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Lockdown with a Vango Classic

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Lockdown with a Vango Classic

Autumn is here and winter is fast approaching, but today we recieved an email from the Jones family telling us about how a Vango classic tent from the back of the garage changed their lockdown and their summer. With the subject " A story of happy memories and thanks" we wanted to share their story with you.

Dear Vango,

Before I start, I would like to say this is not a complaint or criticism of your products. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is a tale of how one of your tents, bought decades ago has brought a smile to a young boy's face and some great memories to his parents.

I’m afraid I don’t recall exactly when we bought our little dome tent, like all great stories the details are lost in the mists of time, or maybe it is just my poor memory. I think I prefer the mists of time to my poor memory, it sounds far cooler.

We purchased the little tent from Canyon Outdoors in Leicester so long ago, that sadly the store is no more. Having not been able to compete with the larger outdoor retailers and store chains, it closed shortly after our purchase. I think the shop is now a Chinese restaurant. Anyway, back to our story. We needed a tent and the Vango seemed the best option for the two of us.

The model is I think a Discovery Dome 355 or at least that is what's on the now faded label attached to the tent bag. This must be over 25 years old now and still holds everything, including some of the original tent pegs. It has travelled with us around the country, to countless events and numerous archery tournaments. It was ideal for us, as it was easy to erect, proving enough space for us to crash after a long day, whilst not filling the car boot. At a push, we could make a hot drink in the entrance on windy days and still have space for wet boots. It saw action from the hot summer which occasionally graced our trips, to cold mornings of late Autumn, where she would be covered in a layer of frost. On more than one occasion we had to break the ice off the zip to exit our warm little home. All the time keeping us, dry and sheltered no matter what the British climate threw at us over the years.

As we grew a little older though, we would migrate to a larger tent allowing us a little more space and the luxury of standing upright. Eventually, we moved to a motorhome which made family holidays and travelling to and from events much easier with our young son. Though we couldn’t part with our trusted little tent and it was still used up to a couple of years ago when Sharon was on a scout/beaver camp. It was then packed away in its bag and placed on a shelf in the garage. There it might have stayed for years, but a world-changing

2020 saw the arrival of COVID-19 and lots of people’s lives were changed. Our son’s nursery was closed for months and we like so many found ourselves trying to juggle working full-time from home and child care. There was only so much time you can spend indoors, watching Scooby-Doo or other kids' TV shows. We wanted our toddler to make the most of this sudden free time and surprisingly good weather which graced the early part of the year.

That’s when our little faithful Vango came to the rescue one more time. In early April we came up with an idea and pitched her under a tree in the garden with a tarpaulin over the top to provide a little extra protection against the birds nesting above. Inside we covered the floor with play mats, jigsaw puzzles, blankets, and bean bags. On the afternoon of the 9th of April, we revealed it to him. He loved it instantly.

It would become a cosy play tent for our little man, with enough room for him to do floor puzzles or just sit on his bean bag playing on his tablet or watching the birds and squirrels in the garden. It quickly became his favourite place to sit in the afternoon after a morning walk, sometimes on his tablet, sometimes doing jigsaws, or just sitting with dad relaxing or dozing whilst having his favourite stories read to him.

We were able to share photos with grandparents of him playing with jigsaws or books they'd posted whilst we were all in lockdown, and they were unable to visit. It was tall enough for him to dance to music but small enough for him to feel cosy and safe.

A few months later and nursery reopened but he would still want to play in it on his return or at weekends in what he had claimed as his tent now.

Sadly, I fear this might be her last hurrah after 25 years, as the sun has now bleached her skin, and time has worn her fabric skin so thin to be near-transparent, but what a wonderful last adventure she has had.

Today on the 19th of October, I took her down, possibly for the last time. This was over 7 months after she was erected, as what we thought would be a short-term play den, and garden play area. I doubt the lawn will be the same again but honestly, we don’t care, after all, that's a small price to pay for great memories.

So, thank you Vango for offering us the opportunities to make some wonderful memories in an otherwise less than a wonderful year.

The Jones Family