Is owning a tent carpet pitiful?


15 March 2013

Yes, is the answer – if you’re Ranulph Fiennes.

But I’m not, so no is my answer. Here’s my justification for, in the eyes of Ranulph, being pitiful and owning a tent carpet (well two actually but don’t tell Ranulph).
First Justification

In the mornings, when the tent is dripping a bit with condensation and the ground is cold and covered in dew, you poke your toe out of the cosy inner tent trying to find your boot and your socks. Little do you know that one of the kids stuffed a burnt (I call it barbequed) sausage in your boot last night and chucked it in the monopoly box and your socks are floating 2 miles away in Buttermere.
First Justification
Your warm unprotected toe is going to have to touch down. What would you rather have Ranulph, the icy bite of a damp groundsheet or the velvety cosiness of a soft tent carpet? One nil to me, I think.
Second Justification

You’re outside your tent, the sun is shining and you’re full of pasta. The kids are happy stealing tent pegs over on the other side of the campsite. The world is amazing, or it would be if you could just have a nice lie down for an afternoon snooze. But, wait, the grass is still a bit damp and there’s a couple of beetles scuttling about over there, how are you going to have your snooze? Not in this £9.99 camp chair that’s for sure. Don’t worry, reach inside your tent and slide out your tent carpet, plump it up so it catches the sun perfectly as it beams down over Red Pike. Snuggle down and enjoy. What do you have to say about that Ranulph?
Third Justification

You’ve made up some sarnies for tea to take with you on your evening walk. You’ve managed to get the kids to walk about a mile and half, so well done for that, but now they are hungry and their legs have crumpled beneath them - time to stop for a little picnic. But there’s no picnic table or handy fallen tree, what do you sit on? Then you remember that your tent carpet packs up really small and you’ve actually bunged it in the bottom of your rucksack. With one heroic flick of your wrist the tent carpet unfurls into the biggest picnic mat in the world. Lay out your spread and tuck in.

Ranulph, if you’ve read this, I know what you’ll be taking with you on your next expedition.

Thanks for reading.

Ian Young

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