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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.

Note:

  • 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:

Ireland’s Top 5 Places To Camp

camping

Some time ago I spoke with Aaron Scantlebury, Manager of Millets Camping Store, Dublin City. Aaron and I got talking about Irelands best places to go camping.

In short, Aaron and his team compiled and completed an in store survey to find The Top 5 places to camp in Ireland, as chosen by the people who liked camping. The following are their results and findings.

The top 5 places to camp in Ireland:

  1. Glenmalur Valley along Avonbeg River – Wicklow mountains [most admitted to being semi wild campers]
  2. Hidden Valley, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow.
  3. Carrowkeel Camping and caravan park. Castlebar-Mayo
  4. Actons Camping park. Claddaghduff, Clifden-Galway [although there were less votes – of note here is that they had by far the best comments than any of the others]
  5. Lough Ennell camping site

In relation to this survey customers were asked:

  1. Is this your first time camping?
  2. Where have you camped before that you would recommend to others?

The results of questions 1 & 2 above are as follows:

  • 42% were either first time campers who were purchasing prior to making a decision on where they were going to camp.
  • 23% were festival goers
  • 34 % therefore voted on the Top 5 Camping Places Survey

Aaron sent this email with the survey results

Hi Peter

attached is the list compiled. It is interesting to note that the vast majority of customers were either camping at a festival or had never been camping before and were trying it for the first time [most of which switched the question back on us to ask us for a recommended campsite!].

It should also be noted that the survey was carried out throughout the month of August which was our peak trading time and when compared to last year, the style, purpose and nature of camping gear sold was vastly different to the same period last year. This is also indicative of the results of our survey.

It was a revealing survey that we will expand on next year. Certainly it does not reflect the “at hand pointers to camping sites” that are available to the public via the internet and government “approved” sources!

Aaron Scantlebury, Manager
Millets Camping
61-62 Mary Street
Dublin 1

Other questions we asked included:

  1. What are your recommendations based on?
  2. Are you upgrading your tent/equipment and if so why?
  3. What was the main reason for making your purchase with us today?
  • Value for money.
  • Specification of product
  • Service provided.
  • Brand loyalty.
  • Other.

Aaron will be live in studio on The SodShow this Friday to discuss this. If you have any queries you can leave a comment here or contact me via

woodland way

5 Essential Products for the Great Outdoors

As we head past the August mark on the calender towards what I would note as the wetter and latter months of the year, some may be noting this as their time to hang up the outdoor paraphernalia for what may be considered the off season. Not on your nelly says this fellow.

To me, the more inclement the weather the more interesting I say. Whether it be Electric Picnic were it always rains on the final night, a walk in Donegal were all for seasons are guaranteed within the space of one weekend two hours or like me you just like camping and working outdoors in all seasons – the following are five essential products that make my great outdoors experience greater.

1. Icebreaker Bodyfit 200

icebreaker bodyfit 200

First up it’s all about keeping the upper body warm and dry.

This is in short no ordinary t-shirt and if you think I might model this for the sake of a blog post, you are [happily/ sadly/ delete as appropriate] mistaken. That said, the Icebreaker bodyfit 200 holds tight to the body and warms me almost immediately. I own three of them now and they are the ultimate piece of clothing for this gardener/ festival/ outdoors trekker.

Sweating whilst it rains is a pain in the tusch and if I am going to get wet, my logic is really is a case of how quick I can become dry. They say:

Wind resistant. Highly breathable so moisture vapour escapes. Liquid moisture is pulled away from the skin and released as moisture vapour. warm air is trapped between layers. Warmth is trapped in air pockets between each layer.

I say: it is a genius piece of clothing. Extremely light. Dries out very quick and is essential if you are to be outside from September onwards in Ireland. I bought the long sleeved version. Black in colour to soak in any available Irish sun that little bit quicker. Also: check out their BAA code tracker.

2. Crag 45 – Beyond by Gelert

crag 45 rucksack beyond gelert

Second is about keeping the rest of your clothes and food dry and as important comfortable to carry.

