Wetland hide – MrJan Gear
A hide designed for wet and challenging conditions. Commercially sold hides usually lack a decent floor or the bottom is not made from good quality. Many photographers have proceeded to built their own hides, since there are no suitable ones to buy. Not everyone has the intrest, time and/or skills to build their own tents – this is where commercial hides come to aid. Designing and buildind a hide usually lead to compromising in crucial details and end up in poor results.This particular hide is designed listening to feedback from famous nature phrotographers, such as Markus Varesvuo, Floris Smeets and Sergei Gorshov. Bigger fixed hides are in a whole other category and therefore cannot compare with tent hides.
The hide is designed for one person and it’s long enough for taller people also. Hide is 220 cm long, so it’s possible to sleep in it. I’m 189 cm tall and fit in with room to spare, unlike the basic tents where you run out of leg room quickly. Wetland hide has zipper holes in many directions so you can change direction of your lense easily. Each end has one hole and both sides have entry holes where you can fit two cameras. Zipper holes can be opened and closed from both ends making it possible to modify your shooting angle from really low to fairly high. This is a really handy solution comparing to the tunnels from where you stick your whole lense through.
Waterproof floor with 15 cm edges
Waterproof floor is a must when shooting black grouses in Southern Finland since their lekking season is mostly in april when the swamps have already melted. This is an excellen choice for any wet, snowy or challenging conditions, for example shooting waders in wet shoreline.
The floor rises 15 cm from the ground creating a sort of a shallow tubfor the phtographer to stay dry in. The floor is attached to the tent with clips which hold the walls of the floor up (see picture below). Its is easily detached making it easy to clean/wash and dry. The tent has small hem pockets which you can fill with sand, rocks or snow if you want to prevent wind from blowing in.
The hide can also be used without the floor, which is the heaviest part of the hide. Wetland hide weighs about 10 kg, mostly because of the floor.
When the tent is secured to the floor beforehand it opens as shown in the picture below. The hems prevent the tent from getting wet at this stage. Next part is putting the metal wires in place, this can easily be done alone. These two wires hold the tent in shape and a third smaller stick/wire is put on the outside to hold the two long wires apart from each other and tighten the fabric at the top. Hide includes a set of anchors and string, varying from light to very stirdy ones.
Inside the hide
Interior oh the tent is very comfortable as a one person hide. I have used a groundpod or a beanbag when shooting black grouses. Sometimes even without the beanbag to get a very low angle, this is possible by detaching the floor clips and flipping the floor wall down on the ground. This is of course possible only in a situation where there’s no danger in water getting in.
I put my sleeping pad in the middle and leave room for miscellanoius stuff on the sides. With the sleeping pad there’s about 20 cm room on both sides to put your stuff in. My backpack is situated in the othe end, under my feet. This leaves 3/4 of the tent free for changing positions while shooting and plenty of room for moving your camera from side to side. Backpack is also a good pillow to lean your back on when laying down and waiting in the hide.
Wetland hide has six windows, two in each end and bigger ones on the sides. All have a mesh overlay which prevents seeing straight through them and mosquitos from entering the hide. Inside the windows are fabric flaps you can close with velcro or open and tie up with a string when you want visibility.
This hide comes with a high price tag but it is also very high quality. When you think about the price it is worth to consider that this is a hand made product desingned and manufactured in Europe by a small independent business. This is a special product for the ones who truly need it. This is not a made in china pop-up tent, but a carefully designed product for demanding use.
Areas of use for the Wetland Hide
The blind was invented for use on high-peat and other boggy areas and for use in wet forests and snowy areas like Dovrefjell or the Siberian taiga and tundra.
We designed the hide from bottom to top for use in wet areas, so the groundsheet is extremely durable PVC waterproof material with high walls to stay dry, even on very wet soil and with tripods and heavy lenses in mind. The groundsheet walls are 10-12 cm high and is separately fixed to the hides’ inside with side-release buckles to give you the possibility to use the hide without a groundsheet in summer periods or exchange it for a lightweight and compact summer groundsheet (will be separately available).
You can use 2 to 3 camera’s in different positions on all sides, a camera low, a camera high on each side through the zipper entries – The entry is a U-construction with four runners – on the front and in the back. On both sides you a zip with two runners allowing to place a camera as well. Little windows to look through.
The Wetland tent is not 100% waterproof. We use a very high water repellent material, specially developed for military use. Due to the number of seams, zippers, windows, we could not make the tent totally waterproof. On the bright side: the tent is much more comfortable than a nylon tent would be.
You can sleep and stay for some days in the Wetland Photo Hide, as this was one of the requests when you are shooting pictures of Capercaillie. The Wetland hide gives enough space to a photographer with his sleeping bag, camera gear and even cooking gear to spent several days in the field.
High-quality aluminium poles are used for durability and extra tent pegs are included for wet ground and redesigned stabilisation triangles to fix the hide under difficult conditions. The triangles can be fixed around trees but can also be loaded with rocks.
On the sides of the Wetland photo hide, we have added pockets. Pockets that give you the possibility to fill them with sand, stones, rocks, to stabilise the hide on the beach, in the snow and other places where pitching a tent with pegs is difficult or impossible.
- Height 80 cm
- Width 120cm/110cm
- Length 220cm
- The waterproof groundsheet wall: 15cm high
- YKK zippers
- 100% rip-stop water-repellent coated Cotton
- Heavy-duty PVC seamless groundsheet
- T6 Aluminium poles, tent pegs
- Nylon guy lines
- Cordura Packing bag
With all tent pegs, groundsheet, storm triangles – we end up around 10/12 kgs this figure will be adjusted in the coming period.