The Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show

Today we attended the Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show 2008 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. We mostly went because Sally was working on the National Trust stand and she got me a free “VIP” ticket.

It was an interesting day with many contrasts.

  • I got lots of free stuff. And I bought some expensive technical clothing.
  • I felt inspired about the Great Outdoors. Yet I felt sad at the trashiness and commercialisation of it all.
  • I had a fun and interesting day. I had a long and tiring day.
  • I could have stayed for many hours. But I was kinda done and wanted to go home after two or three.
  • There were some really neat and simple inventions for the outdoors enthusiast. And there was Ford trying to sell big 4×4’s.
  • It was an outdoors show. It was primarily indoors.

See what I mean?

It was interesting to see how much was on offer. Holidays, courses, bikes, canoes, volunteering, cars, careers, clothing, gadgets and so on. I confess that we’re sucked in slightly to the commercial aspect, but we do also love the outdoors and there are plenty of people trying to make walking/hiking/cycling/etc. accessible and take out some of the difficulties that the Joe Bloggs on the street might have.

I enjoyed it. But I don’t think I’d have paid £12 or £16 quid to go + fuel + £8 parking. Maybe next year I’ll volunteer to help on the National Trust stand, get in for free, have a good couple of hours to look around and encourage people to give a little back to nature as well as just taking from it.