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…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

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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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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Last September, whilst on holiday in Ireland I was able to get my hiking boots out and do a bit of hill walking. Knowing that I would have one day available near Sligo, I did an internet search to see what was around. There was no doubt that I’d have to have a crack at Benbulben (Benbulbin). Steeped in local legend, this 526m limestone hill looks hugely impressive due to the cliffs that surround most of the summit. Situated near to the coast, I imagined that there would be excellent views in all directions.

Benbulben has steep sides topped with cliffs

The impressive steep sided Benbulben near Sligo

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Well, we did it! We got round the Yorkshire 3 Peaks’ course despite Martyn falling into a bog, losing the path, and myself and Daniel detouring to “save” a sheep. But the main thing is that we have raised almost £300 for St. Rocco’s Hospice, and we had a great day in the process and no blisters!

4am – The Middle of the Night

Getting up at 4am is my idea of hell, so it was a surprise to me when my alarm went off that I actually shot out of bed as if it was on fire. Despite this I still managed to pick Daniel up 15 mins late. I needn’t have worried as he had expected me to be late so was just ready as I arrived.

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After my last post explaining why we are doing a charity hike for St Rocco’s Hospice. I thought that the next logical step was to look at how we are training. However it seems that events have overtaken me with our local paper taking up the story and sending down a photographer.

Making Headlines

Resplendent in our St Rocco’s T Shirts, we strike a pose for the Warrington Guardian

It was quite a nervous experience on Tuesday (18th June) when arriving at our shop for the photo shoot with the Warrington Guardian. I was, being a “prima donna” disappointed to find that I had not been allocated my own changing room or make up artist, however I did remember the hairbrush to sort out the remaining few strands of my hair.

The photographer arrived and duly made myself, Martyn and Daniel pose with our St Rocco’s T Shirts in front of a tent, holding rucksacks and walking poles, in a set up akin to early big game hunters. Indeed, all that was missing to create such an image was a couple of dead animals, although Martyn does his best by looking like he’s just been stuffed! Paul the final member of the team managed to hide during all the fun, and missed out on getting his picture in the paper.

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As we launch our Charity Appeal aiming to raise money for St Rocco’s Hospice in Warrington, Gareth takes a sideways look at the why’s, what’s and how’s of our charity Yorkshire 3 Peaks Trek on the 21st July.. CheapTents Charity Yorkshire 3 Peaks Walk

Rambling on to a Ramble..

I think it’s human nature to moan, well that’s my excuse! People moan when it rains and as soon as it is sunny they will be moaning that we need rain. Well my answer to that moan is simple….”at least you’re not dead!”

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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 and get involved at the the GO trek 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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This was an enjoyable 11 mile walk in Mid Wales. The main thing that stood out being the differing types of scenery which included farmland, pine forests and moorland. With about 400 m of height gain there’s not too much uphill!

Starting from the car park in the village of Llangurig, there was gentle introduction to this walk along a short section a flat road. Crossing over the River Wye, the single track road lead us towards Clochfaen. Once off the road, the footpath climbed up Pant-gwyn Hill. Looking back, the village of Llangurig with its church can be clearly seen. Llangurig is said to be the highest village in Wales.

The village of Llangurig in Mid Wales

Llangurig, the highest village in Wales and the start of our hike.

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Ultralight tents from Vango, Vaude, MSR and more