Time for another blog in my series of currently loving posts. These very bloggy lifestyle listicles, which I prepare every other month or so (the last one was in April 2023), allow me to share a list of ten things that I’m enjoying. You know, a bunch of my favourite things, things that are bringing me joy, my top ten things of the moment.
While Splodz Blogz is primarily an outdoors and adventure focused blog, or at least I want it to be that way, my currently loving post gives me an opportunity to chat about a few items that are much less of that – homeware, food, personal care products, anything really. One thing that is always true: my currently loving posts include things that make me smile. And that is why I write it.
I have another varied bunch of things this time – a pair of trousers, lightweight dressing gown, my new fancy pee rag, a trendy water bottle, my game-changing massage gun, the hiking socks I bought for the Cumbria Way, a couple of bits of outdoor cookware, and some SPF-focused face cream. Let me tell you all about them…
Currently Loving | June 2023
01 Alpkit Kraft Trousers
I really like these Alpkit Kraft Trousers. I bought them because of how much I like wearing my Sequence Jeans, which I’ve featured in a previous currently loving post, hoping they’d be equally as comfortable. They’re not quite the same cut, but they fit very well, and have become an excellent ‘not jeans’ option.
As with the jeans, these are designed with bouldering and hiking in mind – although for me, they are very much a casual trouser. Made from a reasonably heavy organic cotton canvas, they have an articulated fit, are roomy enough for all-day wear, and are a bit stretchy so I can move freely. There’s a handy zipped pocked on the thigh, put there so it doesn’t interfere with a harness, but incredibly useful for day-to-day use too.
The best thing is that they bridge the gap between ‘outdoorsy’ and ‘smart’, you know, something that’s as comfortable as an outdoor trouser, but smart enough to be seen out in…!
The Kraft trousers (in the Tarmac or Java) are currently on sale at £39.99, and have been for quite some time (I bought mine in early April at this price).
02 Lightweight Dressing Gown
I have a lovely thick and cosy dressing gown which is perfect for the cold mornings of winter, but this spring decided it was about time I got something a little lighter. You know, for when I am doing my morning chores and it’s too warm for my thick one, but too cool to go without that extra layer as I wake up.
After taking far too much time browsing various online shops, finding all kinds of lovely linen, bamboo and light cotton options that in reality were far too expensive for an ‘extra’, I chose this waffle weave dressing gown from M&S. Sometimes M&S really is the best place to go! It’s pure cotton, lightweight but still cosy, has a knee-length cut and three-quarter length sleeves, and is covered in little palm trees.
It’s not thin and flowy, the material has some weight to it, but it’s been ideal this spring, and will be again when the temperature drops back down to its normal levels. The cream colour is perhaps a bit dangerous for something I wear when preparing my slow cooker meals (!), but it washes well and is a very practical dressing gown.
It’s currently on sale for £17.60 – I paid the very reasonable full price of £22.
03 Kula Cloth
Talking about my outdoor wees might be too much information for a currently loving post, but it’s a key component of spending days out hiking. And a Kula Cloth has been on my gear wish list ever since I heard about them.
This little square of material is a very nicely designed pee rag. On one side (the plain black side), it’s made from a super absorbent and very quick drying silver-infused microbial fabric, which you use to pat yourself dry after peeing outdoors, instead of loo roll. The other side (with the printed design – I went for ‘birds of a feather’) is waterproof, so your hand stays dry and clean. It has a handy hanging loop to attach it to your pack for quick access, and fastens in half so it doesn’t touch your pack once used, or indeed, get dirty on your hike.
Pee rags eliminate the need to pack out used toilet tissue, which will almost certainly need to be kept in some kind of single use plastic bag such as a dog poo bag or freezer bag. It’s another step in my desire to leave no trace when outside, and to reduce my impact on the environment more generally.
