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Wicklow Mountains, Wild Camping

wicklow mountains

Saturday 10th December, The SodShow teamed up with Gelert and Millets Mary Street to take five people and record the journey as we hiked, trekked and wild camped overnight, without tents, in The Wicklow Mountains.

Why do this for Dublin’s Garden Radio Show The SodShow ?

We have spoke many times on The SodShow about my Hedgerow walks, eating from the wild, native Irish plants and trees, the garden groups outings and [ordinary] camping. We thought it a good idea to somehow and in someway, join them all together.

In this case and of note we went to a [Wicklow] National Park. From a horticultural perspective, it contains many pre mapped nature trails including a flower walk and tree walks. Eight of the Park’s plants are in fact classified as threatened – three are vulnerable and five are rare. We also wandered much of its forestry and slept only with what nature could surround us with. Also we don’t think this has ever been done for radio before and – the landscape is absolutely stunning.

That aside, if the equipment and clothing used will more than suffice overnight in December in Ireland, without tents, in the Wicklow Mountains – it should do you well whilst out for a[ny] walk or work in the great outdoors.


  • The five are very experienced in [in short] the great outdoors.
  • The audio recorded will be aired as a mini series of sorts for The SodShow.
  • All equipment used was supplied by Gelert Ltd and Millets of Mary Street.
  • It is not recommended you do this unless you are experienced.
  • Wicklow Mountain safety and no trace guidelines were followed at all times and more info can be found at Wicklow National Park Website inc. notes on wild camping.
  • Mini series set to air: on radio/ podcast for 4 weeks from Dec 23rd & Jan 6th – 20th. There will be no SodShow December 30th

Our journey timelines are as follows – Saturday 10th December

  • 08:30 Meet for debrief and equipment check at Millets Mary Street
  • 10:15 Arrive Wicklow Mountains and final checks
  • 10:30 Depart from base and begin Wicklow Mountain trek
  • 16:35 Establish base camp
  • 10:15 Sunday – Leave No Trace final checks and depart Wicklow Mountains

A separate post will explain the kit and equipment that we used. These images should help in visualising the audio as the story is told over the coming weeks.

It is one thing to encourage you to try this or any more simplified variation of, but it is better to encourage you to do it with the correct preparation.

The #SodShow Friday 23rd December. Dublin Garden Radio Podcast (mp3)

The #SodShow. Friday January 6th 2012. Dublin’s Gardening Radio Podcast (mp3)

The #SodShow. Wild Camping, The Finalé – Dublin Garden Radio Podcast. Fri 13 Jan ’12 (mp3)

Links of Note:

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Gelert Compact Camping Cooker

gelert compact camping cooker

Officially titled the Gelert Compact Double Burner with Grill, I was given this to road test by Millets Camping, Mary Street Dublin.

I did this video around the time I got it:

A real opportunity came about to test the compact cooker when I was camping with 6 others [total 4 adults 3 children] over the August bank holiday weekend and this was the only cooking stove between us. Also my camping buddies for the weekend had never been camping before.

What I had neglected to do before going was to attach the gas regulator to the rubber pipe – the other end of which attaches to the cooker. Below is how I do/ did it.


With some just boiled hot water at the ready, hold one end of the rubber hose in the boiled water for about 25 seconds and then ease over the gas regulator/ blue coiled end. Then dip the other end of the pipe back into the boiling water and do the same for the brass bit poping out the side of the cooker – tight to the top as you can for both.

Then allow about [I suggest] 3 minutes for the rubber to harden/ cool on both ends. To attach the gas cylinder simply hold the blue top in place and turn the gas cylinder whilst it is upside down.

To start cooking, simply turn the regulator on [turn the black knob on the blue connector] at the gas keg end, select the hob you wish to cook on and turn this to your chosen setting whilst clicking the red button on the cooker to get your flame to start.

The only problem I had was that this cooker is far more efficient than the old stalwart I have always used and the food cooked a lot quicker. Other than that, to say this coped quite easily for the possé is an understatement.

The grill [in the middle of the 1st image above] needs to be lit with a seperate flame [cigarette lighter] but it is handy if you like your toast. As with all cooking gas I only used it outside and [on this occasion] chose to rest it on two concrete blocks I found nearby just to keep it off the grass.

All in all the Gelert Compact Double Burner with Grill is a real smart piece of kit. More than that, it looks like a really smart piece of kit. Highly recommended.

Vital Stats:

  • Weight: 4.7Kg
  • Pack Size: 56 x 29 x 7cm

gelert compact camping cooker

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Review: Gelert Wind Up Lamp


This is the Gelert wind up lamp. I bought it in Millets camping shop in Mary Street. Not costing over €20, that I remember [I’m open to correction on this…. I lost the receipt so couldn’t double check], it is a pretty genius piece of what I now call one of my camping essentials.

gelert wind up lampI have another LED type light that I’ll review later but, this wins top marks for a few reasons.

I love the two light level settings. Really important when camping and considering others inside and outside of your tent. More than that it’s light enough that doesn’t wake a one year old by being too bright.

The big reason I like it so much, is the fact that one always forgets the batteries or leaves the light on overnight. In this case it doesn’t matter. I also left this outside over night in the rain for the craic, something that always happens with torches. It was grand the next day. It’s also quite durable and light wieght.

For this Irish camper it scores 10/ 10.

This is the lamp demo during the day. Recorded July 4th.

This is the lamp at night time. Recorded June 12th.