Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

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A Windy Hike on Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh

A Windy Hike on Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh. Source: Flickr by joe.lipson

Standing in our shop last week I had an epiphany whilst examining two different windshirts, a thought came into my mind which stunned me that wind proof clothing is even more versatile than I thought! Now in my defence I know Waterproof Jackets are 100% windproof, but what I was thinking about was the other windproof and wind resistant products that are on the market. The kind of clothing designed especially for summer or active use, as you don’t really want to wear your waterproof on a lovely bright BREEZY day do you? Or a fleece that as soon as the wind gusts is as much protection as a chocolate fireguard?

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Update: We are not currently selling the Altas jacket, instead we have The North Face Zenith Triclimate Jacket, which is similar.

The North Face brand is one which is known for producing supremely high quality and innovative products. Today we are taking a look at a waterproof jacket which has been part of their collection for a few years, the Atlas Triclimate Jacket.

The Atlas Triclimate Jacket claims to be a versatile 3-in-1 jacket providing optimal cold and wet weather protection. So as part of this review we’ll be examining just how versatile this jacket is and whether it really does offer such great protection as it claims, we’re not sceptics but we like quality to be proven.

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The Sony Walkman allowed people to listen to music whilst they were doing outdoor sports.

Sony Walkmans were massive! Source: Flickr by daryl_mitchell

Ever since the invention of the Sony Walkman outdoor enthusiasts have been able to take their music with them on their adventures. Back in the good old days it meant lots of extra weight, there was not an ultralight option! If you moved abruptly the cassette anti-rolling mechanism couldn’t cope and your tunes would speed up or slow down. Not to mention that if you wanted more than 90 minutes of music you needed to carry a collection of cassettes. Now with ipods and smart phones the technical issues have long been resolved and you can take more music than you can shake your walking pole at for around 100 grams.

Motivational Music
for Mountain Climbing

Having your music with you when you are walking, running or climbing is great for motivation and can keep you going when pain and/or boredom sets in. Maybe you dance along to the beat or at least run in time to it!

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Earlier this year the coalition government proposed conversational plans to sell off much of England’s forestry and other woodland. After a public outcry the government stood down from it’s position offering to create a panel to report back and suggest the future of the forests.

The independent panel of 12 members, chaired by Right Rev James Jones – Bishop of Liverpool – has now been established and following two meetings is now inviting the views of the people of this country. The task it has been set is not an easy one, over the next 10 months, until April 2012, the panel must discuss and report on the future of Forestry and Woodland in England.

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Noel Sofley is a downhill mountain biker from Northern Ireland. He recently contacted us with a view to raising both his profile and that of his sponsor, KOBC. Here at CheapTents we like to give some exposure to up and coming outdoor athletes, so we asked Noel to tell us about his passion for mountain biking, his achievements and his goals in his favourite sport…

Downhill Mountain Biker Noel Sofley

Noel Sofley with his MTB

Noel got his first inspiration for mountain biking at the age of 9, when he picked up a copy of Mountain Biking UK magazine in his local newsagents.

I felt a buzz and felt amazing! I just wanted to try it, which I did and it stuck with me ever since.

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Last year we brought you an exclusive interview with John Loader from the RSPB highlighting the charity’s campaign to further protect and raise the awareness of birds of prey, we reported on the campaign and how successful it had become raising people’s awareness.

Amongst other advantages of having birds of prey in the eco system, John showed us how birds of prey helped local economies by bringing tourists to an area. In this year of cuts, doom and gloom it is nice to be able to share the success story of the Galloway Red Kite Trail where humans are working with nature, and poignantly the red kite being one of those birds of prey we highlighted with John Loader.

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Mike Kloser suspended in mid air whilst doing rope work.

Mike Kloser never stops training. This is his idea of just hanging around!

Mike Kloser is one of the world’s top endurance athletes. He is an Adventure Racing and Mountain Biking World Champion. Among his many achievements, Mike has won the AR World Championships 5 times, Eco Challenge 3 times and Primal Quest 5 times. Before taking up Adventure Racing, Mike Kloser was a dedicated Mountain Biker and won a gold and two silvers at the MTB World Championships. With a whole host of championship titles for endurance sport events, Mike Kloser is an outstanding athlete with a passion for competing in, and winning, epic races.

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At CheapTents we like to help up and coming outdoor athletes by giving them some exposure. We were recently contacted by downhill mountain biker Tim Graham. Tim is an avid downhill racer who is pursuing his dream of a professional MTB racing.

Mountain biker riding singletrack downhill trail

Tim Graham getting some downhill action on his Specialized Big Hit.


It was watching downhill riders on the trails at Fort William that gave Tim the inspiration to take up mountain biking. That was two and half years ago and he has not looked back since…

The excitement and thrill of new trails and meeting new people got me into downhill mountain biking!

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The Nine Edges Race in the Peak District is for walkers, runners, climbers and mountain bikers. Starting from Fairholmes Car Park, the route takes competitors over nine gritstone edges to the Robin Hood pub, near Baslow. For walkers, runners and climbers the distance covered is 20 miles, for mountain bikers 32 miles. There is no fixed route, but competitors must use footpaths and bridleways and must also pass by either the top or bottom of each gritstone edge. Climbers must also climb each edge.

Stanage Edge Gritstone Rocks in the Peak District

Stanage Edge is a popular place for climbing. Source: Flickr by Darren Copley.

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Adventure racing is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. The Adidas Terrex Adventure Race will be a 4 day non-stop event held in the Lake District. The race will follow a 400 km linear course across Cumbria, with shortcuts available for novice teams.

Good navigation is essential for the race, and you will be provided with detailed maps to follow. The race will include fell running, mountain biking, kayaking, orienteering and a few surprises taking you to those hidden gems. Attitude is everything, so be prepared for the unexpected!

Since this Adventure Race is being held in the Lake District there could well be some open water swimming.

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