1. About me
Even as a child, I preferred to sleep outside in the garden on the swing than in my bed at home; even if nocturnal noises from hedgehogs & Co. were sometimes a bit scary. Instead of spending the afternoons after kindergarten (and also later after school) on the sofa with TV series, I usually went on extensive forays into the surrounding nature and studied plants and animals. Practical utensils such as binoculars, knife and compass were part of everyday life for me, and I fearlessly paddled down the Elbe with self-made means of transport; not always to the delight of my concerned family. My school interest was mainly in the natural sciences, among others. In biology and geography, I voluntarily created cross-curricular documentation that was not only published in the daily newspaper, but even found its way to the Natural History Museum. During my two years in the military, I learned to improve the basics of survival, as well as to appreciate the supportive use of technical aids; I was particularly taken with special vehicles. I then deepened the knowledge I had already acquired with the nature conservation and vehicle technology courses, and I consolidated my practical skills with a master craftsman’s degree in automotive engineering. It has always been important to me to be the bridge between both worlds, the committed nature conservationist and the innovative technician.
Even during my many years of work in a large automotive company, I have always gladly foregoing a career, and the awards for hard work and environmental protection (e.g. “Best waste material collector 1987”) were less important to me than the consistent results of my activities. Organizations in which I was active, as well as an association I founded myself, were ultimately not effective enough for me, and turned out to be more compulsive shackles of a community than that one could effectively achieve a desired goal in this association. As the pioneer that I have always been, I had to go my own, and often completely new, path. In addition to reporting, I also discovered my passion for photography when documenting it; From then on, my constantly growing photo equipment was part of my daily touring luggage. I was always drawn out into the world to travel to new countries and discover remote areas. Whereby I do not characterize traveling by jumping from one airport to another or even staying in a hotel, but by exploring the diversity of the landscape and the different ways of life, which I adapt accordingly as a guest. The path has always been the goal of every conscious journey. In addition to the wide world, I still enjoy touring regularly through my second (chosen) home, the Scandinavian north.
In the beginning I used slightly modified cars for my tours, later on, based on my own construction plans and experience, I designed and built extremely durable, reliable and globally applicable travel and expedition vehicles. For a successful tour of this kind, you need extensive outdoor equipment in addition to valuable experience and a reliable travel vehicle. From the inevitable need to always find the best possible equipment and then to try it out in a practical manner, a new passion increasingly developed. With the ulterior motive of buying sensible, well thought-out, durable and ecological as well as ethically justifiable equipment and clothing to contribute to a more responsible use of the raw materials of our earth, I began to publish my experiences in the form of product reviews. Unique, because they are authentic and honest, factual and informative as well as contrasting and detailed reviews, which are still mostly created today on and, of course, through my tours.
On my worldwide travels as well as on tours at home, I have repeatedly recognized the need to limit the human influence in our environment to the lowest possible level so that future generations can still enjoy our earth. This responsible sustainability, i.e. my personal motto, required a stamp – the idea of Backcountry Expeditions was born. With this project, and after all the previous urban educational measures, I moved back into the countryside, in the forest, surrounded by fields, lakes and of course also (m) a river in 2014. Here I had my head free again and began to work intensively on my own website together with a friend. It should be completely different, not a trendy mass product, but an outstanding work, filled with everything that moves me. Since then, new photos, meaningful product reviews, technically sound knowledge and valuable insights have been added every week. My website took up so much time that in principle there was no more time for my actual job, and I quickly made backcountry expeditions my job. With the four cornerstones in the logo, Backcountry Expeditions is registered with the German Patent and Trademark Office as a protected trademark, because as an idealist I didn’t want to make myself known, but above all my idea.
Everything begins with a journey. And so the name “Backcountry Expeditions” came about very early on. This motto, “Hinterland discovery trips”, characterizes my adventure and experience tours, which I plan and organize myself and of course also carry out independently. Without getting to know the many different faces of our planet, people often find it difficult to understand and protect our earth in its entirety; my experiences should serve as an interface.
Out of my responsibility for nature conservation, I do not publish exact directions for my tours, nor do I publicly disclose GPS coordinates of destinations worthy of protection; I simply don’t want to promote harmful mass tourism. Experience has shown that it is above all people who deal particularly responsibly with nature, who had to show a high level of commitment or initiative in order to find certain places in the first place. Anyone who does not have this initiative, but still wants to get to know special places in remote landscapes, and also has a minimum of thirst for adventure, is welcome to accompany me on my tours.
3. Product reviews
For my lifestyle, i.e. my activities, numerous and special equipment is necessary; Over the years I have gained a lot of valuable experience in this area and trained myself to be a consultant. If I impart this meaningful knowledge to other people or help them to find the best possible product for them, I also indirectly help our planet; this is part of my personal environmental protection, so to speak. And whoever has to waste less money on negative experiences with bad or unsuitable products, has more of it left for other good products; Of course, the respective manufacturer also benefits from this. Responsibility already begins with the sustainable purchase, which is why I attach great importance to high-quality and as long-lasting and / or environmentally friendly and socially responsible products as possible, i.e. I only support companies that, as I understand it, handle the resources of our earth and people responsibly. I have tried out all the products on my website in detail, and tested them intensively for value both in everyday life and especially on my adventure tours. Accordingly, my test results, my spelling are factual and objective as well as honestly direct; nothing is concealed. Over a period of use that is as long as possible, a short product life story is created, starting with the introductory product presentation through continuous updates and ending with retirement. As a rule, the products have provided me with valuable service, so the respective contribution is also my personal appreciation.
