Coming up with ten things to put in my currently loving feature every month or so is a conscious process here in Splodz Blogz towers. I walk around my house and look at the things I’ve been using and enjoying, putting the chosen bits and bobs together in a pile until I have a list of things to talk about that make me smile. And that’s the key – the things I recommend in this series are things that make me smile, they are things I actually like.
This month we have a combination of outdoorsy bits and foodie bobs, along with a couple of random items.
Currently Loving | October 2017
01. Walking. All the walking. Honestly, I know it sounds ridiculous, but the more I get out and walk, whether it be in the countryside or in the city, the more I love it. It’s the ultimate pastime; good for my body, my mind and my soul. It doesn’t require any specialist equipment (although a pair of great boots or shoes helps!), I can do it in my lunch break, and I can do it for a few minutes or all day. It can be a massive hike like the West Highland Way, or it could be a walk around town at lunch time. Represented here by my KEEN Terradora leather boots, which are super comfortable, yea, walking. I love walking.
02. Ahhh a good cup of tea. Inside or outside, there is just something simply wonderful about preparing a proper cuppa, using loose leaf tea. And yes, I will use loose leaf tea outdoors if I can, this little toasTEA flask has a diffuser in the top so I don’t end up with a mouth full of tea leaves! I’ve been trying these different varieties by Adagio teas, of which I’ve been really enjoying the different Earl Grey varieties. What’s your favourite tea for a proper cuppa?
03. Hands up who believes that malt loaf is the best hiking food going? It’s got all the goodness, has slow and fast release energy, an easy to eat texture, and tastes amazing. I much prefer eating ‘proper’ food when hiking, I steer clear of gels and other things in favour of the real stuff. It’s true that I rarely do a day hike without some buttered Soreen in my bag. If only it was lower in calories so I could munch on it on a lazy day, too!
04. Brand new to the UK market, Nergi berries are from the Actinida arguta species also known as the Siberian kiwi or baby kiwi or kiwi berry. They look like grapes on the outside, kiwi on the inside, and taste a bit like a berry kiwi grape(!). They’re probably one of the strangest PR packages I’ve ever been sent, but are a real winner so thanks guys! It’s great to discover something new. If you’ve not tried them yet the season is short so get along to Marks and Spencer or Lidl and pick up a punnet.
05. My sleeping mat of choice for almost two years now, the Alpkit Dirtbag, is a 5cm thick self-inflating mat that comes in at 900g and rolls up smaller than my sleeping bag. It might not be quite as small or light as its more expensive competitors (RRP £55), but it’s a great mat and I wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone car/motorbike camping or indeed backpacking.
06. Creative Countryside is a new magazine full of stories, nature, folklore and adventure. Celebrating living life slowly, the magazine has been designed for those who are inspired by the first snowdrop and who walk outside in the rain. It’s beautifully produced with words and pictures that truly draw you in. I supported this one via the crowdfunding campaign over the summer and so received the first issue as part of that, and I’m so glad I did, the perfect read on a cosy evening with a cuppa and some really good chocolate.
07. I know we are well into autumn here in the UK, but I just received a pair of the updated Teva Original Universal sandals – the Puff. I have had a pair of these on my wish list for SO long, mainly because they have that iconic associated-with-outdoors-lovers connotation. I’ve just never actually bought any, they have been in that nice-to-have category rather than a necessity, so when they arrived I was giddy like a kid at Christmas. I’ve been wearing them around the house (yes, with socks!), and can’t wait until I can go out hiking and camping in them. Soon, please weather, soon!
08. What do you eat for breakfast when you’re camping or on the go? I recently discovered these new Porridge to Go bars when I spotted them on the end of an aisle in Tesco, and think they’re great. As much porridge in each bar as in a whole bowl of Oats So Simple, they’re small, don’t require cooking, and are easy to eat. They are very dense, way more so than a normal flapjack bar, so you do need to be drinking something at the same time! I had them for breakfast on West Highland Way and they worked a treat. I’ve seen two flavours – the golden syrup one is nice, but I prefer the berry one as there is also dried fruit in which provides a bit of variety.
09. I’ve been walking to and/or from work quite a bit recently (check out my friend’s #MorningMiles project), and when I walk alone I often enjoy listening to music while I do it – it helps me walk quicker! These waterproof Bluetooth Motorola Verve Rider+ headphones are just superb. I think they may even have featured in my currently loving before, so they must be good. They are comfortable, the sound quality is great, and they have all the necessary buttons on them so I can keep my phone away in my bag or pocket and still skip tracks or change the volume (which is very handy for both security and when it’s wet). I use them loads when out and about and keep thinking I should write a full review on them, but for now I’ll just put them here and tell you they are tried and tested and if you’re after a pair in this style, they’re a great option.
10. Because I couldn’t afford to buy a new warm sleeping bag for West Highland Way, not one that would save space/weight compared to the one I’ve had for years anyway, I chose to follow some advice I found online and purchase a sleeping bag liner instead. Silk is considered the best material for a liner as it is thin, light, antimicrobial, moisture wicking and the rest, and I found a great value option at Decathlon in their own brand Quechua Silk Liner. It was brilliant! Turned my old synthetic two season sack into one that was warm enough camping in Scotland in October (I slept in thermals, of course), and doubled up as a liner for when we stayed in hostels. A really good buy, I’m glad I added it to my kit.
What are you currently loving this month? What do you think of my choices? Tell me in the comments below.
Want to see all my Currently Loving posts? This link should help.