We recently got in touch with Tobias Nash, a filmmaker from the UK exploring the South American continent using Terra Nova and Extremities gear. Documenting his journey, his goal is to educate people on sustainability and improve life on earth for future generations. Toby and the team interacted with different cultures, slept in remote locations and faced many challenges along the way, from illnesses to dangerous terrain.
“I’m Tobias Nash, a filmmaker and psychologist. Recently I travelled to South America to film a TV series as Director of Photography and I am now producing a documentary. In partnership with University College London (UCL), I’m telling the stories of the Andean people and cultures I encountered and what we can learn from their relationship with nature.”
“I got into filmmaking while training at Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. From acting on film and TV sets in front of the camera, I watched the film crew at work and became fascinated by the craft behind the camera. I bought a little mirrorless LUMIX G7 when I was 14 and began shooting short videos with what I’d observed on set and learnt from hundreds of YouTube videos. Then I started filming for weddings and events. Now, 6 years later, I am producing my first feature-length documentary.”
“I partnered with Kate Leeming to film the TV series following her epic mountain bike journey through the Andes Mountain Range. This allowed me to produce the documentary I was planning with UCL, focusing on the behavioural psychology underlying our actions and relationship with nature.”
“With a passion to help solve global issues, I began to consider what causes global environmental issues. I concluded that solving these issues comes down to changing human behaviour. We change our behavior by changing the way we think. To help change human behaviour, I wanted to share the insights from studying psychology that have helped me act more environmentally. “
“Bolivia offered the best and worst filming environments. The Great Uyuni Salt Pan at sunset was incredible. The depth of the orange sky that reflected on the brilliant white salt, stretching for miles all the way to the mountains, was mesmerising. In contrast, the ceaseless arid plains at over 4000m altitude with nothing but shrubs growing was probably the worst environment to film in. This, combined with dysentery caused by a water-borne parasite which made me lose 5kg in 5 days, made for a challenging week.”
“The mountains definitely threw challenges at us. Carrying 10kg of camera equipment up a 6000m snow-capped mountain was a good challenge. Particularly when the snow turned to unseasonal slush, creating a high risk of avalanche.
On a 40% incline section of Acotango, a large volcano in Bolivia, we heard the shunt of the whole ice shelf shifting beneath our feet half a dozen times. To not get caught in an avalanche, we had to descend, wading knee-deep through snow all the way down.”
“I used my Extremities gear very often to keep warm. The Flux Liner gloves were invaluable as their dexterity and touchscreen functionality allowed me to use them while filming. The Meridian gloves, I reserved for the coldest of conditions or mountain ascents, in combination with the Trail Elite Trekking Poles.
Approximately half the time we were camping. Whether this is on a snow-capped mountain, in a ditch at the side of the main road or under a corrugated tin roof, the Southern Cross 1 was a great shelter to rest in at the end of the day. The water and wind resistance were brilliant, and the free-standing capability was essential as often we didn’t have a good surface to peg out.”
“I was fortunate to have an international upbringing. From living in China and experiencing the wonder of its landscapes, to living on Jersey island and swimming in the ocean and surfing every day then setting up campfires in the evenings, to living in London and relishing the forests and great parks dotted about. This all allowed me to experience the diversity, power, and importance of nature and to revere our relationship with it.”
“Climbing mountains, I learnt a similar lesson to surfing. When surfing, you cannot paddle out during a set. You must work with the waves. Your strength combined with theirs is what leads to the joyous result of gliding down a glassy wall of water all the way to the beach. Similarly, if you try to climb a mountain in bad conditions, you could die. We wanted to climb Ojos del Salado as the finale of the expedition yet with hurricane-force winds (150 km/h) and the Arctic temperatures (-41°), we had to work with nature, or die trying to work against it.
This analogy depicts the understanding of the Andean people that has been fostered for thousands of years. They have learnt from the Tiwanaku people (600-1000AD) that over-working the land leads to civilisation-destroying drought and that however we try to control nature, we must work with it or reap the consequences. This is why the Andeans use natural materials and sew their waste back into new products.”
“Our brain biases towards non-environmental decisions. We want to give an understanding of how we make decisions, why we tend to make non-environmental decisions and how we can bias ourselves, individually and corporately, towards acting more environmentally.”
“The big issue we want to tackle with this documentary is eliminating the concept of waste. We want to share the Andean mindset of sewing what you use back into nature. This is the opposite of what I saw in Chile with dunes of fast fashion waste amongst the dunes of sand in the Atacama Desert.
Imagine throwing away the shirt you are wearing now when it’s worn out. Now imagine it being transported to Chile. Finally, imagine it sitting in the desert and still being there in 100 years. To avoid this, we need to break down what we have used into raw materials so that it can be turned into new products. In terms of the shirt you are wearing, we can drop our textile waste at a recycling centre or a store which recycles textiles such as H&M. Then they will break it down into raw yarn from which a new shirt can be made.”
Here at Terra Nova Equipment, we push the boundaries of innovation to create outdoor gear that lasts for years, but we want to do more. That’s why the majority of our range of Terra Nova tents will have PFC-free breathable inners for 2023. The models with Si2 flysheets and groundsheets will also be entirely PFC-free, making our range more eco-friendly. Read more about our sustainability pledge here.
The Terra Nova Tent Trade-In Scheme also offers the option to send your old tent to us to receive 30% off a new tent. We dismantle and recycle as much of your old tent as possible, to provide an eco-friendlier alternative to throwing them away. Find out more here.
Keep up with Toby’s Journey:
Instagram – @tobiasnashoffical
Flux Liner Glove