Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

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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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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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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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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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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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I thought to finish off my recent spate of posts on Mountain marathons I’d talk about what sort of outdoor gear is best. Most competitions provide a required gear list from which teams must carry everything. I’ve tried to briefly cover everything commonly found on these lists but they do vary.

Personal Gear

Top Baselayer
A good quality top, with either long or short sleeves is all that is needed. Make sure that the top is made of a high quality material with good wicking properties. If you’re running hard you’re not likely to be cold, but will get sweaty.

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Recently I’ve posted about mountain marathons,  the key to enjoying fell running is good fitness. The trouble is it can be hard to get up and out and get training. I’ve decided to put together a list of tips for getting out of the house and keeping motivated.

Train with a friend
Its definitely much easier to get out onto the hills for a walk or a run if you have a friend harassing you to come out with  you or someone you don’t want to disappoint.

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A quick reminder to everyone that the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival starts in a weeks time.

2009 is bigger and it’s better than ever before. Why?Without a shadow of doubt the best line up of adventure films and climbing speakers ever put together over a single weekend, anywhere, ever! Well that’s what we think…

The event takes place in the biggest independent cinema in the UK outside of London, and is packed full of great films.

Featuring lots of films packed full of adrenaline-inducing adventure sports, climbing and bouldering as well as some slower pace, thought provoking cultural and environmental films.

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