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CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

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From November 2015 to April 2016 Chaz Powell will attempt to walk the entire length of the Zambezi River. This is going to be an ambitious expedition during which Chaz will have to contend with extreme weather and a myriad of wild animals, as well as the threat of contracting malaria.

In our introduction we have put together some information about the terrain, climate and previous expeditions to the Zambezi to give you an idea of what Chaz Powell will be up against. Then, in our interview, Chaz tells us about his motivation for adventure and for Walking the Zambezi in particular, as well as his passion for wildlife.

Adventurer Chaz Powell walking in the forest

Adventurer Chaz Powell preparing for his expedition to Walk the Zambezi

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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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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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Mike Dunne at the bottom of a crag

Climber Mike Dunne

Regular followers of our blog will be familiar with Lake District climber Mike Dunne. If not, you can read about his climbing adventures and his perspective on climbing in our previous blog posts. For this post we caught up with Mike to find out what he’s been up during 2013.

Over to you to Mike…

This summer I spent a good chunk of time living in my van on the Cumbrian coast surfing.

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It was back in September 2011 that we last interviewed Alastair Humphreys about his adventures large and micro. At the time Alastair was part way through his year of Microadventures. The concept of a microadventure being that it is an adventure close to home that is cheap, easy to organise and most of all, fun!

Alastair Humphreys enjoying a coffee at Grisedale tarn

Alastair Humphreys enjoying a coffee at Grisedale tarn
during a Lake District Microadventure

In all my corporate talks I was aware that nobody in the room would ever set off to spend 4 years on an expedition. Yet I felt that the spirit and the benefits of adventures in wild places were important for everyone, perhaps even more so for people who have not done much in the great outdoors before. Alastair Humphreys.

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Yesterday (30th April) saw the beginning of Dave Cornthwaite‘s eighth adventure in his twenty five Expedition 1000 challenges. For each of his challenges Dave is using non-motorised transport to travel at least 1000 miles. In this latest adventure, called the GO trek Dave Cornthwaite and Squash Falconer will be travelling 3000 miles on ElliptiGO running bikes. This will be a record breaking distance for travelling on ElliptiGOs! During this adventure Dave and Squash will be encouraging people to take exercise and “Say Yes More!” They are also raising money for CoppaFeel, the charity promoting early detection of breast cancer. You can find out more about the GO trek on Dave’s website.

Photoshoot at Everton FC's training ground

The GO trek photoshoot with Dave Cornthwaite and
Squash Falconer at Everton FC

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Embarking upon any expedition takes commitment, planning & perseverance. When Dave Cornthwaite packed in his day job to become an adventurer, the goal of achieving a single expedition was not enough to give him the motivation he needed to pursue his new career. After all, why stop at one expedition when you can do twenty five? So, Dave conceived Expedition 1000, a project that will see him complete twenty five expeditions each of at least 1000 miles, all of which are powered by non-motorised transport.

Adventurer Dave Cornthwaite

Dave Cornthwaite celebrates swimming 1000 miles down the Missouri River.

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We all enjoy looking at pictures of climbers attempting dangerous moves high up cliff faces, but do we ever think about the person who took the picture or filmed the movie? Who has shot the image and how did they get into the right position to capture the action?

Matt Sharman and camera halfway down a cliff face

Adventure cameraman Matt Sharman in position to film climbers.

Adventure cameraman Matt Sharman is sponsored by outdoor gear company Jack Wolfskin and is one of the authors on the Jack Wolfskin Blog. He is a keen climber and mountaineer which enables him to get into the positions required to film and photograph professional climbers on their ascents.

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Tamara Lunger started competitive ski-touring in 2002 and, as a member of the Italian national team, won several major titles. These include Italian Champion in 2006 and 2008, winner of the Pierra Menta 2007 and Long Distance World Champion 2008. Following these successes Tamara has progressed onto mountaineering, becoming the youngest woman to climb Lhotse (8516m) in 2010. Now sponsored by The North Face, she is continually looking for new challenges in high alpine mountain terrain, the environment which gives her an almost indescribable feeling of happiness and contentment.

Mountaineer Tamara Lunger on Lhotse

Tamara Lunger is the youngest female mountaineer to summit Lhotse

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Alpine climber David Gottler is a professional mountain guide and cameraman. Having summitted four 8000m mountains his mountaineering skills are more than proven. He has also made impressive winter climbs of famous north faces such as the Eiger, Grand Jorasse and Matterhorn. Twice attempting a K2 summit and a new route on Ama Dablam, David has been thwarted when snow and ice conditions became too risky to continue.

David Gottler, in the mountainous Khumbu region of Nepal

The North Face Alpinist David Gottler, Khumbu, Nepal

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Ultralight tents from Vango, Vaude, MSR and more