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The Turf Bog Survivors Guide

Thinking of going to a turf bog or even taking one of our Turf Bog Tours? Then this blog is very relevant for you.  Going to the turf bog is not something to take lightly.  You have to get the clothing, footwear and even headgear just right.  I am not talking about fashion, in the turf bog its practical clobber all the way.  Turf Bog etiquette is crucial.

The bog has hidden hazards from airborne enemies such as midgies and clegs (large flies) to underfoot conditions that could see you end up sinking into big holes full of cold black water.

So based on our experiences of turf cutting for McAndrew’s Store here are our top tips for an enjoyable turf bog experience….

1. Wear long trousers and long sleeved tops.  This will stop ticks latching on to you.  Ticks can spread limes disease and you really don’t want to go there.

2. A hat is handy, it can protect you from cool winds or wind burn when the sunshine breaks through.

3. You don’t want to end up with Bog Foot Syndrome so wear good walking boots or wellies to ensure that your feet stay dry and warm. Thick socks are a good move too.

Irish turf bog
4. A waterproof/windproof jacket over a fleece ensures that you are layered up.  Most turf bogs are in elevated locations and there’s no shelter from wind and rain.


5. Never underestimate a turf bog.  Distances can appear deceptive but once you try trekking across heather and grass you will soon discover that progress is slow and energy sapping.  Taking a vehicle out in to the bog? Be wary of hidden drops, drains and ground conditions next to bog tracks/lanes.  From personal experience I have been involved in “bogging” jeeps on a couple of occasions – oh the shame!  I have also helped some folk retrieve their car from the bog.  Don’t judge!

6. Respect Mother Nature at all times.  The turf bog is a unique wilderness so make sure you leave no trace.


7. Keep an eye on the weather.  Go off the beaten path on a bog and if the weather closes in or daylight fades you could quickly get in to bother.  I highly recommend the Norwegian Met Office forecasting website.

8. In summer months, if the wind drops and it’s mild, then chances are the midgies will make an appearance.  On our Turf Bog Tours we carry midgie repellant.  We try to schedule our Turf Bog Tours during daytime hours when wind is stronger which keeps the midgies at bay.

9. Learn the lingo, turf bog speak is a whole other matter.  Whether it’s banks, sleans, footing, clamps and even sods be sure to ask questions of the locals. Talking of people, folk working out on the turf bog are a friendly bunch and love nothing better than putting the world to rights plus discussing the weather of course!

10.  Finally, enjoy the turf bog.  How many places are left where you can get off grid? The turf bog is the perfect digital detox, no wifi and no mobile phone signal.  Enjoy stunning views, marvel at flora and fauna, hear birdsong, come across the odd cow and donkey plus if you are really lucky a deer or two.

Feeling empowered and ready for a turf bog experience?  I am sure you are….see you soon!

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  1. […] but there is a great network of back roads and bog roads that are worth exploring. So long as you come prepared, have a waterproof jacket at the ready you can enjoy a cycle here in these parts. With this in mind […]

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