2019 Hiking Club (Walking Sober)


15 miles today. The walking route was pretty hard, a couple of steep hills and then lots of farm land which had really uneven ground (and was boring to walk through). My favourite bit was at the top of the second hill, got a real king of the world feeling up there.


Won’t be getting a big walk in this weekend but have been moving about as much as I can. Had a very contemplative couple of miles this afternoon.

Not sure how well it comes out but beyond the field of rapeseed there are some factories and also some wind turbines. It got me thinking about old and new.

I was walking to a belly dance workshop and that’s my main social life these days. I really enjoy it as a hobby and the ladies are lovely, but since I moved away from my home town I haven’t really made friends in the same way. I miss my old social life, partly the partying (that was before I felt the drink and drugs were a problem) but I think it’s mainly being part of a big group. The friends I thought I’d made since moving were mainly drinking buddies who I very rarely see now. It feels like I’ve filled my time with commitments which doesn’t leave me much time or space spare and also in learning to spend time on my own (much needed) I’ve isolated myself a bit. But equally I have a pretty fulfilling life and a lot that I’m grateful for.

More a set of observations than anything, I’m not too sure how I feel about it all or if there’s anything much I can do about it at the moment.


Yesterday I walked 20 km for charity, it was a nice walk trough the fields with cherry and apple trees all in blossom. Because of the cold the farmers are protecting the flowers with water. The froze water protects the flowers from the cold so the flowers can give fruit later on. It gave awesome pictures!


This should’ve gone here! (@Ifs, @siand, @Geo)

I’m looking at going no-cook for backpacking this year. First to shed the little weight/space of a stove and fuel. Plus cut down on meal prep and cleaning time, and the extra time/water needed to scrub down a cook pot caked in stuff. Not to mention peace of mind everything’s good with/without fire.

I do enjoy morning coffee, but even the friend who first taught me about longer hikes doesn’t fire up his stove in the morning for it. He just has a cold Starbucks VIA. I was stunned by this, but it isn’t half bad.

Any no-cook backpacking faves out there? Packing out pizza/sandwich on the first day we do. And instant or overnight oatmeal with powdered milk were suggested, maybe toss in some raisins, etc.

Some MREs (think Mountain House) and many other dehydrated foods can actually be rehydrated cold as well, though it takes longer and may affect taste. I’ll post back later my at-home taste test for a bunch of things. I’m skeptical.

Probably my fave recipe is cold trail pizza roll ups. Pepperoni, flatbread/tortilla, and cheese can pack well. A premixture of tomato powder and some spice can make pizza or pasta sauce (depending how much water added). Not the most calorie dense, but a protein/fat boost and nutrition in the tomato sauce. Plus… pizza!


Morning is a good time to test oatmeal! This needs work.

I split an apples & cinnamon instant oats packet. For control, I added boiling water to half and tap water to the other.

Boiled water one was great. In 2 minutes with minor stirring it came up porridge-y. A little bit soupy but slightly thick, too. Tastes as good as instant oats can.

Tap water one was less good. It hydrated almost as quickly, though I stirred it more. It’s… edible. Taste is okay, texture kind of meh. The oats and included dried apples softened, but it didn’t thicken as the hot water one. Worse, whatever powder is in it for thickening isn’t fully absorbed and makes the leftover water kind of gritty.

Not sure instant oats are the way to go. Maybe less water or stirring? Also didn’t try adding any chia or dry milk, just seeing how it acts as a base.


I get where you’re going with this but I’ve still got 3 things I’d like to contribute if I may.
I’ m assuming that you have the same equipment we have and the stove I use is a little spider stove that folds down to a small fist size and the cannister is about 4" X 4"
Another reason that would take a stove is the safety issue. Obviously I don’t know about the weather conditions for you, but when we go over the Brecons and other hill walking in the UK the weather can change just like that and a hot brew is a saviour in such circumstances.
I’ve seen MRE’s that self heat by snapping a block in them. Cost is probably a thing here though.
As I said just the reasons why a stove would always be in my pack.:grinning:


When I do overnight oats (for work) I use rolled oats, fruit and water. I buy frozen berries and they just defrost over night. Add in some chia seeds for protein and also consistency.


Totally respected! Cost isn’t so much a factor. Cold/wet weather also (usually) not so bad here, though. We’re usually in the summer Sierras. Hottt days though nights get chilly.

Hot food for sure can give a quick heat boost and major comfort. My experience is cook time also leads to more exposure time for prep/cleaning/packing, though (not zero for cold prep, but can be close). And that digesting a good meal provides the more lasting warmth, hot or cold.

That said, you’re right on. If the likelihood of cold/rain here were higher, I’d go hot again for comfort!

Self heating MRE, you say…? (googles)


It’s just what’s drilled into me when I started my mountain leader. It’s kinda stuck. Didn’t complete unfortunately.
I must admit I still pack my day bag with all my safety kit, even if we’re just taking the dogs over the Malverns.:rofl:
The wife has a laugh, but one day you never know I say.


Absolutely gorgeous day! The poppies were popping and there were some new kids (goats) in town. :heart:

Aw… The pictures from my new phone are too large to upload. :sweat:


I’m a boil water only backpacker. Nothing to clean up and only freezer bags to pack out. I currently use an Esbit stove, so minimal weight/space or fussing.


Oh no! I mean the hike sounds lovely but sad news not to be able to see the pictures.


As am/was I. Alcohol stove kit, though altogether it was bulkier to pack than this Esbit. To me a hot meal is a treat to stave off food boredom.

Though hmm… Something like the Esbit with a 1-1.5 cup pot might be good. :thinking:

Yesterday’s taste test: Cold rehydrated Bear Creek beef veg soup. Used half the water/cup recommended to start. Texture of the stuff was good after an hour (didn’t check sooner) and taste was okay.

Salty! Needs more watering down and maybe something to bulk it out. Better as an ingredient than the main attraction.




Adorable! And the poppies look amazing!

I met these little chaps this afternoon while walking Lady. They were behind a fence so we couldn’t say hello properly but they were very friendly. I guess they thought we had food.


That looks amazing! Well done on the 20km too! :clap:


Yesterday I did the rehydration experiment with one of those instant rice side packages. Jumping to the chase… two very useful things I’ve learned:

  1. How much longer foods I’d enjoy packing take to reconstitute in cold water. They do so eventually and are differently edible.
  2. The joy of preparing and wolfing down a simple hot meal outweigh my other nonsense. Totally bringing a light stove.

And esbit is on the list, @Lotys, thanks. Alcohol stoves always made me nervous and i never saw the solid fuel.


Just googled these. Like the hexy burners in the UK rat packs.



Sounds like taking a stove is a good call!


Good morning all,

I try and hike at least 4 to 5 times a week. My fiance and I average around 3 miles per hike but like to go further on the weekends. We discoveres this beautiful little waterfall in the Taconic Mountains just west of the Massachusetts border the ither day. Its funny how during addiction, you never have the time to enjoy or appreciate the snall things. Your completely consumed with addiction. Being sober for almost 19 months has allowed me to remember all of the beauty in the world that i forgot about. Im grateful to be able to enjoy these moments now. Every new day is amazing.