Saturday, August 13, 2011

Timberland Earthkeepers: Breaking in the Gear

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Ever since I obtained some gear from Timberland that I will be using for my upcoming trip to Inner Mongolia and Jiuzhaigou, I've been wanting to try bringing my jacket and boots out on a hike somewhere in Singapore. Not only was it a good way for me to get used to wearing them, I decided to take the opportunity to show off the items I received in the best possible way: with a little photoshoot.

After all, even though the items are entirely the same, why settle for this:

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When you can have this?

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And so, bearing this in mind, I headed out, dressed as if I was going out on a proper hike, half-finger gloves, camera, binoculars, backpack and all. My good friend, Wilfred, joined me as photographer.

The first place we visited was a stretch of seashore at Tanah Merah, where a nice patch of coastal forest grows.

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We had been in the vegetation for barely 5 minutes when we realised that we were attracting a lot of mosquitoes, with poor Wilfred bearing the brunt of the attacks. As a result, we decided to head to the shoreline instead, and see what photographic opportunities could be found there.

Such as this fallen tree, which I clambered over repeatedly as we tried to get the shots we desired.

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On the beach, closer to the water's edge, there were plenty of tiny sand bubbler crabs (Scopimera spp.). I tried to wait patiently for one to emerge from its burrow.

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The next place we went to was the Tampines Eco-Green, a corner of my neighbourhood that actually contains a lot of potential for great scenery, even if there are plenty of HDB blocks and a stretch of MRT tracks in the background.

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I love how there's this patch of greenery that has remained all these years; I used to live in one of the blocks just across the canal, and I am especially fond of this place, as I have explored parts of the forest on a few occasions, even before it was developed into a park.

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I indulged in some frivolous silliness. The silhouette of a kingfisher on the directional signs always makes me pause for a second, because my brain inevitably registers the shape of a live bird, before it realises that it's been duped yet again.

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Wilfred calls this the blatant product placement shot. Heh.

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There are quite a lot of marshy areas, providing a backdrop that is not often seen in other parks around Singapore.

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The unique bird-watching hides, built out of sticks and twigs, allowed us to get a little creative.

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My verdict after traipsing around a couple of familiar hiking spots? Naturally, the jacket is actually too thick to be worn on a typical sunny afternoon in Singapore, but I can definitely see how it will come in useful on the wind-swept plains of Inner Mongolia. Plus, it's waterproof, and can double up as a really snug and comfortable raincoat should I get caught in a downpour.

The boots are great on all sorts of terrain, including gravel, dirt track, long grass, and sand. Although my legs were tired at the end of the day, possibly because the boots felt heavier than my usual choice of footwear, fatigue had only really set in after I had spent the entire afternoon walking around.

I guess I'm ready to truly join the Timberland Earthkeepers in Inner Mongolia and Jiuzhaigou. I cannot even begin to describe just how excited I am about this whole adventure!

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