Since most of the camping gear I own is either about 10 years old or rather more minimalist than glamp-worthy I thought I should browse some local outdoorsy shops to rejuvenate my camping kit.
I went to at least three different shops. Well, I think they were different shops. They were in three different places and the names on the doors were all different… but they were all exactly the same. They all had a huge collection of identical clothing, a wall of rucksacks, and a few walking boots. Tucked away they had a tiny and rather pitiful offering of camping gear. A folding mug (do those work or do they risk collapsing when holding searing hot coffee?), a single spork, a couple of lilos and some gas burners. One shop did have a display of tents upstairs. Great! But they didn’t have much else. You could buy your tent there, but you couldn’t then camp in comfort. And you wouldn’t be able to pick your tent out of every other identical tent on the campsite, with your family wearing the identical clothing, all eating with the same sporks.
So I gave up.
I went to a Steamer Trading shop and bought some beautiful Rice picnic cups and Melamine plates that look so much like they are ceramic I passed the display table three times before I realised it was meant for picnics. I browsed through Wilkos eyeing up their cushions and rugs, and in Next I drooled over their solar fairy lights.
So is that the trick? Do I need to leave the “outdoor pursuit” shops to the die-hard wild campers?