Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

On the power of price reductions and open doors

26th September 2010

Over the past two months, I have to admit that two spur of the moment purchases got made, and price reductions were partly to blame for them. Another cause was my playing with buying the sorts of items in question in the not so distant past anyway. On both occasions, I wasn’t really on a shopping trip but it was the curiosity that drew me into the emporia in the first place anyway.

The first lapse took place in Chester when I popped into a Field and Trek store and spotted a Berghaus Twister Softshell jacket on sale with £30 off the normal retail price. Having realised the usefulness of a heavier softshell once upon a time when pondering outdoor gear, I came away with the thing and it has been exposed to some of the copious amounts of rain that have been visiting us over the last few months. That was enough to convince that it was capable of shedding more than a little light rain on an evening when there was plenty of the wet stuff about the place. Well, the material encourages beading much in the same way as any Gore-Tex or eVent hard shell jacket so that looks promising. There may be no hood but it’s the way that I prefer them and a cap always addresses the omission. With a microfleece lining, it may be better able to deal with chilly days like yesterday than my Berghaus fleece too.

The next lapse of financial strength came upon me while browsing in the Cotswold Outdoor store in Aberdeen’s Union Square shopping centre. My seeing a tastefully presented outdoors shop was enough to draw me inside it. Along the way, I spied Rab Pinnacle jackets on sale with a £50 reduction. What made me more vulnerable to the prospect was that I have thought about having a lightweight waterproof a while back and this is lighter than the Rab Latok that has given me plenty of good service since I got it nearly four years ago. It, too, uses eVent but remains untested as yet. Nevertheless, it’s a good fit for me and opportunities for trying out its rain-proofing should come in due course.

After both of these lapses with my wallet, I think that I might to stay away from outdoor gear shops for a little while. Nevertheless, I was stood outside Jo Brown’s in Buxton yesterday and, though I saw Paramo gear in the shop window display, my willpower held firm even though there were sale signs there too. Did having to walk through a closed door help? Maybe that’s most of the chain stores leave theirs open.

Temptation can reign online too as I found when an email dropped into my inbox featuring a Terra Nova Laser Competition tent at a well-reduced price. Of course, having to get the thing delivered was sufficient to keep any cravings under control. As ever, there are more important things to be buying so building up outdoors gear wish lists is for me something that’s best avoided even if it’s so easy to do.

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