Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

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Sharp Edge, mountain ridge in Cumbria

Sharp Edge ridge scramble

Taking on a scramble can be a very rewarding achievement. If you have a fear of heights you are inevitably going to be scared. You will have to push yourself, but that makes the challenge all the more rewarding.

So if you are scared of heights but you want to go scrambling you are likely to find yourself in a bit of a dilemma. That is to say, if you embark on a scramble are you going to end up on a mountain unable to proceed along your route and unable to retreat? Will you end up completely stuck and not able to move a muscle, i.e. cragfast?

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We are currently stocking a range of excellent two berth tents designed for backpacking and general camping. Detailed information about these tents can be found via the ultralight tents and lightweight tent sections of our website. To help you choose the most suitable tent for your requirements here is a round up of some of the latest models, although we stock many more. These tents are manufactured by leading brands in the outdoor industry such as Force Ten, The North Face, Nordisk, Jack Wolfskin and Vango. Please note that RRPs quoted in this post are from May 2015.

Single arch 2 person tents

The Nordisk Telemark 2 LW and The North Face 02
Single arch ultralight tents

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Going walking in the Autumn can provide an awesome visual experience with views of trees changing colour from green through to yellow and red. Bracken on the hillside becoming brown gives the fells a whole new look. On sunny days, with the nights drawing in, you can often see the countryside in the glow of the golden hour just before the sun goes down.

Lake District Fells with brown bracken on the lower slopes

Shades of brown in the Lake District during Autumn. Source: Flickr by Marilyn Peddle.

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If you’ve been out walking when the weather is mild but showery you’ll know that keeping comfortable can be a bit awkward. If you keep your waterproofs on all the time you end up overheating, but then you don’t want to get wet when it rains. This is where softshell jackets come in. During changeable, mild weather, they are ideal for use as a mid-layer or outer shell. Softshells keep you warm without you getting too overheated and are also water resistant so will keep you dry in a light shower.

Softshell Outdoors Jacket from The North Face

The North Face Durango Hoodie Softshell designed for use in the mountains

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When you’re out in the cold and wet its vital to keep warm. The warmest outdoor jackets use an insulation material sandwiched between a outer shell. Just like with sleeping bags, there are two main choices for insulation material. These are either down or synthetic. Both of these insulation materials loft up, trapping air voids which is warmed by your body heat. Outdoor gear manufacturers are constantly trying to come up with new ways to advance insulation technology and one such product is PrimaLoft’s ThermoBall. This is a down-like synthetic fill used exclusively by The North Face.

Insulation materials for outdoor jackets and sleeping bags

Primaloft ThermoBall, Synthetic and Down Insulation

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So you’re thinking of going on a trek and you’ve got to carry all you kit, and you’re wondering if you’ve got the boots for the job? The following guide will give you some advice and show you what to look for when buying the right boots for backpacking.

North Face Verbera Footwear Range

Hiking/Trekking Boots? Walking Boots? Arghhhhhh!!! Thankfully The North Face Verbera range covers walking and light/heavy trekking.

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mid walking boots

Advice on choosing the best type of walking footwear. Source: Flickr by Janet Ramsden

Would the Proclaimers be willing to walk 500 miles, if after half an hour their boots were rubbing and their soles had just come off right in the middle of a cold wet puddle? I doubt it! Especially as they knew they had to do 500 more!

Joking aside, and it may seem the obvious thing to say, but when buying walking footwear it is vital to get the correct fit and the right shoe or boot for the types of walk that you will be going on.

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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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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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To help launch our new running section, which is the place to find all of your running gear, check out my video feature review of Salomon’s excellent Fast Wing Hoodie.

Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie

This lightweight windproof jacket which has been designed for runners as both a training or race jacket. Looking at the Fast Wing you may be forgiven for thinking that it is like many other lightweight windshirts but when you scratch below the surface and look at the features you come to appreciate that attention to detail Salomon have gone to in their design.

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