Geoff and I are doing The Overland Track in Tasmania in a few weeks. We are also doing overnight walks on the Gold Coast next week and Mt Warning for Geoff's birthday on the 31st Jan.
We needed a few items for overnight camping that we didn't already have so after buying six bags of books at the Lifeline Bookfair yesterday I went into the Valley to do some indoor outdoor shopping.
Most of the stores were either just clothing or the shop attendants were too busy discussing their private lives to assist me. One store I did find that was fantastic was K2 Base Camp. The assistant I had was fantastic and friendly and helped me out a lot.
However, he did suggest I get a new sleeping bag that went into the minus degrees. He suggested down. I told him I couldn't have down because I was vegan. He said: "A vegan camping? Good luck." He then said no offence to my beliefs but down was better than synthetic because it is lighter and I should therefore get it.
I was a little confused. All these people spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on gear to go experience the "great outdoors" and be "one with nature" etc etc but don't stop twice to think about where these products are coming from and how it may be making the very animals they want to "be one with" suffer.
Everything I do I try think about how it affects others. Albeit a lot of the time I come to the selfish conclusion where my comfort comes before the environment or whatever. But this guy didn't seem to even be able to put two and two together. It's like he thought down was just some magical material made by fairies who like making down for his sleeping bag. I'm not asking him to give up his magical down. I'm just asking him to think about how it came to be and whether or not using it to go camping and be all minimal impact camping dude might be a bit hypocritical.
In the end though lighter will be better so I probably will go with the down. But I'll buy it second hand. Because I think.
P.S. Can anyone think of any good food to take on a several day hike where there will be no food available? It needs to be light. Think freeze-dried soy ice cream. If only it existed.