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In the run-up to summer, there are weekends at the lake and bank holiday excursions to your nearest beach to enjoy. Taking its place in the car boot is the season’s undisputed ally: the rug.
Perfect for improvised picnics, whether in the garden opposite your office during the lunch break or the park on a Sunday morning, your blanket must fulfil certain criteria. It must be big enough to accommodate at least two people lying down, or four seated. It should be thick enough so that you don’t feel the lumps in the ground, but not so thick it’s a hassle to carry. But above all, it must be two things: practical and… beautiful.
So where else could the hi-tech solution come from, other than Australia, where outdoor life is the national sport? Practical and minimalist in function and aesthetics, the sand-proof rug has military origins. It’s true.
In 2003, CGear Sand-Free began designing objects that effortlessly free themselves from sand and dirt, in order to eliminate the visibility problems caused by helicopters landing - in a military setting. Today the firm makes six anti-sand products for the beach and the campsite, and the CGear Sand-Free Quicksand Mat is the flagship.
It’s a rug consisting of two layers which filter sand and dirt; the lower layer is high-density polythene, while the upper layer is PVC, pleasantly smooth - because there’s nothing worse than sitting on a rough surface.
Sand, dirt and dust pass through the upper layer and then the lower one, using the force of gravity to fall back to the ground. Thanks to this, and to the use of further layers for increased resistance, the sand can’t get back out to the surface, saving your picnic from certain disaster.
Are you the friend who says "I'll bring the picnic blanket!" then turns up with a bath mat, or the one who scorns such behaviour?
In any case, in the modern picnic looks are important too: grabbing the first thing you lay your hands on of approximately the right size won’t do you any credit and will almost certainly make your farro salad look pretty sad.
Choose one in cotton or stain-resistant polyurethane, play around with weaves and patterns, go for bright colours and - summer is long - don’t forget to wash it occasionally./p>
What are you thinking? Are you ready for summer?