Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Outdoor Trade Show 2013

The outdoor Trade Show is currently taking place at Stoneleigh, near Coventry in the Midlands, a visit yesterday was a first for me.

Checking on travel options it didn't look as though rail was especially convenient so it was an early start for the three and a half - four hour drive from north Cumbria. The weather, close to home, was a joy - early autumn sunshine and thin veils of mist settled in the fields surrounding the M6. Unfortunately this did not last and by the time an hour and a half had passed torrential rain showers became the order of the day. As an aside & by way of a bit of a rant I was horrified at the remarkably uniform and extremely high fuel prices that I observed on the motorway - every unleaded option I saw was 148.9p per litre, today's ASDA Carlisle price being just 134.7p per litre - that's a 10.5% difference. You can even buy in rural Wigton at 138.9!

Anyway, on arrival at Stoneleigh the most immediately eye catching feature was the vast array of tents - never seen so many in one place at an exhibition or trade fair. It really was quite impressive. The only negative on the morning being that it was a soggy wet camp field to walk around.

After registration a quick initial walk around the two halls of the show was followed by a few meetings, it was particularly good to catch up with the Terra Nova folk and Sarah from Cicerone Guides.

There were some impressive products on display - the Paramo stand looked to be well visited in this respect and I quite enjoyed a browse of the Petzl & Silva stands. By way of something I'd not seen before Sugru's (www.sugru.com) self setting rubber for repairing self-inflating mattresses; minor damage to boots; paddles etc. will be something that finds its way into my canoeing, caving and mountaineering emergency kit.

So, overall, a long day with quite difficult travel but good to catch up with a few folk and one or very two useful meetings.

The sun did come out on the tent field for a while in the afternoon which allowed the picture above to show the tents off in a slightly better light - would have been nice if it had lasted on the journey back north on the M6.

All told though - I'm looking forward to Saturday's caving trip. Enough said!

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