Here's a first. A quick blog from my mobile phone. It's an emergency.
I'm wound up a bit.
There are a load of forums and YouTube channels on the net regarding the outdoors. It doesn't matter what the topic is. Most discussions end up focusing on gear, weight of gear, this gear, that gear, three bags full gear.
And in amongst all this, often mentioned to much derision is the brand Karrimor. Once a lauded company, now taken over and rebranded to deal in budget equipment.
You can't go anywhere on line where karrimor is mentioned without someone going on about a ruined brand, sub standard products etc etc. "I had this survive a crocodile attack in the 80s, And I had that that saved my life in outer mongolia in the 90s".
While some of these views have some validity (depending on the product), it's not entirely that clear cut. I can tell you that some karrimor stuff these days are totally excellent (for the price). And in case you didn't notice, we are in a recession, and not everyone interested in the outdoors is middle class, loaded and obsessed with spending and weight.
The important thing is getting out there. Experiencing the outdoors and nature. Slagging off brands because you think you should doesn't help anyone. Especially not the hard up dad trying to force his kids off the Xbox and outside to do something more healthy.
Not everyone can afford to spend £120 on a sleeping bag, even if the heat to weight ratio is very good. Not everyone can afford to buy Berghaus boots.
You don't slag off and list the faults of Tesco value beans because Heinz ones are available elsewhere.
With every brand, you get problems and yes, maybe with mass production, there are a few more.
Just accept that there is cheaper stuff available for people to use that can't afford the big brands. Yes it may not be as good, but it isn't as expensive. That's the whole point.
This whole past time is getting way too snobbish in some quarters. Hiking isn't something that we do between eating quail and trading stocks. It should be available to ALL and karrimor and brands like it are doing a very good job in making that possible.
I say thanks, and good work.