It really is a great little bit of kit, and I highly recommend it to all my spend-all-day-outside friends. I used it on the Cumbria Way, finding it to be incredibly practical – it did the required role replacing toilet tissue perfectly, was easy to wash each evening, and very quick to dry.
I bought mine from Vampire Outdoors, who specialise in women’s products, plus size backpacks, and plus size women’s outdoor clothing. They were great, by the way, this was my first purchase from them, and I’ll be looking there for future outdoorsy purchases.
04 Chilly’s Water Bottle
You all seem to have one of these trendy water bottles already, and I see them on sale everywhere in all kinds of fancy colours. Mine is one of the matt finish ones, in this deep green colour – I really like how smooth-to-the-touch it is.
It really does work – cold water stays cold all day, even in the heatwave we’ve been having. Chilly’s bottles have double-walled vacuum insulation, and they claim hot drinks will stay hot for 12 hours, which is impressive for something so light. This one will just be for cold water, though, so I can’t say whether that claim is accurate or not.
I can confirm, though, that it is leak proof – and I hope it stays that way. I don’t plan on hiking with this, although it does fit nicely in the water bottle pockets on my day pack. Rather, this will be my every day bottle for work, days out, road trips, that kind of thing. I have already dropped and dented the lid, which is a bit annoying, but hey it’s a daily-use-item, not an ornament!
05 Simple Face SPF
Unfortunately, the confidence-boosting Dr Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass green cream I use daily no longer has SPF included the UK version, which is a bit annoying as it’s been a very convenient ‘does everything cream’ for the last year or two. Knowing that I was going to be hiking in Cumbria in a heatwave, I went on the hunt for a good value face moisturiser with a decent amount of sun protection incorporated in the formula.
I found the Simple Protect and Glow Triple Protection cream in my local Boots. I’ve generally got on well on with Simple products, and this one has a SPF30 as well as Vitamin C, so I thought I’d give it a go. I got on so well with it I’ve since bought more (on offer in Tesco!), using it daily under my green cream or other makeup when I choose to wear it.
I have found it to be fast-absorbing, non-greasy, and feel like it’s giving me the sun protection I was looking for. Unlike many standalone sun creams I’ve tried, even specialist ones, my skin seems happy to accept this cream, and doesn’t complain about it by breaking out any more than usual.
As with all Simple products, this has no artificial colour, perfume or harsh chemicals. I once went to a really fantastic masterclass event with Simple in London (now there’s a very old blog post!), and while it is not exactly a small business offering handmade products, I do feel like it’s one of the good brands.
06 Lake District Mountains
Represented in my currently loving photo by a lovely card I received from a friend last week, I don’t think I could possibly write this list of my favourite things without mentioning the Lake District this time.
I’ve always enjoyed spending time in Cumbria and the Lake District – show me any English countryside-loving person who doesn’t – but it has been in recent months that I’ve really discovered a deeper sense of longing for it. The mountains and lakes are beautiful beyond measure; wild and rugged and incredibly freeing.
Having successfully hiked up three of the big hitters just a couple of weeks ago (albeit incredibly slowly), everything feels so much more doable to this very normal lady. I’m not about to start bagging Wainrights, I would rather pick and choose my hikes based on other criteria, but I can definitely see me hunting out other challenging hikes up there in the coming years.
I guess hiking the UK Coast to Coast, my trip for my rematch with Red Pike last winter, and my very recent week hiking the Cumbria Way and those mountain tops, gave me a new sense of what I can achieve when I really try.
It’s just a shame it’s so far away (and that it’s so busy)!
07 Massage Gun
Honestly, this thing has been a (clichéd) game changer for me. The Bob and Brad Massage Gun (mine is the C2) has been a fantastic addition to my gear cupboard. I received it as a gift from the team at Bob and Brad to help improve my recovery after long days hiking, and I’ve already shared my full review.
