Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

Deciding what food to take when you are backpacking can be a difficult choice. Its always a balancing act between nutrition, energy, taste, longevity, weight, volume, ease of preparation and cooking time. Fortunately we now have a way of making that choice much easier for you! Our new range of meals from Lancashire based company Extreme Food will ensure that you can boost your energy with minimum hassle and low weight whilst tingling your taste buds at the same time!

Extreme Food pouches for outdoor adventures

Tasty food for adventure racing and backpacking!

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You would be hard pushed to find many people who have explored such a number of diverse and uninhabited parts of our planet as Expedition Guide and Documentary Producer Mikael Strandberg. These include Eastern Africa, Patagonia, Siberia, Arabia and more. He has travelled on foot, bicycle, horseback, ski, reindeer sled, with camels and even with a pram.

Mikael Strandberg in the desert in Yemen

Mikael Strandberg has been to nearly 100 countries over his 29 year career

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Forec Ten outdoor gear logoWe are excited to announce that we have extended our range of Force Ten tents. Designed for expeditions and mountaineering, these high quality tents are durable and will protect you when you are camping in harsh weather conditions. Tents have come on a long way since the classic orange, A-frame Force Ten tent of old. Force Ten design and technology continues to ensure that their range of tents are solid and reliable.

Our new tent models are the Nitro Lite 200+, Meso 3 and Strato 2 which we are offering along side the Helium 2, ION2 and MTN 2.

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One of the most exciting aspects of walking can be an unexpected sighting of birds or other wildlife. Some of our most popular blog posts are about the wildlife we can encounter whilst out in the countryside, such as birds or prey, bats and hares. In this interview we find out about an iconic bird that is in trouble and how walking and adventure are helping to bring attention its plight.

The Turtle Dove is smaller than a collared dove

The Turtle Dove has distinctively mottled with chestnut and black upperparts. Source: Flickr by Andy Morffew.


That bird is the Turtle Dove and our interview is with naturalist Jonny Rankin who is campaigning to save it from extinction. Jonny is a bird watcher, beer drinker and BMX biker who has has combined bird watching, walking and adventure to raise money and awareness for the Turtle Dove.

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With views along the Avon valley from Bath to Bristol, an iron age hill fort, a horse racing course, a battle monument and wildlife sightings this turned out to be a superb and fascinating walk!

Kelston Round Hill near Bath

Kelston Round Hill, on top of which stands a coppice of trees

Starting from the village of Upton Cheney my route took me down through fields and across a wooded stream to a cluster of houses at North Stoke. Walking up past the church brought me to the first historic site of the walk: an iron age hill fort, known as Little Down Hill Fort. This promonotory fort consists of ditches and embankments around the outside of what are now cultivated fields. The footpath goes right across the middle of the fort. Looking behind me were excellent views over to Bristol.

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Going walking in the Autumn can provide an awesome visual experience with views of trees changing colour from green through to yellow and red. Bracken on the hillside becoming brown gives the fells a whole new look. On sunny days, with the nights drawing in, you can often see the countryside in the glow of the golden hour just before the sun goes down.

Lake District Fells with brown bracken on the lower slopes

Shades of brown in the Lake District during Autumn. Source: Flickr by Marilyn Peddle.

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If you’ve been out walking when the weather is mild but showery you’ll know that keeping comfortable can be a bit awkward. If you keep your waterproofs on all the time you end up overheating, but then you don’t want to get wet when it rains. This is where softshell jackets come in. During changeable, mild weather, they are ideal for use as a mid-layer or outer shell. Softshells keep you warm without you getting too overheated and are also water resistant so will keep you dry in a light shower.

Softshell Outdoors Jacket from The North Face

The North Face Durango Hoodie Softshell designed for use in the mountains

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We are excited to announce that we are stocking a new range of parkas from the Swedish clothing company Didrickons. If you are looking for a stylish and practical winter coat then Didrickons’ parkas are just what you need. Our range includes parkas for men, women, boys and girls so you can keep your whole family dry and warm during the cold winter months.

Men's, Women's and Children's parkas from Didricksons

Didricksons Parkas – Winter Coats for all the Family

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Cnicht Mountain in Snowdonia

The ridge shape of Cnicht

Cnicht is fondly known as the “Matterhorn of Wales”. This is due to its similarity, when viewed from Porthmadog, to the iconic alpine mountain of the same name. However, it was when I was hiking on Elidir Fawr that Cnicht caught my attention. When viewed from the north, the ridge like nature of Cnicht is clearly visible. A traverse of the ridge looked like a fun walk and after identifying its exact location on my map, I decided that Cnicht should be on my hiking list for Snowdonia.

Just after Christmas the weather was dry but there was quite a lot of low clouds. Tackling some of the higher peaks in Snowdonia seemed pointless since their summits were shrouded in cloud. At 689m, the lower summit of Cnicht could clearly be seen as I approached Nantgwynant along the A498.

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When you’re out in the cold and wet its vital to keep warm. The warmest outdoor jackets use an insulation material sandwiched between a outer shell. Just like with sleeping bags, there are two main choices for insulation material. These are either down or synthetic. Both of these insulation materials loft up, trapping air voids which is warmed by your body heat. Outdoor gear manufacturers are constantly trying to come up with new ways to advance insulation technology and one such product is PrimaLoft’s ThermoBall. This is a down-like synthetic fill used exclusively by The North Face.

Insulation materials for outdoor jackets and sleeping bags

Primaloft ThermoBall, Synthetic and Down Insulation

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Ultralight tents from Vango, Vaude, MSR and more