Wednesday 13 August 2014

JJ updates his Scout Camping Kit

Camping with Daddy and the cubs when he was 3 years old

My son JJ has been involved in scouting for as long as I can remember. I can't recall if he was 2 or 3 when he went on his first cub camp but yes it was far earlier than it should of been. The reason being of course that my husband was a cub leader for ten years from 2002 and JJ always went along for the ride.

It was quite funny when he started his new scout group after our move last year that his 'nights away' award was already far higher than most of the scouts 3 or 4 years older than him. It is so reassuring to me to know that when he goes away he is really senssible and knows all the different rules about camp fires, cooking outside, tracking, going off alone etc.

He missed camping last year with our house move but he is making up for it this year and has already gone on two scout camps and hopes to do another in the autumn. It is the aboluste highlight of his year to go camping and he will sacrifice mosts things for it. He is very funny though, when I suggest getting a piece of equipment that might make things easier or more comfortable he confidently rebukes them and tells me it would then not be 'proper camping'. He is all about the rustic and getting back to basics.

When we got out all the camping equipment back in April we found that he had grown our of his sleeping bag and that much of his kit neeed replacing - large rucksack, new waterproofs, new camp cutlery, new torch and new sleeping bag. It all adds up and can cost a bit so I did some web searching and I bought quite a few good deals from the Mountain Warehouse eBay store. His coat was an excellent buy at £11.99 for a waterproof pakka coat and it has really proved itself to be effective. In fact I ended up buying most things we needed from there.

As my husband was not camping this time JJ just borrowed his sleeping bag for the last couple of camps but as it is an extra lage it is too big really so when Mountain Warehouse asked me if I'd like to review the Microlite 500 mummy sleeping bag I jumped at the chance. JJ had the choice of green and grey or red and grey and he opted for the red as you can see, he felt this would make it nice and easy to identify at camp with all the others.

Probably my favourite thing about this sleeping bag is the size and weight, it is so small and compact (measuring 35cm x 14cm when packed in the carry bag) and it weighs just 1kg. I had worried this might mean it was very hard to get back in the holding bag and when JJ tried the method suggested by one of his scout leaders - just stuff it in - it was indeed difficult, but when we laid out the bag and folded it in half and then rolled it tightly it fitted in just fine and I feel confident even my 10 year old can do that himself on camp.

The Microlite 500 is a 2 season sleeping bag and you can choose a left or right handed zip, which is 2 way for ease. You can also zip two together if you would like to make a double bag. Designed for temperatures between 7C - 11C degrees, this sleeping bag is ideal for summer and spring camping trips. The outer shell is made from 100% nylon ripstop material, with a soft polyester inner lining. Mummy shaped, the design insulates even better thanks to the increased warmth, keeping you snug outdoors.

JJ has only used the sleepign bag inside so far but he slept fine in it with the windows open and can't wait to go and camp outdoors and give it a real roadtest.

The RRP for this sleeping bag is £54.99 but it is currently on sale for £29.99 and if you don't fancy this one there is an excellent selection of different sleeping bags and camping equipment on the Mountian Warehouse website and after our purchase of waterproofs, camp cutlery and crockery, torch and a 75 litre rucksack from them I can happily tell you they sell quality products and we would recommend them.

Now JJ just needs to work his magic on me and convince me that I might enjoy camping!

Disclosure: We received the sleeping bag free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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