Imagine keeping fit, breathing pristinely clean air and disconnecting from the noise of the city while having some fun preserving the beauty of incredible natural spaces that surround you. We spoke to Jacob Cherian, one of our favourite camplords and a champion for all-things-nature. Earlier this month, he found a video that introduced him to Plogging doing rounds on the internet. As a runner and outdoor enthusiast, the combination sport of trail running and trash-picking along the trail instantly appealed to his sensibilities. He soon struck up conversations with more individuals and realised that given the increase of positive lifestyle changes he could open this up to a larger community to create a movement of value to our forests and natural spaces. We had a quick chat with him about his campsite -TheMistyMountainHop and the upcoming Plogging party that he is holding there.
Q: Why the name TheMistyMountainHop?
TheMistyMountainHop is named after a Led Zeppelin song, that reflects the artists' quest for a better society, a place and time when hangups are replaced with individual freedom and a life of mutual support and rapport. Reflecting this ethos, the only rule at TheMistyMountainHop is “minimal disturbance to nature and neighbours” – from waste management to sound and light pollution.
Q: What are you attempting to do/change/enhance?
This mountain-top is an attempt to create a utopian space to escape urban life, where we regenerate forests in a controlled environment, while enjoying nature, the arts and our own hobbies. The long-term ambition is to create a model of a comfortable, yet sustainable lifestyle that can be replicated and scaled up for the world to enjoy. The idea is for humans to accept our position within nature’s sphere, as opposed to ruling nature from the top of the pyramid.
Q: How does plogging directly plug into your plans for The Hop?
TheMistyMountainHop is surrounded by forest on two sides, so it is common for bison, boar and the occasional snake to come through. The local villagers have not understood the damage that plastic will have on them, and a lot of plastic waste ends up in the beautiful forest. And so, by hosting a Plogging Party, I would like to inspire locals and city dwellers to make it fun to help clean up the mess that others have made.
Q: How does plogging appeal to you indirectly?
This is especially important as Indians, as I believe that in an inherently caste-based society, we have become too comfortable with other people cleaning up for us. Plogging is an attempt to take this role back into our individual hands.Whilst some people want to be a farmer, I want to be a ‘forester’. I come from a long line of ‘planters’ that have planted a single species across many many acres. TheMistyMountainHop is me challenging my ancestry and current models of rural living.
Q: What are the highlights of this party?
Apart from the activity of plogging itself, this is a night of camping around the fire in company of the full blue moon of March 31st and the wholesome goodness of a four leaf soup and purple cabbage noodles to pair the night with, no compromises there!
Come join Jacob and us this 31st March-1st April at TheMistyMountainHop!
Let us make a movement out of this. More details here.