagonia Yoga Adventure Emily’s
yoga classes will help you connect even more deeply to your wild nature and the
beauty of nature around you.

Social media – Brave New world!

By in Hot off the Press Comments Off on Social media – Brave New world!

We are excited to see you all connect before your adventure and use this fun medium to stay in touch, share fotos after the trip!  If you have fun ideas how to do this, we are all ears! stay tuned!…. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  : here we come!!