From Ballyvourney to Kealkill - stunningly beautiful hiking trail in Cork, Ireland. This is the second part of hiking the Sli Gaeltacht Mhuscrai. You can find the first part - from Millstreet to Ballyvourney right here. By the time I arrived in Ballyvourney, I’ve already hiked the Avondhu (Blackwater) Way, so I had already eight days of hiking under my belt. My body needed a rest day, but there wasn’t really a good place for me to stop. I couldn’t afford to stay two nights in a hotel just to rest, and I also couldn’t stay two nights in one spot wild camping. I found this part of Cork lacking in campsites, so I just had to keep walking till the one in Eagle’s Point. A long walk but the stay in that beautiful area was well worth it!Read More
The Avondhu/Blackwater Way. The whole trail takes one from Clogheen to Bweeng (awesome name, kept saying "bling" in my head) in 94 km. From Bweeng one can naturally continue on the Duhallow Way (Avondhu together with Duhallow make the Blackwater Way) through Millstreet to Shrone. The combined trails are 168 km and are also part of the European E8 long-distance trail.
Ireland was such an excellent choice for my big summer trip. I was happy to escape the heat waves plaguing continental Europe. The rugged landscapes of far west coastal walks filled my heart with bliss and the memory card with hundreds of photos (OK, fine, five thousand to be exact). I enjoyed hiking solo on mostly deserted trails, wild camping in a few places, and talking to the very positive locals. As I mostly walk during my trips, I can't see much at once. From the big Irish island, I only saw West Cork and some bits of southern Kerry. I hope to see more another time.Read More
Are you thinking about buying a water filter for your hiking adventures? Consider getting Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System - but first, read my review!
The Katadyn BeFree filtration system is a pretty recent purchase for me, but it has already managed to steal my heart. I am delighted I got it, and I can recommend it to everyone.
But before I explain all the reasons why it's a great water filter, I want to clear a few things out.
Do I even need a water filtration system for my trip?
That depends on the length and style of your hike. For day hiking or multiple-day hiking from shelter to shelter it's not really necessary.
But even on a day hike, it can get pretty useful. If you know there are natural water sources on your way, you can limit the amount of water you carry and refill during the day. This way you can hike with a lighter backpack.Read More
I am pretty sure I don’t have to explain how important proper hydration is. Also, although we know now that there is no a set amount of water everyone has to drink during a day, it’s important to think ahead of time about the best way to carry, clean, and drink water on the trail.
Hiking Hydration: How much water do I need?
In the beginning, when you are not sure how much your body needs, think of providing about half a liter per hour of activity. If you hike on a scorching day or the hike is very demanding to you, you might need more. The amount of water one needs depends on many factors: the weather, altitude, your body type, how hard the hike is and how long you walk. If you head out on a hot day to climb steep rocks in high altitude - double the amount of water needed.
With time you start to get a good feeling of how much water you need. It’s always better to reach the hike’s end with some water left than risk dehydration.Read More
I don't want to scare you off camping, quite the opposite! But I want to make sure your camping experience is fun and safe so you may want to do it more often. I collected 25 most common mistakes that could make your camping trip into an unpleasant experience or even a severe endangering of human life.
You might wonder if I actually did any of them. Well, duh! I took the wrong gear (too thin sleeping big), too much gear or useless stuff “just in case” more than once.
Learn from mine and other campers’ mistakes and make sure you are not guilty of any of them!Read More
I believe knowing when to stop, turn around, give up - is the most important skill any hiker or mountaineering can have. Writing into the culture of wrongly understood "motivation" can be deadly.
There is no shame in quitting. Anyone who says so has blood on their hands. As I already stated a few times, I find the ubiquitous "fitspiration" of "never give up" disgusting and dangerous.
But we are surrounded by the macho culture of winning, being the first to reach a “never before” place, be better than the other one, risking life to achieve some Big Goal.Read More
A lot of women who would like to go hiking, don’t do it because of fear. Sometimes it’s even hard to identify what exactly it is that scares them off - it’s just the generalized fear of Nature, hiking or camping solo or the unknown.
There is this anecdote asking how can a person lift a huge rock? The answer is: by breaking it into much smaller pieces and lifting each one separately, step by step. Same is with fear: when it’s unidentified, generalized fear of an idea, it’s hard to do anything about it, it’s paralyzing. But when you are able to name the particular source of anxiety, there is a chance we can work around it or with it.Read More
Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or for no reason at all - it’s always great to find an inspiration for thoughtful gifts that will truly make someone happy. I am a hiker and a camper and I know that there is nothing better than to receive a gift that says, I know you are a hiking nerd and I love you for it!
Hiking gear is not cheap. This is why people who love hikers should not feel bad for giving quite practical gifts - it might sound unsexy or silly to give someone woolen socks or a pooping trowel but believe me, your adventurous lover, sister or mother will go crazy for it!Read More
It’s pretty obvious that generally, hikers wish for a nice and clear weather. But it does not mean that if there is a rain in the forecast we should cancel our plans. Hiking (and camping!) in the rain may be fun and a chance to see the area in new light. There is also more chance to have the trail just to yourself as a number of potential hikers may change their plans.
Rain quite often comes with gloomy and moody clouds, creating a dramatic stage for your adventure. Of course, quite often it comes also with thick white fog and horizontally falling rains and hail... but that also can be quite breath-taking.Read More
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia some nine years ago. Unexplained pains, nothing on x-rays, and jumping reaction to the doctor pressing some well-chosen spots on my body. A well-known story to many who struggle with fibromyalgia and sometimes wait for years for a diagnosis.
I am lucky – my version of FM is pretty light. I could still work, take care of myself and generally, the disease did not mess too much with my life. My doctor told me about the importance of exercise and active lifestyle no matter the pain it could cause.Read More