The totally useless equipment guide No. 4:
Bad points and features:
- Subject, like most pieces of hillwalking equipment, to Hubble's Third Law of Inverse Breakages. In other words, the more expensive your lens, the more likely you are to sit on it.
- About as much use as a set of golfclubs or a tube of Ambre Soleil once the cloud and rain come down - i.e. on approx. 95% of all Scottish hill days.
- Some would say that the taking of photos demonstrates a misplaced possessiveness towards the hill - i.e. you want to take a little bit of it home with you to keep. The more worthy, existentialist approach is simply to leave the camera behind - a theory borne out by the fact that neither Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir nor Albert Camus have ever been seen up Sgurr nan Gillean with a Pentax.
- Nothing fritters away precious winter daylight like a camera. Left a bit, right a bit, take off that daft hat, smile... Meanwhile the rest of the party are suffering initial symptoms of hypothermia due to the interminable wait.
Good points and features:
- At least the good oldfashioned Camera is a darn sight better than the new-fangled camcorder. Quite apart from its silly hotchpotch of a name, how long before someone is claiming the first homemovie round of Munros, or Jeremy Beadle's show features a balaclava-ed beardie plunging over a crag amid audience guffaws?
- Capable of taking even a half-decent picture? Then prepare for a career as a famous hill-author by getting countless articles published in glossy climbing magazines even though you can barely string two words together.
- Similarly, your half-decent photies, even if well out of focus, may well rake in a bit of cash by appearing in The Great Outdoors calendar - especially if your snaps are of the Malverns or Offa's Dyke.
- When snowholing on the Cairngorm plateau, build your camera into snowhole door and use it as a spying device should any Jehovah's Witnesses, doubleglazing sales-persons or Grey Men happen to call. Make sure you remember to remove the lens cap first!!
TAC 4 Index