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CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

The UK Government has today revealed plans to microchip walkers in a bid to cut down on the time it takes to return lost hikers to their families. The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith MP, told us that

The number of walkers becoming disorientated and lost is on the increase. When they are found, many of the lost walkers are dazed, confused and have no idea where they are, they are often suffering from amnesia. Reuniting them with their families takes time and uses up resources.

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Here at CheapTents.com we all love the MSR Hubba tents, but do find the naming system slightly confusing at times.  So we got in touch with Mountain Safety Research to find out where the name comes from.

What is a Hubba?

The Hubba name is something we (MSR) came up with, based on the tent’s unique hub and pole frame. The “hub” is the circle that connects various tent poles sections together, thus cutting down on the total number of poles needed. In the photo below, you’ll see how the pole branches out into two legs–the sections join together at the hub.

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Not many of us can say that we have been to either the Arctic or the Antarctic, but for Dixie Dansercoer the sub-zero climates of the poles are a passion. Dixie Dansercoer is the ultimate polar explorer and extreme sport expeditionist, he makes regular polar trips and has crossed both polar regions on foot.

Born in 1962 in Nieuwpoort, Belgium, Dixie has spent most of his life travelling the world, taking on many challenges across a wide range of outdoor activities. From mountaineering to mountain biking, from running to powerkite-skiing and from sailing to wind- and kitesurfing, Dixie will use any method to explore the extremes of our planet. A list of Dixie’s adventures and achievements is shown at the bottom of this post.

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The Thermarest Neo Air has been one of the most talked about products recently, but what makes it so special and why all the hype? The main features the NeoAir are the reflective aluminised barrier which reflects body heat and reduces heat loss along with the Triangular Core Matrix technology which is a welded-nylon grid of chambers that increases the number of individual air cells. This minimizes air movement within the pad and the resulting convective cooling.

Thermarest neo air mattress

Thermarest neo air mattress

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The latest Irish bouldering guide was released last week and contains 115 pages, packed full with almost 1500 problems and about 200 maps and topos.

The latest Irish bouldering guide contains almost 1500 problems and about 200 maps and topos.

The latest Irish bouldering guide contains 1500 problems, 200 maps and topos. Source: Geograph. © Copyright Richard Smith and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.

This guide is intended to be reasonably definitive but just because something has been climbed doesn’t mean it is worth documenting so I haven’t detailed every variation, elimate, lowball sitstart or squeezed in micro line. From a personal point of view I attach the highest value to logical, independent lines with good moves and good landings and every problem that fits this criteria is described. Though I welcome other opinions on omissions and inclusions.

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The third annual Chesterfield Walking Festival will be taking place from the 20th – 28th of June 2009.

Located in south Derbyshire, Chesterfield is the border country where the Peak District meets Robin Hood Country. With rolling hills and market towns there is plenty of beautiful countryside scenery in this part of England. It is a perfect for area for walking, which is just as well since no less than 40 organised walks will be taking place during the week long Chesterfield walking festival.

Chesterfield and Surrounding Countryside. Source Flickr by Johns Pics

Chesterfield and Surrounding Countryside. Source Flickr by John's Pics

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There are many opportunities for mountain biking in Wales. If you’re looking for some inspiration, one place to start looking is “mountainbikingWales“. This website provides links to 6 purpose built mountain bike centres and 7 mountain bike trail bases, including Coed y Brenin.

Mountain Biking in Wales.

Mountain Biking in Wales. Source Flickr by Leon Wilson.

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If your compass is going haywire, your GPS isn’t working and you can’t see the sun then how do you find your way?

Get out your sexy underwear of course!

Ann Daniels displaying the sexy navigation aid

Ann Daniels displaying the sexy navigation aid - Source : Martin Hartley

This might not be the first things that springs to everyone’s mind, but  it is exactly what the Catlin Arctic Survey have been doing.

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Ultralight tents from Vango, Vaude, MSR and more