From the Beyond by Gelert range, this Crag 45 ain’t no ordinary ruck sack. It was given to me to road test by Millets Camping of Mary Street, Dublin. How good is it….? For starters, it comes with a [quote]

manufacturing, materials and workmanship defects for the lifetime of the product

There’s confidence for you. 45 litres in size it has enough adjustment straps to suit perfect to your shape and an air fit system to suit your back in comfort whilst drying sweat away. Better again it is water safe but has what I can only describe as a mini-parachute tucked into its bottom that can be taken out and pulled over for extra water-proofing. So suited to the great outdoors the chest straps come with a built in whistle, that works. This one costs €44.99.

3. Mini Maglite

mini maglite aa

No. 3 is the light that guides you.

About the only thing on the list that may not be used by me as a gardener yet I still keep it in my jeeps glove compartment.

I have this maglite torch years. Pretty unbreakable, durable and just ruddy well made, it is so much so I have never replaced the bulb on it. In search of an official note that says how waterproof it is and also the light strength – the Maglite official website is pretty brutal – and I couldn’t, officially find an answer.

That said mine has fallen in river, lakes, puddles and last year spent three weeks outside in the Irish snow and still, the old horse works like a charm. More than that I consider it a valuable and at a little wider than a pen, it fits perfect on my person and is well able to take on the big boys in the how bright can you shine contests.

4. Silky Pocket Boy 130

silky pocketboy 130 saw

No. 4 is for fire wood and furniture.

If you have ever made anything from what surrounds you by the way of rope and wood [?] or just the odd branch gets in your way whilst trekking across the hedgerows the self nicknamed Little Giant [due to its extraordinary cutting capacity] is an absolute must. They say:

Rust-resistant, hard chrome-plated, taper-ground blade with an impulse-hardened non-set tooth design for greater cutting efficiency

  • 5-inch (130 mm) blade length
  • 8.5 teeth per inch (10 teeth per 30 mm) teeth configuration
  • 0.35 pounds (160 grams) operating weight; 0.5 pounds (220 grams) weight with carrying case

I say: I’ve had this one about eight years now. Light as a feather and once again takes up very little space, this is a genius little product and an essential for this gardener, camper and great outdoors lover. Another great investment.

5. Tresspass Commanche

trespass commanche

Finally it is all about keeping the head dry and warm.

As you can see this Trespass Commanche hat has been with me for some time. Peaked at the front and without even pulling the flaps down I have done very little by way of gardening, camping or trekking without this in my arsenal. This has more often ended up saturated on the outer whilst I’m bone dry by way of hair style inside.

I couldn’t find anything about it on the Trespass website – that’ll possibly tell you how long I have it.

Thoughts and comments below if you wish or find me via:

walking in ireland

The Hedgerow Walk

hedgerow walk dublin

Sunday 7th August, saw a revisit to the Slí na Sceacha also known as the Hedgerow Society as the group took another journey through the ditches and outback of some of Dublin’s lesser known lands and trails.

The Hedgerow Way (mp3)

From field grown potato to brassicae and from what are soon to be the finest apples and blackberries [all free gratis], this time the group took what we called the fruiting trail. Brilliant from an exercise and fresh air perspective, more than that it is time spent with others in the great outdoors surrounded by nature.

I think the pictures tell a better story.

Garden Group Outing: The Hedgerow Fruit Trail

The 6th Garden Group outing takes place this weekend coming Sunday August 7th. The hedgerow walk has been done before but, this time the route should be in full fruit.

donegan hedgerow walk

  • Date: This Sunday August 7th 2011
  • Where: Ballyboughal, The Slí na Sceacha/ Hedgerow Walk – The Fruiting Trail
  • Time: 11.30 am

With @anthonymcg on the garden groups outing (mp3)

  • Details: meet outside O’Connors Pub – the only pub in the village in Ballyboughal [directions below]
  • Numbers: limited to 15 [can be extended if I give enough notice]
  • Cost: None. Never is.

If you use an iphone app for your walks runs – this is was runkeeper showed last time.

New To The Garden Group:

Recommended reading of Read more