Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

If you’ve not had a chance to visit our outdoor gear store, why not do the next best thing? In the video below, Martyn, one of our friendly gear experts, will take you on a guided tour around the various sections of our bricks and mortar shop. You can see our outdoor clothing, running gear, rucksacks and footwear before ascending to our large permanent tent display on the first floor.

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So you’re thinking of going on a trek and you’ve got to carry all you kit, and you’re wondering if you’ve got the boots for the job? The following guide will give you some advice and show you what to look for when buying the right boots for backpacking.

North Face Verbera Footwear Range

Hiking/Trekking Boots? Walking Boots? Arghhhhhh!!! Thankfully The North Face Verbera range covers walking and light/heavy trekking.

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mid walking boots

Advice on choosing the best type of walking footwear. Source: Flickr by Janet Ramsden

Would the Proclaimers be willing to walk 500 miles, if after half an hour their boots were rubbing and their soles had just come off right in the middle of a cold wet puddle? I doubt it! Especially as they knew they had to do 500 more!

Joking aside, and it may seem the obvious thing to say, but when buying walking footwear it is vital to get the correct fit and the right shoe or boot for the types of walk that you will be going on.

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Some of us have a tent for every camping scenario. Our resident gear junkie Martyn had at last count 5 tents (maybe he’s looking to open his own camping store!) If you go camping very regularly and have the money it makes sense to have tents each designed for specific purposes, e.g. wild camping, microadventures, winter camping, mountain camping, staying at a campsite etc. Most of us don’t live in this camping utopia and we have to make do with an all-round lightweight camping tent for a variety of types of camping.

We often get asked by our customers the question that I am meandering towards and that is “what makes a good all-round tent?”

Scorpion 2 Multi-Purpose Tent

The Scorpion 2 Tent from Snugpak – A Superb All-Rounder

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In my previous blog post I discussed what it means to go wild camping. In this post I will look at the features which make an ideal wild camping tent. By choosing a suitable tent your wild camping experience or microadventure will be even more rewarding!

Wild camping gives you solitude and a true outdoor experience

Wild Camping. Source: Flickr by Nick Bramall

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We all talk about wild camping, the inter-web is awash with blogs and sites dedicated to it. But exactly what is wild camping?

I originally wanted to write a post about the features you may want to consider for a backpacking tent or bivi bag, but my research opened up so many questions as to how people view wild camping, that before I could write that post, I needed to be clear as to what wild camping actually is!

Welsh wild camping Sunrise - Pic Courtesy M Padgett

The essence of wild camping, watching the sun climb into the sky to begin its daily Westward journey. Photocredit: M Padgett

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Jack Wolfskin’s Gossamer Tent is one of the growing breed of what I would classify as hybrid tents, which are in between a bivi and traditional one person camping tent, it’s no surprise that many people refer to such tents as Bivi Tents. The Jack Wolfskin brand name and its excellent price have seen the Gossamer become a popular tent, so much so that Jack Wolfskin have released a larger version of the Gossamer in the shape of the Gossamer XT. Due to its cross-over nature the Gossamer has always intrigued me. So, when the opportunity arose to review both the new 2014 Gossamer and the XT version I jumped at the chance.

Jack Wolfskin Gossamer XT Bivi Tent

Jack Wolfskin Gossamer XT Bivi Tent

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Paul running in the Ultra

Running the Long Good Friday Ultra

“Any idiot can run a marathon but it takes a special idiot to run an ultra” were the words printed on the back of the training top on the athlete in front of me.

We were doing yet another uphill section on a 1 mile loop that made up part of the course for the ‘Long Good Friday Ultra’ 6 hour ultra running race and any remaining competitors were already 4.5 weary hours into the event.

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For many years The North Face have produced a wide variety of very high quality tents that have been favoured by outdoor enthusiasts. In this range they have always included a well designed model aimed at campers who are looking for a tent to use as a weekend base from where they can enjoy the great outdoors.

North Face Talus 2 Tent

This image shows The North Face Talus 2 EU. The Talus 3 EU is slightly larger but from this angle looks the same.

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To help launch our new running section, which is the place to find all of your running gear, check out my video feature review of Salomon’s excellent Fast Wing Hoodie.

Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie

This lightweight windproof jacket which has been designed for runners as both a training or race jacket. Looking at the Fast Wing you may be forgiven for thinking that it is like many other lightweight windshirts but when you scratch below the surface and look at the features you come to appreciate that attention to detail Salomon have gone to in their design.

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Ultralight tents from Vango, Vaude, MSR and more