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Low Waste Packing to the Mountains

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Low Waste Packing to the Mountains

Hi folks.

As you could have already registered, we are in the mountains quite a lot. We are wanderers.  We made a decision this year not to go to the west coast every weekend as we did last year. After all, it is a huge difference both for the environment and the wallet too if you fill up your fuel tank once a week or once a month. We realized only recently how little of The Wickow Mountains we had known so we keep coming back there as much as we can. The northern part is only half an hour drive, the southern an hour longer.

We have already done a 2 days hike of the Wicklow Way – We started at Marlay Park and finished in Glendalough. It was something around 50k. They will tell you that you can get a bread everywhere. Ehm. We would not agree. It could be true if you get out of the Way. However, we stayed on the path all the time and slept just above the Powerscourt Waterfall and we met nothing. Yet, we were still able to keep our waste very low when not bringing any processed food and cooking from scratch, which is not as difficult as It seems on the trail. Things like rice, red lentils, cous cous cook basically on their own and you can enjoy a lovely bath in a rivulet in between. We met only one official water source on the first 50k from Dublin, only a few kms before reaching Laragh, other than that, we gained water from the streams using our filters which we got as a present more than a year ago. They are a bit out of date, but they seemed to be working fine. After we finish them, we are planning to buy UV water purifier, probably SteriPen. Have you got any experience/ recommendation? In terms of water bottle, until last year we had a foldable xy l water carrier, but the water was not nice of it at all. We have just invested (last minute) into the biggest stainless steel flask we were able to find in Ireland (1,9 l) Klee Kanteen. It’ s not heavy really to our surprise, but it is not double walled (which we don’t really need for this purpose). We are not offering such big flasks yet, as they are quite an investment. However, you can find the small Made Sustained, fully stainless, 0.5 l, double walled, in our shop. There is nothing tastier than a refreshing water (not only) in this years’ tropical Ireland.

 

Now, enough of talking, let’ s get to the list:

 

2 nights, 1 evening hike + 2 full days

 

Basic equipment:

  • lightweight tent
  • 2x sleeping bags + self-inflating mattresses
  • a torch + head lamp
  • power bank + cables
  • camera
  • hat
  • sunglasses
  • rain jacket
  • notepad + pan, maps, compass
  • lightweight towel

 

Cooking & dining:

  • express stove – we use Primus express + power gas
  • mess tin – 2 years ago, we could not find one in Ireland, so we brought it from the Czech Republic
  • 2x aluminium cups – Decathlon – they are lightweight, but not a good quality, however we will use them as much as we can before replacing
  • Quechua cutlery – yes, it’ s plastic, but we have had it for some time. We want to make sure it’ s fully used before replacing with bamboo :).
  • flint lighter + safety matches

 

Food:

  • 15 power balls
  • 4 sandwiches with dill dip
  • 6 pcs of apples
  • 420 g of cous cous
  • 5 big tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons of jam
  • granola
  • 280 g trail mix
  • 300 g of rice
  • 300 g of red lentils
  • 1 small pack of sundried tomatoes
  • coconut flakes
  • sunflower seeds
  • instant coffee
  • loose leaf tea (don’ t forget a strainer :))

 

We use some old plastic boxes because of their weight and round stainless boxes from Made Sustained (the smaller sizes). We like them because they keep the temperature low. We also take our produce bags wherever we can. Yet, we still have some plastic bags at home or aluminum foil. I packed our sandwiches with the foil, but I don’ t throw it out. I always wash it as same as bags and use it until possible. However, we are going to replace it with beeswax wraps afterwards. They will last for about a year if using regularly and they are fully compostable!

 

Our rough meal plan:

Day 1:

snack: power balls

dinner: sandwiches with dill dip

 

Day 2:

breakfast: sandwiches with dill dip

snack – fruit, power balls

lunch: cous cous + peanut butter + jam + dried bananas

snack – trail mix

dinner – rice + red lentils + sun-dried tomatoes

 

Day 3:

breakfast: porridge + peanut butter + jam + granola

snack: fruit + trail mix + power balls

lunch: rice + red lentils + sundried tomatoes

snack/ dinner: cous cous + sunflower seeds + coconut flakes

+

2x 600 ml Nike reusable water bottle – we have had them for some time

1x 500 ml stainless steel, Made Sustained

1x 1900 ml Klee Canteen

 

Body:

  • 2x bamboo toothbrush
  • 1x leftover natural toothpaste
  • Georganics mouthwash tablets
  • Shade sunscreen – it’ s on our list of products to come :), the best Sunscreen we have ever had 🙂
  • facial cream – I currently use Skin Food from Weleda, it’ s quite universal; what also works well is All-Round Cream from Lavera, which is Vegan and comes in a tin :))

 

+ Clothing – proper socks, shoes and soft-shell jacket. Last year, I made an investment and bought “Veggie Trekker ” hiking shoes from “Vegetarian Shoes” and I could not make a better choice.  They came in a recycled cardboard box, no plastic included at all + they are made in EU. I have tested them in the snow too and they didn’t t get wet at all! If you have any good tip for good quality, not too pricy outdoor clothing, let us know! We found it generally hard to find such stuff in Ireland and we get most of our stuff from abroad.

We were able to fit into 2 backpacks with the weights of 13 kg and 15kg. that’ s what we know is our maximum weight when we are able to hike without too many breaks. We are able to make it lighter but since we are starting late afternoon, we prepared some food so we don’ t need to cook in the middle of the night. However, the true is, it’ s romantic! We love mountains in the evenings during the summer. It’ s still light, but the paths are emptier and the wild animals are waking up <3.

We have been hiking for nearly 3 years now and when we started in 2015 we had no hiking equipment. That year I came as an aupair and the prices in Ireland were quite a shock for me. Milan bought me a good sleeping bag (he didn’t t even know me that time properly), we only had cheap camping foam mats, a heavy petrol stove for motorbike trips and an ordinary cutlery. We had no clue and experience, but it was manageable.

 

Why do we do hike as much?

We love being in the nature, in the wild. We feel connected, the nature is our therapist. In addition, when we are hiking, we can see how important it is to protect the environment we live in. There is no planet B and remember:  …

“somewhere between the start of the trail and the end is the mystery why we choose to walk.”

 

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