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Posted on 19th May 2010 @ 11:56 AM
Mountain Junky was born out of my life-long passion for the outdoors. A true mountain junky from the start, when most thirteen year olds were playing football in the park I chose to spend my weekends out walking, backpacking and climbing. I was encouraged to try a number of other activities including boxing, weight lifting and rugby. I even spent several years as a Junior Leader in the Royal Engineers. But I quickly learned that I want nothing more than to get out to the mountains….and the more challenging the better!
My first serious trek was around ten years ago when I climbed Kilimanjaro. Since that time I’ve been all around the world. I’ve trekked Mount Everest, Island Peak, Meru Peak, Ama Dablam and Cho Oyu in the Himalayas, Aconcagua in the Andes…some of them several times. I’ve also organized and led several group treks to these same areas.
Originally Mountain Junky was a designed as a website for people who, like me, were addicted to the outdoors. I created a site for people to share their experiences and pictures….a place for junkies like me to describe and share their passion with other like-minded climbers.
The more I climbed the more I began to realise just how impractical a lot of the clothing options were for serious climbers. As many of you know, hiking clothes are generally split into three distinct layers: outer layer (shell), mid layer (usually a fleece jacket), and the base layer (long johns, socks, etc.). Each of these layers need to compliment the others and if one is not up to the job then the whole layering system falls apart!
Traditionally, base layers have been made of synthetic fibres such as polyamides or more recently Merino Wool. My experience with both has been a bit disappointing as they tend to smell after extended use and also lose their shape quite easily. This might not be such a big issue to a lot of people, but when you’re out hiking for weeks sometimes months on end it can be a problem….particularly for those unfortunate to be within smelling distance of you!
The other issue that really stood out to me is that man-made fabrics tend to leave a significant carbon footprint during the manufacturing process. And so began my search for a fabric that would address the issues of functionality, environmental concerns and sustainability. My searches lead me to Bamboo viscose.
The Mountain Junky range of garments address all of the issues I’ve had with traditional climbing clothes in that the Bamboo Viscose is biodegradable, sustainable, far more environmentally friendly than cotton, exceptionally comfortable when worn and naturally antibacterial, meaning the garment won’t smell, even after extended wear.
It’s been an interesting journey so far – finding the right materials and fabrics and developing each garment with my trekking experience in mind. But by far my favourite part of starting Mountain Junky has been putting the product to the test! I love nothing more than to put the kit through its paces….wear it in the most extreme conditions…and see it pass all of my expectations.
Since that time Mountain Junky has grown considerably. We’ve begun exploring another mixed fibre fabrics made of bamboo and Wool Ultra. Right now, you can find this mix in our range of socks. The fabric was designed for outdoor use and like all the Mountain Junky products has exceeded our expectations for comfort, practicality, and functionality. We’re currently working on a new line of boxers and long johns using this same mix of fibres.
Here at Mountain Junky we are always pleased to receive thought and feedback from our customers as we always endeavour to create a garment that is practical, functional, fit for purpose and as kind to the environment as possible. Please keep reading the blog for more stories about my various trekking adventures, thoughts on outdoor experiences, information on the great places you could also trek, as well as more details of the tests I’ve personally put the Mountain Junky collection through.
Thanks and Happy Trekking!!