Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

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Have you looked out of the window today? It’s Friday and it’s raining again!

the river that was a stream

A river bursts its banks in the Lake District. Source: Flickr by twak

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Mountain Equipment Kongur Gore Tex Jacket

The award winning and much loved ME Kongur at £252 is a lot of money, so why wouldn't you want to protect it?

Breathable waterproof fabrics such as Gore Tex, eVent and Gelanots are highly technical and can be expensive. So it is not surprising that there are numerous products on the market that claim to protect and prolong the life of waterproof clothing. Is it necessary to use these fabric care products or will my waterproofs be ok as long as I simply look after them?

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There are plenty of excellent countryside walking routes in the UK. Source: Flickr by eamoncurry123.

There are plenty of excellent countryside walking routes in the UK. Source: Flickr by eamoncurry123.

When you fancy going for a hike or walk there are plenty of route planner websites on the internet that can provide help and inspiration. Whether you are going to a particular part of the country for the first time or looking for a hidden gem in your own backyard, there are plenty of on-line walks to chose from. But which is the best walking route planner to use? The amount of detail, advice and number of walks in a particular region vary from website to website. Here at CheapTents.com we have been examining the various walking route planner websites to find out which are worthy of being your walking guide and which you would not rely upon to give you directions to the house next door.

There are several criteria by which the walking guide websites have been judged, as follows:

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You can buy midge repellent at our online shop or read on to find out about midges and other possible ways to avoid getting bitten.

With summer is fast approaching so are the dreaded midges, which have to be one of the most annoying creatures on this planet.  While they’re hardly dangerous, they can be annoying and leave you with a few nasty bite marks.

Midge close up: source imarsman - flickr

Midge close up: source imarsman - flickr

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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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We all know that Brasher make some of the best hillwalking boots available, and now they can prove it.  The increasingly popular brand of walking boots announced record sales for September, making their sales count an exceptional 87% up on the same time last year…quite popular indeed, especially considering the prevailing economic conditions!

Working for an outdoor shop, I can see that Brasher are certainly amongst our best selling hiking boots, quite a tribute to the brand we feel as there are so many excellent walking boots out there!
Increasing investment in product development and marketing are behind the growth, according to Brasher’s Managing Director Andy Loeber who adds:

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Last month, the Scottish Natural Heritage announced that it was going to help the outdoor community via a trickle down affect.  Simply put, the Scottish Natural Heritage were going to teach 10 of the top outdoor instructors about being green and more specifically about being environmentally friendly when out camping.

Leave No Trace Camping Education

Myles Farnbank, senior guide for Wilderness Scotland, is delivering the certificated workshops inline with Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code and the Institute of Outdoor Learning.

Mr Farnbank said:

The workshops will help outdoor instructors identify activities and behaviour which might cause damage or pollution, and demonstrate ways to minimise impact and remove any traces of camping activity.

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Looking for an indoor climbing wall in the UK?  Near Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Warrington, London, Wales, Scotland? Here’s where to find it…

List of Climbing Walls

You can download a list of climbing walls created by the BMC here.  This directory of climbing walls is a fantastic way to keep you engaged in climbing by challenging yourself on new walls in your region, or anywhere across the UK!

Give climbing a go!

Learning to rock climb is often easier indoors, out of the elements, and teamed up with an instructor.  So if you’ve never tried, make sure you book yourslef in for a few lessons and wear the right climbing equipment!

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You may remember, a while ago we wrote this fun quiz asking whether you are serious about reducing the weight of your backpack, when out running, walking, climbing or riding, asking: are you a lightweight?

Ultralight Specialists

Years and years of working in the outdoor industry, has led us into our very own niche…one that we proudly can say that we are probably the biggest and best and doing what we do: selling the lightest gear at reduced prices, throughout the year. No seasonal discounting for us – low prices all year!

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Travel Advice: Cape Tribulation, Australia

When I was backpacking, I spent a little bit of time in North-Eastern Australia, in particular camping around Cape Tribulation, a protected World Heritage site.  Cape Tribulation is a coastal paradise, with tropical mangrove swamps behind you and flat sandy beaches and crystal blue waters in front.  A real haven.

Whilst there, I was told by our bus driver that you better watch-out, it’s Cassowary territory and these guy are out to get us all.  To me this is what horror movies are made of – an untimely, embarrassing death by a chubby, multi-coloured bird.

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