‘Cowboy Camper’

With his rugged cowboy looks (some call it the Malay version of ‘Clint Eastwood’, Eddie Putera is the new breed of campsite owners who is riding high on ‘camping fever’ now, but doing it his way

A chat with Eddie Putera, with his trademark Esee knives by his side, is like a shared journey to a world far removed from our present civilisation. We talked about solo camping, operating campsites and knives. Yes, knives – those indispensable tools that passionate campers eventually start to own. Because camping is more than just setting up a base outside of your home – it encompasses a whole range of activities like where you set up camp, what you do and eat, how you shelter yourself, soaking up on nature, etc.

Of course, camping means different things to different people – some like it traditional and basic, others camping in style or luxury (glamping), yet others prefer to bring the whole house with them, so to speak.

For Eddie, his preferred style is the most basic of all, just setting up a hammock – “it’s the lightest and easiest to set up; I don’t like to sleep on hard ground yet don’t want to carry a mattress with me either”, explains the veteran camper who has started on his camping adventures since age 17.

After practically touring the whole world as a photographer and a visual storyteller, the former architect finally decided to set up root at the four-acre orchard in Hulu Langat, Selangor. It’s a piece of land by the river that his parents bequeathed to him and his siblings. As his siblings were busy with their own career, they left the whole place to him to do as he pleased.

At age 53 and after having had enough of long hours at airports and aeroplanes, staying in hotels and rushing from one city to another lugging his heavy photography equipment, Eddie decided to call it quits where photography is concerned.

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