A naturalist guide’s equipment
Imagine, a glistening quetzal in the trees that you just can’t eyeball by squinting through mist and clouds, tiny rain drops, and the cloud forest canopy. How in the world will you get a good view? That’s where your trusted, seasoned guide comes in. A Monteverde naturalist guide has a couple of tricks up his or her sleeve; equipment to make your cloud forest experience a great one. First, your guide will have a spotting scope (telescope.) It must be waterproof and, more importantly, fog proof. Next, your guide will have a tripod on which he or she will set the telescope. You’re likely to be impressed at the speed at which your guide sets up the scope and tripod after spotting an important bird, mammal, orchid, insect, or other plant. Ask your guide if he or she can take a picture with your camera through the scope lens. These pictures are amazing!
In addition to a telescope and tripod, your guide will have a set of binoculars. Make no mistake – binoculars are a misunderstood object! Many people treat binoculars as fluff. On the contrary, high quality binoculars are very sensitive objects and must be handled with care. Never let young children play with a naturalist guide’s binoculars. Some guides might have an extra pair of binoculars that you can use during your tour. If so, you’ll get more practice!
Last but not least, your guide will have some sort of backpack or waist bag. In the bag there will be an assortment of things – everything from bug spray, band aids, and tissues, to bird books and other laminated sheets with important cloud forest information on them.
Pasión Costa Rica recently had design company Yaloco make a new waterproof waist bag for Marcos’ tours (see pic above). Yaloco recycles (or “upcycles”) tire inner tubes to make wondrous bags and other accessories. We are so thankful for our friend and local artist Yamileth, who says this bag is probably her finest work. Her company, Yaloco, is not to be missed. You can visit her at her Facebook page. You can also find her products at Foresta in Monteverde, Tienda Eñe, Passion Fruit, and Luna Azul.