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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Julian and I

I bought this Thermarest for my son.  He has one of those military ground pads that are maybe one step better than sleeping on the ground.  Well as it turns out he loves that military ground pad and he lets me use "Julian." 
As everyone knows I am always looking for a deal and when camping I always use my cot.  Now that I am getting older and carrying more crap in my backpack I had to shed some pounds which resulted in my cot.  This past weekend while we were backpacking McGee Creek in Oklahoma I brought Julian on her maiden voyage. 

I am usually willing to sacrifice a name brand for price any day but when it comes to ground pads I stick to what I know.  That either means Ridgerest or Thermarest (OK, so then there are the military ones).  The reason is that first I had my Ridgerest as a kid for seven years with no issues and it worked great.  Then the reason for Thermarest is they have a lifetime warranty and you can replace and repair them.  My dad had replaced the air valve twice on his and it looked like a porcupine slept on it because all of the repair patches.  The thing is it still worked and it was nice.
I am not sure what model Julian is but she is at least a regular thickness and definitely a long because I am six foot tall and she is a couple of inches longer than I.  Now I have been wanting to buy a Thermarest for at least five years now and what has held me back was the price.  These things run from a low of 69 bucks up to 150 bucks and that is alot of green in my world. 
One day I was scrounging around the corners of my local Army and Navy outlet store.  Looking for some interesting used military stuff for my son.  He loves anything of old military that is still useful.  These Army and Navy stores rotate their stock often and get great items for cheap.  I bet after we start winding down these wars there will be a surplus store on every corner but, back to the story at hand.  While searching the dollar bin at the Army and Navy store I come across this used Thermarest behind the table.  I asked the gentleman how much it was and he did not know.  So he asked the manager and come to find out they wanted 15 bucks for it.  Now that is a great price but since this thing looked like they did not know what they had and I am diabetic and keeping every dollar in my back pocket is not just a goal it is a way of diabetes life.  I offered them 10 bucks for it and they could not have said yes any faster.  This was a true win-win situation.  Now of course you can see in the pictures why I refer to her as "Julian."  The previous owner or someone had written Julian on it in black permanent Sharpe.  So now lets hear all the jokes, such as yes I sleep on Julian at night, and yes I have to blow Julian up to use her.  Ha, Ha and oh how easy these jokes go on and on but, at night I know I have the best ground pad on the market at one of the best prices ever.
Here is the money shot of Pete the Chicken eating dog food right out of the dog bowl.  I figured out what my problem is when trying to photograph her.  She is scared of the flash on the camera.  We have a routine now where the dogs go out in the morning to do their business.  Then the dogs sit and watch Pete-vision and that is when I know to let them in.  Last I let Pete the Chicken out and now she runs over to the dog bowl to see if any food is left then she hits the water bowl.  She loves those dogs, only if they would stop trying to eat her when they are both out at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. Can you see the smile that has spread right across my face at 6am and very little coffee? Pete the female chicken eating dog food. WOW.. um.. just WOW!

    For years and years (like more than 10) I have sworn by my ridge rest. I now have a Z-rest but I miss my ridge rest. I am a clumsy camper. I like to drag my sleeping pad out near the fire or lean it up against a tree and read. I have about 4 thermarests in my basement and they all have patches on them because I've put holes in all of them. I'm just too much of a clutz with my camping gear. I don't treat it very nice so the nice comfy thermarests had to go for something a little more "Scully proof".