In all honesty, I have been looking at these longingly for a good while, but I’ve never really known if they are good as the marketing blurb suggests. They are – this is – brilliant! I have been enjoying reaping the benefits of almost-daily use over the last couple of months, using it in combination with my usual post hike stretches and regular bubble baths to keep my muscles working and supple. I am sure this has resulted in much less stiffness after big hikes, a reduction in DOMS after kayaking, and is much more pleasant than taking my cork ball to my feet each evening before bed.
This massage gun retails at £89.99, but I’ve seen it at £69.99 more than once. If you’re looking for one, you can make use of my 10% discount code to buy it from Amazon – use BobBrad401 at the checkout to get money off.
08 Petromax Skillet and Cooking Outdoors
There’s a full review of this marvellous bit of chunky outdoor cooking equipment coming soon, but I couldn’t not include my Petromax fire skillet in my currently loving post as well. I’m having so much fun taking the time and making the effort to use this in my garden, it has very quickly become part of my One Hour Outside activity rotation – an example, a bit like my kayak, of when a bit of kit broadens my life outdoors a little bit more.
Made from high-quality cast iron, this 30cm skillet is a fantastic bit of kit. It’s got some real weight to it, came pre-seasoned so I could cook in it straight away, and is already proving to be a useful and versatile addition to my outdoor kitchen. More than that, though, I’m just having fun with it!
I mean, I’m not cooking all my meals on this by any means, or even using it once a week – I know, the shame. But what I have been doing is making specific plans to use it to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner when I have the time and the weather is nice. It’s giving me an excuse to set aside time to be outside at home, lighting a fire, preparing fresh ingredients, and cooking some tasty food.
09 Petromax Enamel Milk Jug
One of the other things Whitby and Co sent me along with the skillet, is the Petromax 1-litre enamel milk pot, which for some weird reason has caused me great excitement. It’s hard to pinpoint why I love it so much, other than this is quite simply such an incredibly useful bit of outdoor – and indoor – kit.
Being enamel, this is not just a handy jug good to hold and pour hot and cold liquids, but is also a cooking pot, suitable for all stove types as well as on a campfire. It’s perfect for boiling up water for tea and to cook in/with, as a milk pan for hot chocolates, and as a standard camp cooking pot for ramen, pasta, soup, or anything else you fancy.
It is lightweight, a decent size (1 litre), scratch resistant and easy to clean, and the handle and spout gives the perfect pour. Petromax have also put a measuring scale on the inside, which is very handy.
I’m not likely to take this backpacking, it would look a bit silly hanging from my pack in place of my mug, but I can definitely see this finding its way into my car camping cooking set up, and has already proved to be very useful at home (and in my garden!).
I don’t know why you might be in the market for an enamel milk pot, I didn’t know I was… but if you are, then get this one!
10 Lightweight Hiking Socks
I bought three pairs of lightweight hiking socks in preparation for hiking in Cumbria earlier this month – and oh how happy am I that I did! My standard-weight hiking socks are too thick and cosy for summer hiking, having had very warm feet on the Cotswold Way at the end of April.
I went for one pair each of the Bridgedale Lightweight Merino Endurance Boot Socks, Bridgedale Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks, and Darn Tough Bear Town Micro Crew in Aqua. Given the extreme heat (for the UK!) we had hiking the Cumbria Way, I cannot be happier with my decision to spend good money on good hiking socks – which will hopefully last me for years and years to come.
Of the pairs I bought, my favourites (yes already, that didn’t take long), are the lower cut Bridgedales. The others are decent as well, but those ones seem the most comfortable, the lightest, and the quickest to air dry during boots-off breaks. If and when I choose to buy another pair or two, it will most likely be these ones.
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.
In the interests of full disclosure for this currently loving post, and as mentioned within the text above, the skillet, milk pot, massage gun and water bottle were originally gifted. I have therefore marked this post as gifted, but it is not sponsored – none of these brands asked to be included in my currently loving feature, I did that because I’m genuinely currently loving the items.
There are affiliate links on this page, the funds from which help me go on the mini adventures that make life interesting. Thank you.