I had to buy new boots today – mine, at eighteen months old, have a big hole in the toe. I got the new boots eventually (it turns out that when you request a pair in a particular size, they’re not in the mysterious storage room, they’re just stacked around the footwear area and it’s far quicker and easier to fetch them yourself once you’ve realised that, especially if there’s only one staff member to serve the dozen people wanting boots and they bring you a five instead of a six and it takes you a while to realise why they don’t seem to fit).
Obviously, I ambled around the shop. I bought some lined trousers because I’ve outgrown all my warm winter trousers and then I slightly ambled into the sleeping bag aisle.
Sleeping bags have been very much on my mind for the last couple of months, ever since I made the rash decision to invite my Guides & Rangers to a winter survival camp in February. It’s going to be really cold! I’m less concerned about the girls because they’re going to be squished into tents on top of each other – probably five Guides and three Rangers but possibly four and four depending on whether my nearly-fifteen-year-old Guide who is also a Young Leader counts enough as a Senior Section member to go in the Ranger tent with her best friend and a Ranger who also happens to be her Guide leader.
I’m worried about me, because I’ve camped in the cold before and I know that my cheap 4 season sleeping bag is a really bad sleeping bag. I want a really good expensive sleeping bag but even when I was working full time I couldn’t afford that and I’m currently only working two days a week so I definitely can’t. So I’m looking at sleeping bags and pulling faces over the price, looking at cheaper bags and thinking they’re too big and not warm enough and… I don’t want to freeze in a tent on my own. And today I spotted sleeping pods – huge sleeping bags almost unreasonably wide for people who don’t like being squished in normal sleeping bags.
That seemed like a solution! A cheap & rubbish 4 season bag inside a 2 season sleeping pod – that’s six seasons, that should warm, toasty and comfortable. Now I’m looking forward to winter camp because I hope to be happy in my tent.