All the camping gear

The return of the Michelin man

I think it’s already on record that I like shopping. I’m not sure when it became a leisure activity – I don’t remember my mum brightly announcing “We don’t need anything, but let’s go shopping!” when I was growing up but somehow in the last 25 years we seem to have embraced ticket

When we had Mimi I discovered a whole new kind of shopping – baby stuff – and that seemed to keep me going for a few years. I still like buying nice clothes for the kids (although it’s not as much fun shopping for boys, or is that just me?) but recently I’ve also really enjoyed buying outdoor gear.

Husband always asks whether I need or want something (it doesn’t always make a difference to whether I buy it!) and I have to say, some things are just absolutely necessary. Take waterproof over-trousers. I know they sound like you’re wearing a carrier bag on each leg, but a recent trip around our local lake reminded my why I bought the Tinies a pair each.

Even insisting that they walk slowly through the puddles didn’t prevent mud splatters pretty-much reaching their bottoms. We almost travelled home with two children naked from the waist down. Won’t be making that mistake again.

One of the things Husband recently announced he needed was a fleece. This was prompted by the arrival of the latest catalogue from a well-known outdoor equipment store which has one on mega sale next week. The date is even in my diary to remind me that we need to go and get one.

My major weakness is stuff that feels nice. I’m a tactile person, so anything soft, fluffy or fleecy and I’m sold. I also hate being cold, so I could buy base layers (I understand this is the cool way to say thermals these days) for Team GB. Maybe I’ll just browse the sale rail while he finds his fleece…

Anyway, despite my best efforts I feel like I’m missing a vital piece of camping kit. I like to be warm and have a decent coat which is both waterproof and a wind-stopper, but it doesn’t cover my bottom (no sniggering at the back). What I mean is, it finishes just below my hips when really I want it to come almost to my knees. Being of diminutive stature (good things come in small packages) I’m conscious of doing an impression of the Michelin man in a long padded coat, but I think I’d be happy with people thinking that if only I was snuggly warm.

The new coat very much falls into the ‘want’ rather than ‘need’ category and given I have such specific ideas about what it should be, I’m going to wait until I find the perfect one before snapping it up. It’s form over fashion every time for me when it comes to keeping warm.


8 thoughts on “The return of the Michelin man

  1. Phil Daniels

    I must get my wife to read this! She chooses fashion every time and has a number of coats/jackets that look great but are totally unsuitable for cold weather!

      1. Phil Daniels

        And I’ve been trying to find a tactful way of telling her for years! At least she’s been getting some ‘base layer’….

  2. Knitty Mummy

    I’ve just bought a lovely coat, its warm and toasty (and a bit michellin man but I’m so warm I don’t care) and it comes down to my just above my knees (I’m 5’11”). Its certainly protection against the wind and rain when I’m out on the school run, but it isn’t officially “waterproof” as you have to pay about £600 to get a down coat that is properly waterproof and I don’t have that sort of cash.

    Its made by Marmot and is called a Montreaux

    1. admin

      Sounds just like what I’m after – except I’m 5’3″ so it might touch the floor! Thanks for the link though, will check it out

  3. Rob Baker

    I’m not sure where you live but there is a big camping show on at the NEC in Birmingham at the end of February. Always worth going along to see a big variety of gear all in one place and usually at discounted prices too.

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