Still feeling rather under the weather, I decided to try a little retail therapy.

Noticing that our local Go Outdoors had a sale on, my good lady and I nipped in for a look.

We were not, really, after anything in particular, but with an impending trip to Switzerland, perhaps a new puffy jacket ?

We had a general mooch around and I happened to mention the troubles I’d had securing my walking poles to my old trusty Solomon rucksack. This discussion steered us towards the rucksack aisle. 

Now, my current bag, a Solomon Trail 20 has served me well. I’m not sure how old it is but I must have bought in sometime in 2013. As can be seen in the photo, below, the original bright orange nylon has faded somewhat. Also, one of the belt pockets has worn away so anything placed in there ends up on the floor.

We looked at a few and eventually decided that the Ospry Syncro 15 was the best of the bunch. I’ve had an Osprey bag before, in fact I’ve still got it – it’s a bit big for everyday use but works okay – I used it on my Thames Path Challenge a few years back.

Anyway, I wasn’t here to buy a ruck sack, so I put it back and went in search of a jacket.

“Don’t get one of those puffy ones!” said Sue as we approached the coats.

“Oh!” thought I.

I’ve got a few fleeces and a very nice Goretex water proof. What I was looking for was a nice insulated jacket for posing in the snow keeping me warm on holiday – naturally, these are, somewhat puffy.

I tried a few and eventually settled on a North Ridge number. Filled with down and feathers this is very light but feels très snug. Usually £140, this was marked down to £80. It was a no-brainer.

Next item – we went to the walking
section. I had seen, on-line, some ferrules (the bits on the end of the walking poles) which instead of being round were a little elongated – a bit more foot shaped. I thought that these may give a bit more grip on tarmac especially when pushing off from behind (and you though it was just walking with a stick!).

Anyway – Go Outdoors didn’t have any.

Sue found some nice Merrino wool socks in this section, though. Result.

One last look at the rucksacks, before we go, even though we haven’t come shopping for rucksacks.

The current one is on it’s last legs but will last a little longer.

“Oh sod it!” I think as I pull it from it’s hanger and tuck it under my arm.

We able our way to the checkout and manage to avoid any more purchases – until we reach said checkout.

There, sat on top of the counter is a little display of torches. Now who can resist pressing the on/off button of a torch – well I can’t. Wow! It was like Will Smith and his Neuraliser in Men in Black. Well, not exactly, Sue didn’t loose her memory but she did loose her sight for a few seconds as her eyes were bombarded with 250 lumens.

With our retail therapy session over, we headed back.

Back at base, I retired the old Solomon rucksack, transferring all the bits and pieces over. My walking poles fit a treat for when I’m using the bus or train and there seems to be a little pocket for all the nick-nacks (torch, emergency bog-roll, first aid kit etc.)

I’ve got to go to work in the car, tomorrow, but am hoping for a walk to ‘you know where‘ tomorrow evening so will try out the new bag.


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