Zipped into a Four Season Sleeping Bag on Furnace Friday

I’d better get out…

“I think I’d better get out now,” I said fumbling with the sleeping bag’s zip. Megan, the shop assistant, laughed and unzipped me. With temperatures hitting 35 °C / 95 °F outside, cocooned in a four season sleeping bag was a bad idea unless you were about to stand on the scales for a dieting weigh-in.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. This story started a week earlier, when I’d been ignoring emails from Go Outdoors. I thought they were just a follow up from my recent purchase of a sleeping mat. In the end I opened the fourth because I liked the mat and had appreciated the shop’s friendly staff. I’m so glad I opened that email.

Inside was a…

Inside was an invite to visit the Colchester store for a tour and to spend a £100 voucher – Willy Wonker Golden Ticket moment, or what!

So I arrived at store and got shown around the hiking, biking, watersports, climbing, fishing, horse riding, foot wear, camping, caravanning, clothing, tent, watches and cameras departments. This was going to be a problem, I thought. I could buy something from all of those areas except, fishing, caravanning and horse riding. At a push, I could even find something in those to buy. The fishing beds looked ridiculously comfortable for some car camping.

Stick to your…

“Stick to your list Jack,” the little voice in my head said. I’d been at the seaside for a mini-break so I hadn’t had time to research exactly what I wanted but I had some ideas: a four season sleeping bag because I froze on my last winter walk; a new pair of walking sandals because my current ones would only last this summer; a new ski jacket for the coming season.

Trouble is, as we walked around the list grew and grew, like Violet Beauregarde in the Charlie and the Chocolate factory tour. I liked the look of the 4k camera; the inflatable three person kayak; the one man backpacking tent; the super lightweight chair that packed small enough to hike or cycle tour with.

Jonny, the shop assistant showing me around loved that chair. He’d taken it on a Duke of Edinburgh hike and been the envy of his whole team. The shop manager also raved about that chair, as did the regional manager. I loved its comfort too but when I hike, I walk until I’m ready to drop and then wild camp, so I crossed it off my list.

Then I crossed off the ski jacket because it wasn’t winter yet. Same for the four season sleeping bag – I lasted 3 minutes zipped in that. The staff admired my dedication in testing it so thoroughly. Well, that’s what I took their amusement as.

Saving my bacon…

My current sandals weren’t hanging off my feet yet, so I passed on those too. The camera and kayak were luxuries which sorely tempted me but really I had enough toys at home already so I walked into the cycling section and found exactly what I didn’t know I needed: some new mountain bike tyres.

Sounds boring I know, but in two weeks, the grip on these top of the range Maxxis tyres, could save my bacon hurtling down the rocky mountain descents of England’s Lake District.

What a result! Thank you Go Outdoors staff for all your help and patience with this procrastinating, has to research everything, customer. You are the best!

@GoOutdoors #ColchesterStore #Ad