Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

There are many stunning and beautiful places to go hiking and camping in the UK, such as the Highlands of Scotland, the Lake District or Snowdonia to name but a few. However, you may fancy going on a walking holiday abroad, especially if you are fed up with the bad weather that is always a possibility on a holiday in the UK. Even with breathable waterproof jackets and trousers the rain can get you down. So where can you get away from the bad weather and still go hiking? One suggestion is the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

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Stanage is a large and very impressive gritstone edge. It’s in the Peak District north of Hathersage and stretches out for about 6 km from its northern tip at Stanage End to Cowper Stone in the south.  Stanage Edge is an almost continuous line of cliffs including Burbage Rocks, Froggatt Edge, Curbar Edge, Baslow Edge and Birchen Edge.

The area is extremely popular among climbers due to the large grit crags, easy access and range of climbs, although due to its popularity the rock is quite polished in some places. Stanage isn’t just good for climbers though, as there are plenty of excellent routes for mountain bikers and walkers through the stunning scenery of the Peak District.

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After my recent post on bamboo fabrics Graham left a comment stating that bamboo might not be as environmentally friendly a fabric as I had first thought. Had I been greenwashed? Is bamboo eco friendly? Well after some research I discovered the answer is yes and no.

The process of producing the raw bamboo does have a low environmental impact. However when it comes to processing the bamboo into a fabric there can be a significant ecological impact. Basically there are 2 ways in which bamboo can be turned into a fabric, mechanically or chemically.

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The Taurus UL 2P is a classic ultralight weight 2 person tent from Vaude.

Pitching the Taurus Ultralight is an easy task, it has two main poles that slip into the guide channels very easily along with 2 very short poles built into the tent at the feet end, these poles widen the bottom of the tent for more leg room. You can pitch the inner and outer at the same time – an essential feature when its the end of a long day and the rain is coming down hard.

Vaude Taurus Ultralight

Vaude Taurus Ultralight

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The amount of international tourism is continually increasing. So it comes as no surprise that people who enjoy outdoor activities, such as climbing, hiking and walking, are able to take part in these activities in far flung places throughout the world. Many countries contain areas of outstanding natural beauty that offer exciting challenges and the experience of a life-time for outdoor enthusiasts. With the mighty Himalyan mountains in the north, India is certainly no exception.

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I thought I’d follow up my bear sleeping bag post with a review of another animal themed sleeping bag, The North Face Cats Meow. Unlike the bear sleeping bag, this a a serious sleeping bag with great performance.

The North Face Cats Meow

The North Face Cats Meow is a synthetic filled, multi-purpose, 3 season sleeping bag. With a rating of -7°C and weighing in at a respectable 1.2kg, or 2lb 10 oz in old money, this bag is definitely a good all round performer at a great price.  It comes with a stuff sack along with a mesh sack for long-term storage so you don’t damage the loft.

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At CheapTents.com we’re offering 10%  off an online purchase* when you write a review for the blog. It couldn’t be simpler, first check that we stock the item you want to review.  Next write your review and send it in to us, we’ll  then send you out your voucher code to use online at cheaptents.com.

As I said before it really is simple, but sometimes its hard to  get all your thoughts on a product from inside your head down on to paper. To help with this I’ve jotted down a few ideas to help you focus and structure your review.

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Can you bear to be without this sleeping bag?

Alpine Bear sleeping bag

I’m not sure how much the sleeping bag weighs, or how it will preform, but I want one! I am curious to know if it will scare off bears and prevent them from attacking you, or is there a chance that they will find the sleeping bag attractive and make romantic advances towards you. The other possible worry is of course that an over zealous hunter takes the opportunity to catch some easy prey and you find yourself on top of a mantlepiece when you awaken in the morning.

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With everyone pinching pennies due to the current economic situation more and more people are looking staying at home this year and enjoying a holiday.  Camping is the perfect option, it’s cheap, fun and lets you see the landscape in a different way, but what should you look for when choosing a family tent.

Tent Weight

Normally with tents you want the lightest possible. With a family tent this is not really an issue as you will most likely be able to drive right up to the campsite and simply lift the tent out.  It might be worth considering the weight if you know that you might have to carry the tent for short distances, but it’s definitely not a major consideration.

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Nowadays everyone is becoming more environmentally aware, trying to be carbon neutral, buying organic, and minimising their impact on the environment. Outdoor gear manufacturers have been quick to jump on the bandwagon and are  offering  outdoor clothing made with eco friendly fabrics. What I want to know is what exactly are these green fabrics, how do they preform and are they actually any good for the environment?

Bamboo Clothing

Bamboo growing - Source : steve webel flickr

Bamboo growing - Source : steve webel flickr

What is Bamboo fiber?

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Ultralight tents from Vango, Vaude, MSR and more