Hard Times, Fast Ladies

Now, it would be easy to be sarcastic here given all the references present in the photie, but the remains of Myles Camping Center Ltd (that’s what it says on the sign) just to the west of Paisley’s town center conjured up something else as well.
Remember when outdoor shops were a bit haphazard, the staff weren’t “trained”, the displays were more related to a jumble sale than a jewellers window and browsing had a guilty feeling attached, like you were callously waking up the assistant who would ignore you until prompted with an unwelcome question?
Well, I can visualize walking into Myles to see tents nailed onto the old church floor for display, only half the lights working, Camping Gaz of all sizes stacked in a hazardous fashion against one wall, leather boots still in rows of unopened, slightly crushed, white card boxes, green nylon shapes draped from wire coat hangers and a musty smell of fabric and old wood that is oddly reassuring.
Ach, maybe it was a caravan shop, but don’t burst my retro bubble, that wee logo’s got mountains on it.

15 thoughts on “Hard Times, Fast Ladies

  1. Those “trained” staff can teach you a lot. Yesterday I heard one of my local GO Outdoors worthies showing a customer one of the new RAB sleeping bags. He’d obviously done his homework on the technical side & but I had to chuckle over his explanation that “WE get the covers made abroad & WE fill them in the UK with top quality 90/10 mix down which WE sourced from specialist suppliers in eastern Europe”.
    So, you learn something everyday. The news that Go Outdoors have apparently taken over manufacture of RAB bags hasn’t even broken yet! Maybe they’ll change the bag logo to GOB?

  2. Aye, Rab will be upset that the completely redesigned new range wasn’t theirs after all…

    I know I’m always having a dig at the shops, but as always it’s a sweeping generalisation.
    The staff at EB’s in Braehead, Cotswold in Partick and the new faces appearing at the Tiso GOE seem to be proving that the big chains have knowledge and enthusiasm just under that logoed shirt and customer service smile, and if it’s obvious you’re not an arrogant arsehole shopper as so many seem to be, it’s easy just to blether away with the folks.
    Go Outdoors is a very different prospect…

  3. I’m reliving the memory with you ptc, it looks like an intersting place to have visited!!

    With my recent shopping experience I can tell that there is certainly a difference in who the shops are giving jobs to the level of knowledge that they have.

    In some ways, we gear junkies must be their worst nightmare

  4. “a musty smell of fabric and old wood that is oddly reassuring.”

    I like how smells can do that, I got a whiff of 3 in 1 oil the other day, you know the stuff that comes in a square tin with the nozzle, and was transported to grandpas shed for a few minutes.

    I’m still resisting Go Outdoors TBW! After using the winterboot/Crampon combo i was sold last year I vowed to take what the staff say with a pinch of salt, do my homework and just ask more experienced folk if theres something I’m not sure of. That said, I have come to like my heavy Scarpa’s after trips of late and spring will feel like i’ve got helium ballons tied to my feet!

  5. …And while we’re on the subject of good service my PHD sale Minim 300 Drishell bag ordered at weekend arrived this morning….. A pleasant surprise as they’re quoting 30 day despatch times.
    A very nice piece of kit.

  6. Blondie, to quote the boy in Tiso recently “You’re doing fine, I’ll let you get on…” :o)

    BBF, I’ve been seesawing between one extreme and the other with my feet, very confusing.
    Spring, trail shoes, sunsets at 2100hrs… Soon :o)

    thinkgreysky, good stuff. Just getting into the rigght time of year for that weight of bag too.
    Let us know how you get on with it.

  7. Tis a good bag the 300 – I have one myself but without the drishell and I had a full length zip fitted. It’s kept me cosy to well below zero (told -10 by the farmer) with some help from clothes and a downmat. Even with the zip it’s not much over 700g.

  8. Bobinson, I just new there was a caravan element to it! I’ve been working just round the corner from it and eating at Avril’s Snacks just next door.

    Chewy, I got a short zip on mine to suit the bivy bag, and it really pack tiny.
    I’m going to miss my mighty Combi/Ultra nights of super-loft!

  9. You have a down combi if I remember? I purchased a synth one in the sale with drishell and I’m well impressed, didn’t bother with a zip for that tho… I was surprised how roomy the combi is.
    Toastiest night I had in Wales this winter was sleeping in my Haglofs Nube jacket with the 300 pulled up to my waist – just baselayers and socks on!

  10. Yep,I’ll let you know how it performs. I’ve just unpacked my sack to replace the Rab Q400 with the Minim 300 for my imminent Lakes high camp. Let’s hope I don’t regret it!
    I specified a full zip with Drishell ‘cos my old zipless Rab Q200 gets a little too warm in high summer but I also want to use the new bag under my Shangri-la fly without carrying a waterproof bag cover. I’m hoping it suits both requirements. Being currently on the portly side I took a chance with the standard sizing but, if anything, it seems a little roomier around the body than my Rab Quantums.
    I’m not to a few grams but my bag weighs 820gm while the website suggests (bag)615+(drishell)27+(zip)120=762gm. On this occasion TGS is thinking bluesky & hoping the extra weight is all goosedown!

  11. Funnily enough, gear junkies are fine to sell to, you can just blether away about this, that and the other and before you know it the credit card is out :)

    Not quite as fun as the military, though, who always have a fun story or two to tell – and who never compromise on quality lightweight gear.

  12. Years ago we had the Derby Mountain Centre. Just to be alowed through the door, you had to be wearing a Chris Bonninton Beard and have Kendal mintcake breath .

    Bit of a strange name though as we dont have any mountains in Derby.

  13. Aye chewy, the down Combi. Genius idea it is too.

    Thinkgreysky, the Drishell works well, I’m happy to have had a several snow/spill situations. And I cooked last year in my 300, maybe a should have one bag with a zip!

    ACS, you are dialled in!

    Sbrt, I do have the regulation beard, but I don’t know if Irn Bru on my moustache would have the same door opening qualities as Kendal Mint Cake :o)

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