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…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

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You would be hard pushed to find many people who have explored such a number of diverse and uninhabited parts of our planet as Expedition Guide and Documentary Producer Mikael Strandberg. These include Eastern Africa, Patagonia, Siberia, Arabia and more. He has travelled on foot, bicycle, horseback, ski, reindeer sled, with camels and even with a pram.

Mikael Strandberg in the desert in Yemen

Mikael Strandberg has been to nearly 100 countries over his 29 year career

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Dan Martin is in adventurer who has set himself a challenge of enormous proportions. His plan is to extend a triathlon into a “Round the World” expedition. Billed as “The single greatest feat of human endurance, ever attempted” Dan Martin will cycle across Europe and Asia, run across North America and swim 5700km across the Atlantic Ocean.

Dan Martin in the water with swimming hat, googles and a smile

Dan Martin plans to swim across the Atlantic Ocean

No one has ever swum across the Atlantic before, so that will be no small challenge in itself. His training has so far involved swimming in the English Channel, the North Sea, the Atlantic and Loch Ness

Swimming the Atlantic – it’s impossible

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An MSR tent pitched in the mountains of Patagonia

Tim Moss wild camping on an expedition to Patagonia

Opportunities for adventure can be found almost everywhere, if you know where to look. If you are stuck for inspiration, Adventurer and Expedition Manager, Tim Moss can help. There are lots of ideas on Tim’s The Next Challenge website, through which he also offers advice, research and support for expeditions. For example, Tim has helped some of the adventurers who we have previously interviewed on the CheapTents Outdoor Gear blog, such as Leon McCarron, Alastair Humphreys and Mikael Strandberg.

[Tim] has also supported over a hundred different individuals, expeditions and groups. Will you be next? The Next Challenge.

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If you’re trying to think of a large country in which you could go for an expedition, you could certainly do a lot worse than choosing Brazil. With an area of 8.5 million square kilometres, Brazil is the fifth largest country on the planet. With such a large area there are plenty of opportunities to go exploring. The most famous wilderness area is of course the Amazon river basin and rainforest, which occupy most of the northern half of Brazil. There are many other places to explore of course, such as the semiarid deserts in the northeast, central savanna regions, the eastern Atlantic coastline and southern mountain ranges and temperate coniferous forests.

Camping under a tarp in the Amazonian rainforest

Aaron Chervenak and Gareth Jones during their 2010 expedition in Brazil’s rainforest.

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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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Erliah China: The border crossing between Mongolia and China.

Leon McCarron and Rob Lilwall arrive in China

Way back in November last year, two men embarked on an amazing adventure that would involve hiking 3,100 miles from Ulaan Baator to Hong Kong. “After 195 days, 10 million steps and far too many instant noodles” Leon McCarron and Rob Lilwall have completed their epic Walk Home From Mongolia!

The journey took Leon and Rob from the capital city of Mongolia, straight out into the wilderness of the Gobi desert. In the middle of winter they crossed through the border into Northern China. Heading south, the Great Wall led them down to frozen Yellow River. After visiting the ancient city of Xi An they crossed the mountains of central China and Guilin, before passing through GuangZhou and finally arriving in Hong Kong.

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Boats by the shore with hills behind

Two Harbours on Catalina Island. Source: Flickr by Chrissy Olson

If you ever happen to be in Los Angeles and need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, an outdoor sanctuary is close at hand: only 22 miles off the coast is Catalina Island. This small island is 22 miles in length and 8 miles across at its widest point. Mostly undeveloped and with a year round mild climate, it offers excellent opportunities for camping, hiking, cycling and sailing.

Up until 1975 Catalina Island was largely owned by the Wrigley chewing gum family, before they deeded their ownership to the Catalina Island Conservancy, which has stewardship of 88 percent of the island. Most areas of the island are protected from development.

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Rafal Krol exploring the jungle in Haiti

Rafał Król during his expedition in Haiti. Photo: Paweł Łączny.

Rafał Król is a Polish adventurer and explorer who has pushed himself to the absolute limits of endurance! His expeditions include traversing the Greenland icecap in whiteout conditions, a 400-kilometer solo expedition across Spitsbergen and pioneering a route through Sarek and Padjelanta, Laponia, Sweden, which is of the largest national parks in Europe. Sponsored by Berghaus, Rafał Król has put their outdoor gear to test in extreme conditions and helped to improve their designs.

The Greenland traverse saw Rafał Król and his expedition partner Norbert Pokorski face conditions of extreme cold and near constant whiteouts. Not only was there snow but towards the end of the journey there was also rain, which resulted in a lot of their equipment becoming wet and then frozen. It took five days to hike from the coast up to the icecap, followed by 14 days for the icecap traverse. During blizzards it was not possible see anything except for the end of their skis. Beating the monotony of this extreme environment took immense mental will power.

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Leon McCarron cycled around the Far East

Leon McCarron
"The Cycling Reporter"

In March 2011 Leon McCarron completed a 14,000 mile solo and unsupported bicycle ride from New York to Hong Kong. The route took Leon across the northern states of the USA, up to Vancouver, then back down the west coast to California. Next it was top to tip of New Zealand, before riding up Australia’s East Coast. As if that wasn’t enough, the journey continued through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China through to Hong Kong. The encore saw Leon cycle from Paris to London! Dubbed the “Cycling Reporter” expedition, one of the main aims of this journey was make a video documentary about the people that Leon met along the way, focussing one people with a true passion for life.

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The news that Lady laid three eggs in her nest at the Loch of the Lowes Reserve is a huge tonic for her fans and for the Scottish Wildlife Trust who all feared that illness would bring an end to this Iconic Osprey’s life.

Lady’s love affair with the Loch of the Lowes Reserve has seen her repeatedly summer at the Loch in the last twenty years and almost single handedly (shouldn’t that be winged?) help to re-establish the numbers of Ospreys in this country with almost 50 chicks hatched in her life time.

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