Since our last hike we’ve been thinking about the things Varanghian Wear could do to preserve the nature we all love so much.
The region where Varanghian Wear originated in Belgium has a lot of diverse nature and a few protected areas where there is unique wildlife. Sadly enough there’s an imminent danger for this habitat to disappear in order for houses to be built.
This is why our team came up with the great idea to help Natuurpunt, a Belgian institution that helps preserve Belgian nature. We have decided that we will donate 10% of our net profits to this association as our contribution to nature.
This way we help ensure that the beautiful landscape will be protected so that the animals can continue to nest in it and that people can continue their adventures in the area for years, decades and perhaps centuries to come.
With Varanghian Wear, not even the Gods can stop you!
Last weekend we wanted to go for a hike but didn’t have much time. So we decided to explore the countryside just outside of our city (Turnhout). We got a good 10 km in and got these great views of the regional nature.
The path took us through different fields and forests. After a few kilometers we unexpectedly fell upon an old lake called “Zwart Water” which translates into “The Black Water”. When my grandmother was around 16 years old (sometime around the second world war), this lake used to freeze over at the end of November. When this happened she, her family and her friends would all walk there and back from the city and go ice skating all day. There weren’t many cars back then and they certainly didn’t use them for pleasure trips. As you can see on the picture below the lake is not yet frozen, I guess we can thank global warming for that.
I just want to remind you that you don’t have to go far to find a decent or a beautiful hike. Sometimes the best walks are just outside your door.
The first setup we love is the A-frame setup. It’s fast and it’s efficient. This standard way of pitching your tarp and will give you basic protection from the elements. If you set up you tarp in this way you will be protected from light to medium rainfall. Depending on if you let the sides go to the ground or if you keep them high. I usually keep the edges high so I can enjoy the view better.
This setup is another favorite because it can be pitched even if there are no trees available. All you need is a (walking) stick of the correct length and you’re basically half way through. This setup will protect you more from the weather as it is closed on three sides.
There are millions of more ways to pitch a tarp, which one is your favorite?
Got your next adventure lined up and you’re ready to go? Good! Now all you need to do is pack the right stuff before you go on this adventure.
Many tend to underestimate the importance of carefully packing their backpack before going camping. This is essential for having a fun experience into the wild. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a forest and realizing you forgot your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
The first thing you need to assess is the duration of your trip into the outdoors. Why? Because the length of your trip, in both time and distance, will have a direct impact on the number of items you will need to have with you. The obvious rule is that longer trips will require you to have more items.
Once you have decided the duration and distance of your trip the next step is to choose your most valuable companion, your backpack. Your pack should be the correct size for the trip. For a short day hike, you won’t need a lot of things. A 20-liter pack is perfect for this short adventure. If your plan is to have some meals and cook outdoors you will need something a little bigger, such as a 30-liter bag. For an overnight trip you will need a bigger bag to fit all of your gear. In this case I would suggest a 40-liter backpack. No matter the duration of your trip, you should always travel as lightly as possible. Unnecessary extra weight can be a burden.
If you decide to go on a multiple day adventure your next task will be to pick your shelter. I prefer going camping with my beloved tarp, but you might want to choose a shelter you will feel comfortable in. It’s very important for you to check the weather forecast so that you can bring the most appropriate tent or tarp with you. If you feel brave enough to try tarp camping I would suggest experimenting somewhere close to home for the first time. The experience can be overwhelming for newcomers.
The next item on the list is your sleeping gear. You will need a sleeping mat and a sleeping bag. If you didn’t follow my advice of checking for weather conditions in the previous section, now it’s time to do so! Make sure that your sleeping arrangements are warm enough for the weather. It is highly dangerous to go camping in cold temperatures with an insufficiently warm sleeping bag. In the worse case scenario you can freeze to death or get very sick, but you will certainly have a very bad night filled with shivers and anger. I once went camping in the snow and my sleeping system wasn’t nearly warm enough. I can tell you I did not enjoy the experience as I was shivering and shaking from the cold in my sleeping bag.
When you go for a hike it’s essential that you stay well hydrated and that you eat often. This is true no matter of the duration of your hike. Bring plenty of water and make sure you have a way to filter water. This seems like basic stuff, but mane people go on hikes without bringing sufficient amounts of water (I actually did this myself once). If you are planning on cooking something make sure that you can start a fire and bring a little stove to fit your cooking pots and utensils.
You will also need to think about bringing a knife. You will mostly use it to open food packages. Sorry to tell you that you won’t need the super cool Rambo style machete you’ve been laying your eyes on for some time. If you’re planning on going for a multiple day trip you might want to bring a multipurpose knife; one that can be useful for battoning, sharpening sticks, create forks out of sticks and so on.
If you are going on a hike in rough weather make sure to bring spare clothing. At the very least bring an extra pair of socks. Your feet will thank you for life! Hiking and sleeping in wet clothing is once again a very dangerous thing to do. You can feel extremely cold, this can potentially cause hypothermia. I suggest you to dress in layers so that you can add or remove a lawyer accordingly.
Now you should know exactly what items are vital for your next trip into the great outdoors. While you assemble your gear try and stay as light as possible.
If you miss any items from this list feel free to check out our shop to complete your backpack before your next adventure.