As the cool fall air breaks free of the summer heat, thousands of cocooned Monarch butterflies begin to hatch and ready themselves for their migration journey of roughly 3000 miles (4,828 km). Monarch butterflies are said to have the most highly evolved migration pattern of any species of butterfly on the planet. Every year the Monarchs that are born in the fall set off from as far north as Canada on a long journey to Mexico. Monarchs are truly a butterfly built for traveling. Since its inception, Gura Gear has focused its efforts on photography backpacks for the traveling photographer. The original bag featured a butterfly style opening and after many phases of design, the bag has evolved into what is now the Bataflae. The 26 and 32 litre Bataflae bags still retain the same butterfly style opening capability and are my camera bags of choice for all my photographic needs.
This shouldn’t be news to most of you. So what is the point?
In honor of the obvious influence butterflies have had on the Gura Gear bags, the folks at Gura Gear are sending one camera bag on a Monarch style adventure to as many corners of the globe as possible. A brand new grey 32L Bataflae which has been appropriately named “The Monarch Bataflae“, recently completed its maiden journey in the deserts of Africa with my friend and professional African wildlife photographer, Andy Biggs. You can follow his travels with the bag on his Google+ page. After an exciting few weeks with Andy, the same bag returned to the Gura Gear head office before winging its way to me down under in preperation for my summer workshops to Iceland, Svalbard and Greenland. In a few days time I will start the long trek to Iceland with The Monarch Bataflae. It will take three flights and over 24 hours of travel to reach Iceland from Australia. Over the next two months it will travel across the Icelandic landscape during my midnight sun summer highlands workshop. I will carry it from the city of Reykjavik to the spectacular Jokulsarlon lagoon, onto the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and into the stunning multi-coloured geothermal highlands of Landmannalaugar. After its sojourn through Iceland the bag will travel with me to Longyearbyen in the Svalbard Archipelago (via Oslo) where I will take it aboard the expedition ship M.S Origo to cruise the Arctic waters around Svalbard in search of Polar Bears and dramatic Arctic landscapes. It will then board the ice hardened expedition ship Polar Pioneer and cruise the Arctic waters to Greenland to photograph giant icebergs, polar bears, reindeer and carving glaciers. At it’s northerly most point The Monarch Bataflae will be only 600 miles from the North Pole. On my return home in September The Monarch Bataflae will be shipped back to Gura Gear in the USA where a couple more pro photographers will be waiting to take the bag onto more exotic destinations – each one signing the inside of the bag to track it’s journey across the planet. This Monarch Bataflae is going to rack up some serious miles over the coming year and reach some truly wondrous destinations for photography.
Then its Your Turn!
Gura Gear want your help to get the bag to as many places in the world as possible and you are invited to submit an application to participate (applications are now open! Click here to apply.) You will also be able to sign your name inside the bag alongside those pro photographers who have travelled before you and help The Monarch Bataflae complete a truly worldwide migration.
Keep an eye on the Gura Gear blog and their social channels to see when it’s your turn to have a chance to take the bag. Also follow along as each photographer and destination will be highlighted with stories and images from their travels.
Stay tuned for a list of equipment The Monarch Bataflae will be carrying on my two month journey to the Arctic.
Of course, if you can’t wait and need a new camera bag for your next adventure you can order one now from Gura Gear.