• Pablo Durana - Filmmaker, Climber and Gear Junkie - Did you ever wonder how to pack for climbing and filming on a 1,000m/3,200ft sheer rock wall? You need a passion for climbing, and you need the right camera gear. You also need the accessories required to keep everything organized. f-stop ICON Pablo Durana made exactly such a climb, and he had to rely on very sturdy gear. His pack and camera are essential tools for his work, so they need to measure up to his high standards! 

    Meet Pablo

    First of - let us tell you a bit about Pablo.- Pablo seems happiest when it's remote and conditions are miserable. Usually it’s very hard to find him at home since he is on projects all the time. But adventure isn't the only driving element for the trilingual Colombian native. He also focuses much of his energy on social justice issues. Pablo is a director of photography with high attention for audio and also an experienced FAA Certified drone pilot. 

    "Documentaries have an incredible ability to educate and to inspire," and it's another big reason he became a cinematographer. Pablo has covered a wide range of absolutely amazing projects. If you want to learn more about him and his work check out his Ambassador Profile.

    The Gear

    His trusted Shinn 80 L DuraDiamond® Adventure and Cine Camera Backpack does the heavy lifting protecting his CINE gear, cameras, lenses and everything else he needs. Aside from his Shinn he uses a variety of Accessories. Even his old Satori ( the "old" version of the Tilopa DuraDiamond®) is still in use! Its about 8 years old by now and his gear has to take up with his extrem adventures. One of his favorite accessories is the Navin DuraDiamond® Camera pouch which he usually carries on the hip for quick access to his camera, or drone! When Pablo goes out shooting there needs to be a lot of room to attach things and additionally all of the gear for Pablo has to be pretty rugged and take a lot of beating!

    Pablo on "El Gigante"

    Check out the video below for some special behind the scenes footage showing how f-stop ambassador Pablo Durana managed his gear. Climbing the wall on "El Gigante" required careful attention to every detail, and Pablo used f-stop accessories to organize his gear. 

    An Afternoon with Pablo

    "Sure! I'll be home the next 3 days. I just need to do some gardening," Pablo replied when Lena first reached out to meet up. Feeling lucky to catch him between projects, Lena, our Visual Storyteller in Residence, headed over to his home to meet him right away.

    Well, "gardening" turned out to be climbing high in the pine trees around his home. Pablo lives in an area under threat from wildfires in northern California, so "gardening" for Pablo means climbing trees to cut out dry limbs and protect his house from fires. As a pro climber, Pablo made this look quite easy. Instead of his usual load of camera gear, he climbed with a chainsaw. He even helped the neighbours trim their trees. 


    The wildfires spread widely and quickly in California this past year. You can still see the remains of the distruction with burned trees through the Lake Tahoe area serving as a silent reminder of the danger. The last fires came to within a few meters of his home, and could have lost everything. So, cutting out dead limbs (fuel for a fire) was a necessary safety measure.

    When you would visit Pablo and when he's at home between projects, Pablo enjoys a quick ride to a nearby little river to take a swim. That’s actually what he recommends to everyone who visits. There is a beautiful little meadow in walking distance or a short bike ride. The meadow is his little hidden gem. The walk is short, but Pablo rides his bike when he just wants a quick dip. In the summer, he enjoys moving outside to sleep or just to hang out in the "meditation tent." Waking up to bird songs or seeing the shadows of some squirrels or chipmunks on the walls of his tent brings a smile to his face. Being outside and having a close relation with nature is really important to him .

    A little Gear Talk with Pablo

    Lena and Pablo spent most of their time together in "gear talk." Pablo has been a loyal advocate for f-stop for many years. He got his first f-stop bag, a Satori, about 2009. The Satori was a previous version of today's Tilopa DuraDiamond® 50L bag. Pablo took his bag to Mt. Kilimanjaro and still uses it today. That pack has seen a lot of different places through the years, and since it is Pablo using it, the bag had to take quite a beating. With the extreme adventures Pablo loves, his equipment needs to keep up with him and function in the extreme environments from the deepest caves to the highest peaks.

    Pablo also needs functional and high-quality accessories. The Navin Welded pouch is one of his favourite little pouches. With the New DuraDiamond® material, it is much stronger and resistant to environmental extremes. You definitely can see his Navin is well used. Pablo has taken it to the deepest caves humans have explored, it even went on his expedition to El Gigante - video below!.

    Pablo still has his first SHINN, one of the orginal editions of that pack in malibu blue (which is no longer available). He took it to Antarctica - among other places. When asked when he got it, he answered, “Oh gosh, I still can’t even remember.”

    Since he usually carries a large quantity of camera and outdoor equipment with him, his travel bag of choice is the Tilopa 50 L DuraDiamond® with a Large Camera Bag Insert. He packs the main body with his film camera, the more delicate lenses, additional hard drives, and he adds his Laptop in the Laptop sleeve in the back panel of the Tilopa. Other equipment you can find in Pablo's pack when he flies is a walkie talkie, all sorts of lithium batteries, and other essentials he needs close at hand like documents. Pablo prefers the Tilopa 50L over the Ajna 37L for air travel, because he definitely needs the extra room he gets with the Tilopa. Pablo tries to keep the Tilopa 50 L as compact and slim as possible, so the front pocket is almost empty with only documents inside. But when he is shooting, he definitely uses the outside pockets of the pack.

    We asked Pablo what benefits do you get from f-stop bags that you can't find in other bags? He told us, "These packs are burly, comfortable and efficient. Period."

    Pablo uses his f-stop accessories and pack components in a wide variety of ways. For instance, he uses the hip belt attachment options to carry "El Mosquito" which he carries in a Navin (yes - he named his foldable wing drone!). On the other side of his hip belt, he frequently attaches his medium accessory pouch which he calls his "Media Pouch." His media pouch serves as a catch-all for his media requirements and accessories. It's convenient for Pablo, because on a project, he can simply hand the pouch off to a digital imaging technician for editing or to upload files, etc. Other f-stop accessories Pablo repurposes are lens barrels. He uses one for his time-lapse head. 

    Pablo's most important rule is “label everything.” When working on big productions, some creatives might have the same gear pr gear gets lost in all of the activity. So Pablo advises everyone to put their name on everything. (He definitely spoke from experience.)

    “When you’re traveling everything needs to have its specific spot or you start loosing things or as well you are searching for hours for something." - Pablo Durana

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