It makes sense to divide my reviews into three main groups: clothing, equipment, and electronics. In the future, I intend to make further subdivisions (filter functions) in each category and for individual product groups, as well as to add a 10-level rating system that has already been worked out.
Each review followed the same structure:
- Product: what is it and what is it intended for
- Company: Address and, if applicable, a brief company history, as well as the country of manufacture
- Purchase: Date (month / year), and what made me buy
- Specifications: Technical data
- Practice: Detailed product description
- Positive: what is good, what pleases
- Negatives: What is not so good, what is not liked
- Conclusion: Brief summary
- Similar products: comparison with and, if applicable, reference to other reviews
For consumers for a better comparison with regard to product dimensions and fits, and of course also for companies with regard to the provision of products, the following is some personal information:
Height: 185 cm / 6.1 ft
Body weight: 75 kg / 165 lbs
Clothing size: M
Chest: 92 cm / 36″
Hip / waist circumference: 88 cm / 35″
Arm length: 64 cm / 25″
Glove size: 9 / L
Cap size: 59 cm / L / 23″
Shoe size: 275 mm / EU 43.5 / UK 9.5 / US 10.5
Law of business balance
Unfortunately, the market is also filled with superfluous, poorly thought-out, short-lived, inferior and sometimes even dangerous products. Consumers, on the other hand, often tend to buy a product primarily on the basis of price. The result is a mixture that does not always make sense for everyone involved, and certainly not for our planet. If I had this, I would probably only offer my test-winning products in my own shop. In this context I would like to point out a very good quote (presumably from John Ruskin, 1819-1900):
“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
Initially still analogue with Canon, later digitally with Nikon, and of course with corresponding experience in the field of landscape, animal and product photography. When I’m on tour, my main focus is not only on the subject, but also on the associated moment on location, which I also make part of the recording myself. I spare no time or effort for an interesting motif, as long as the ethics follows the motto “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints”.
You have the option of requesting high-quality prints on canvas and other carrier materials from my photo gallery. I also offer you my photos, e.g. for your advertising purposes. With every picture I guarantee you the ethical purity or sustainability of the respective picture, i.e. it was neither modified nor destroyed in a preparatory way. In addition, I am happy to fulfill your very personal photo request.
Photo and video equipment
After numerous (and unfortunately, of course, very expensive) experiences, I arrived today at an equipment stand with which I am both satisfied and able to work professionally. What I ultimately take with me on a tour is usually a compromise between what I can still carry with me and what could probably turn out to be useful on site.
Since the very late, but then active operation of my YouTube channel in 2021, I have been recording videos today in roughly the same ratio as I take photos. This has expanded my digital equipment again, which presents me with the great challenge of the necessary power supply, especially on longer wilderness tours.
Full-frame digital SLR cameras Nikon D800
Full frame digital SLR cameras Nikon D810
GoPro Hero 7 Black & various GoPro accessories
AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1: 2.8 G ED
AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm 1: 2.8 G ED
AF-S DX zoom Nikkor 17-55mm 1: 2.8 G IF-ED
AF-S Nikkor 24mm 1: 1.4 G ED
AF Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4 D
AF-S Nikkor 58mm 1: 1.4 G
AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm 1: 2.8 G IF-ED
AF Nikkor 180mm f / 2.8 IF-ED
AF-D Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 ED
AF-S Nikkor VR 300mm 1: 4 IF-ED
AF-D Nikkor 80-400mm f / 4.5-5.6 ED
Hoya Protector, UV, Gray and Polarizing Filters
Memory cards Panasonic RP-SDU RP64 GAK
Memory cards SanDisk 64GB Extreme CF and SD card
Cable remote release
Nikon MH-25a charger
Charger Nitecore UNK2 for Nikon EN-EL15
Flash unit Nikon SB-910 Speedlight
Sennheiser MK400 microphone + MZW400 windscreen
Sennheiser MKE200 microphone
Manfrotto 055X PRO B tripod + Sirui K30X ball head
Rollei Lion Rock Traveler M Carbon tripod
Rollei Compact Traveler No.1 tripod
Manfrotto tripod bag
Photo case Pelican 1060 + 1300 + 1550
Photo bag Ortlieb DigiShot M
Tasmanian Tiger Focus ML photo bag
For my tours I use a wide variety of means of transport and dedicate a separate article to them in the corresponding area. Both as thanks for the wonderful experiences, which would not have been possible without them, and because these are often products that I have heavily modified. The respective report on the vehicle corresponds at least to the content of a full product review.
In my large knowledge database, I use my valuable experience to convey thoroughly researched reports on essential, i.e. generally applicable outdoor topics, instructions and specialist knowledge from the field of vehicle technology, as well as basics and recipes for food preparation.