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CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

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Deciding what food to take when backpacking can be a difficult task. The major deciding factors being the weight of the food, its taste, longevity, nutrition and your diet. Other considerations are cooking, water and packaging. You may also be concerned about issues such as animal welfare, sustainability and food miles.

MSR camping stove being used to heat up noodles

Make your camping food taste better! Source: Flickr by Beemans.

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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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Square tent pegs resist twisting in the ground

MSR Needle Stakes for good all round performance.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of arriving back at the camping site after full day of hiking up big mountains, only to find that your tent has been blow across the campsite by strong winds and that it has landed in a patch of brambles that have torn it to shreds. Or so I’m told. Fortunately its never happened to me! 😉 Securing your tent with suitable pegs, stakes and guy ropes is essential if you don’t want your tent to get blown away. There are different types of tent peg that are available for use with different types of ground, different types of tent and with differing weights.

Often dedicated campsites, which may also be farmers fields, have a layer of grass covered mud and, provided that there has not been too much sun or too much rain, normal steel or aluminium tent pegs will be fine. The Vango steel hook and pin pegs fall into this category. They are often also useful for pegging down football nets, groundsheets or windbreaks.

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This week, April 11-17th, is Tick Bite Prevention Week. It sounds like it should have a lot more attention than it does, but maybe that’s due to the upcoming royal wedding taking the shine off it, or maybe its just people don’t like to think about being bitten by Ticks.

Tick Walking on a Man

A Hiker found this Tick - from andylangager Flikr

Despite the lack of attention it’s getting from elsewhere, both ourselves and CampingNinja care enough about our readers/users to give this some real attention, just as we have previously on this blog talking about Prevention of Midge Bites.

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If you’ve been asleep for the past few weeks you may be forgiven for not realising that winter is upon us. With winter generally comes danger for many people, including walkers. Winter is also the time of year when lots of people take up walking as a hobby, thanks to Christmas presents or because they have made a new years resolution to get fit!

Either way, the more walkers, ramblers, hikers and backpackers we have the better. Not only do these groups get fit and stay fit but they also get to enjoy more of our amazing countryside.

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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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What is a Rucksack Cover?

They are usually made from lightweight, waterproof, ripstop fabric and are secured around your rucksack with elasticated drawcord. When not in use they can be packed away into their own little stuff sack.

Snugpak Backpack Covers are available in small, medium and large to fit different sizes of rucksacks. Small fits uo to 25 litre rucksacks, medium fits up to 35 litre rucksacks and large fits up to 45 litre rucksacks.

Do I Need a Rucksack Cover?

The purpose of rucksack / Backpack covers is to protect your rucksack from the rain, but are they really necessary?

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Stepping Lightly on his climb up Blackpool Tower, August 2009.

Stepping Lightly on his climb up Blackpool Tower, August 2009.

In August this year, climber and urbex legend “Stepping Lightly” hit the headlines in the national press following his covert ascent of Blackpool Tower. Stepping Lightly has climbed many structures including one of Battersea Power Station’s iconic chimneys, Willington Power Station cooling towers and the famous Angel of the North in Gateshead. He also likes bridge climbing and has climbed the Forth Rail Bridge, and the Humber and Severn Bridges.

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I’m sure over the years we’ve all had our fair share of blisters, but what is the best way to avoid them and what should we do when we get one?

Blisters generally occur from friction on the skin from your socks or shoes this repeated friction causes the outer layer of the skin to separate from the fiber layer. The resulting “pocket” then fills up with a clear fluid (serum) and forms a blister.

Some Bad Blisters. Source : Jason Cartwright - Flickr

Some Bad Blisters. Source : Jason Cartwright - Flickr

How to Avoid Blisters

  • Make sure you have a pair of boots that are a good fit and be sure to break them in well.
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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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