....lets just say the local parcel delivery van now has a homing device set to my address.
With comfort being paramount, and I have to admit to being past the first flush of youth (!) and much as I'm happy with my little tent for weekends away with Lexi the Lab, when faced with upwards of 6 weeks in a tent, it's not realistic to spend all this time bent over or on my knees, so after many hours perusing the internet and visiting tent shows in the rain (at least I could test the waterproofing and rain in the door issues) I finally chose my new tent, a Vango Icarus 500, it's meant to sleep 5, 5 midgets in a rain free climate maybe, but it's perfect for me and Lexi. Large enough indoor space to sit, have a table, dog bed and corner for wet things, with sewn in ground sheet, fly screens at both doors and still just 3 poles it shouldn't take any longer to put up than my current one.
The Vango footprint was over £20, but as the tent has rectangular footprint I've bought a standard groundsheet and an extra, smaller one to go ouside the door to save excess dirt being trodden in. Lexi is brilliant, but she hasn't yet learnt to wipe her own feet when coming indoors!
Next on the list was bedtime, I've already got a great sleeping bag, but my self-inflating Aspen sleeping pad won't be sufficient for this long period, too thin and too narrow for 8 weeks worth of good nights sleep. So again after a scary amount of research and surfing, I've just taken receipt of an AeroBed PakMat that is just fab, it really is up in 60 seconds, comes in it's own tube/come pump and is sooooo comfortable.
Go Outdoors has provided the rest (well I did have to pay you understand); a small table, comfy folding chair and cool box that runs off both the mains and car. I realise this is all standard camping kit, but I normally go away just for 2-3 nights and travel very light, as long as I have my 1 ring burner, cafetiere, china mug and wine glass, well you don't need anything else do you?
International breakdown cover, health insurance for me, pet insurance for Lexi, full service for the car and first sea crossing all still to be paid, but research and best prices are sorted, I just need the green light on my exit paperwork from work, then it's all systems go :-)