I wandered down to Carters this afternoon – “Busy Since 1830” it says on the sign, unless you choose to visit on Sunday or Monday when they are shut (see earlier post) – to see what they had to offer. Lots as it came to it but it is one of those shops that you wonder how they manage to keep it open, so few and far between the customers are and so wide the range of stuff they sell. And they manage to struggle on being open just five days a week. But this is a blog about adventure and travel, not business so I will move on.

Vango – them of the tent fame – also make camping mats. Which is good as the one I have just bought for ยฃ40 from Carters seems to fit the bill perfectly for my trips this summer and next. 3/4 length and cut in a way to reduce weight and storage space, it can’t be much different from the ยฃ75 Thermalite ones being sold next to them on the shelf. So for the first time, I have bought something that is….errr… no it isn’t. I was going to say under budget, but the budget was for ยฃ20. Bugger, it’s double the budget. But not ยฃ75. A crumb of comfort there. The shape of the mat is, as you can see, quite alarming. Let’s hope that it is not to be my final resting place… Vango have a nice website btw. Crap name, cool website!

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What do you think?