Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

We are excited to announce that we are stocking a new range of parkas from 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


Our Didrickons parkas are from Didrickon’s Storm System range.

All products marked with the STORM SYSTEM label are specially developed for particularly harsh weather. Their shell fabrics are fully waterproof and all seams are sealed by tape and/or welding. The STORM SYSTEM products are all about protection and they are designed to keep you dry and warm during all weather conditions.

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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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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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Ultralight tents from Vango, Vaude, MSR and more