Affordable backpacking tents review.

affordable lightweight backpacking tent review
affordable lightweight backpacking tent review

When you search the internet for affordable solo back packing tents you will become inundated with with affordable backpacking tents.

Some will be high end and some very cheap and probably not be suitable or won’t last one camp.

Each tent has its good points and bad points some however don’t have any good points and these are generally the really cheap ones that you can find.

Below is a review of three affordable solo back packing tents.

All three of the tents below can be purchased for under £100 and as cheap as £53.

Vango Blade Pro 100

I used this tent whilst participating in the Fjallraven Classic Sweden. It was great for me and I was lucky I didn’t have to pitch it in the pouring rain. I at 1.83cm could sit up in this tent, just enough space for my bag in the vestibule (but have to crawl over bag to get out for the call of nature). Offering incredible value for money the Blade 100 tent from Vango is a single pole tent with an overall weight of less than 2kg.

Vango Blade Pro 100

The use of a single alloy pole keeps the weight of this tent down to just 1.82kg. Pitching is quick and easy with just a single pole.

Downfall is the inner needs pitching first (not great if its raining). Hyrdostatic Head: 5000, Ground sheet hydrostatic head: 6000. Two compression straps are used to keep the pack size small.

Flysheet door vent allows ventilation, increasing air flow and reducing condensation creating a comfortable nights sleep. With lightweight pegs and taking the tent out of the supplied bag this tent weighs 1.63

Price: £86.40 Taunton Leisure

Wild Country Zephros 1

The Zephyros 1 person tent offers an ideal blend of low weight, reliable weather proof performance coupled with a competitive retail price. Hydrostatic Head: 4000, Groundsheet Hydrostatic Head:6000. The outer is pitched first which is good if it is raining.

It uses the Superflex alloy pole and tried and tested Wild Country, high performance flysheet and groundsheet fabrics. This tent when swapped with lightweight pegs and minus the bag weighs 1.41kg.

Based on an existing highly successful Terra Nova design, the single poled Zephyros tent gives sturdy resistance to bad weather whilst also offering spacious sleeping and storage areas. The tent pitches flysheet and inner together for speed but I would recommend packing the inner away seperately if you haven’t time to dry condensation of the inner of the fly.

Price: £94.99 Funky Leisure

3L UL Gear LanShan 1

I originally saw this tent on a youtube video of someone completing the Coast to Coast walk and liked the look of it for a summer lightweight back packing tent.

The item was purchased of Aliexpress and took about 2 weeks for delivery from China. It is extremely light weight at once the pegs where swapped at 820gms. You use your walking pole to erect this tent. The Hydrostatic head of the flysheet is: 5000 and the groundsheet which is bath tub design: 8000.

Slight flaw in design as where the webbing is stitched for guy lines and guy ropes this hasn’t been waterproofed so rain will seep in and drip onto inner.

This is easily fixed with seam sealer and small patches on the inside (see video below).

If you are tall like me there isn’t a lot of head room. There is Loads of space inside, large vestibule and can be pitched either inner or outer first.

Out of all three of these affordable backpacking tents this is my favourite as a 3 season tent, but if there is the chance of some bad weather I would use the Wild Country Zephros 1.

They each have there good and bad points and what works for me might not be what works for you and also it is weather depending on which one I use.

Price: £58.27 AliExpress

Pros & Cons of the affordable backpacking tents.

ModelInner/Outer
pitched first
Hydrostatic
head
WeightPriceLink
Vango Blade
Pro 100
Inner50001.63£86.40Taunton
Leisure
Wild Country
Zephros 1
Outer
(with inner
attached)
40001.41£94.99Funky
Leisure
3L UL Gear
LanShan 1
Inner or
Outer
5000820gms£58.27AliExpress

If you want a really lightweight option then I don’t think you can beat a lightweight tarp as these are really versatile in how you use them. (see video)

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Looking after your Leather Boots.

looking after your leather boots
looking after your leather boots
Natural Boot Grease.

Looking after your leather boots is a must.  

The one thing with wearing leather boots outdoors a lot is if they aren’t looked after they will fail in more ways than one.

The one thing with wearing leather boots outdoors a lot is if they aren’t looked after they will fail in more ways than one.

They can rot if not dried out correctly, the stitching will become weak and they can lose their waterproofness.

If like me you are walking in a wet area then regular cleaning and dubbing will keep your boots waterproof.

The way that I look after my boots is by regularly applying boot cream / dubbing to them.

Looking after your leather boots will keep the boots, clean, waterproof and also keep them supply so they don’t crack.

There are many products out on the market but the one I have found to be completely natural and very good is product based on a extremely old recipe.  

Originally the Sami would make this dubbing and apply to there hand made Reindeer leather boots to keep them supply and waterproof.

Wilmas of Sweden have created a product based on this old recipe.  This is amazing leather conditioner.

Natural Product

It is made ​​from the choicest natural raw materials such as tar, pitch oil and natural fats. and really does penetrate into the leather and makes leather very soft, smooth and highly water repellent.
 
Wilma Kängsko-smorning gives a soft antique tint to pale natural leather.

Very easy to apply it will keep your boots at tip top condition.

The trick is to apply the dubbing on as clean boots as you can get them.  Gently rubbing the grease into the leather making sure that you are getting into all the cracks and especially the stitching.

If you can warm your boots up first so the pores of the leather open and then apply the grease this will have more of an effect.

Once done leave your boots somewhere warm so the grease penetrates the leather and then with a final buff they will be ready for whatever terrain they have to cross or pass through.

How to use this product.

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Out on the land by Ray Mears

Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält.  It’s that time of the year when the nights draw in and many people turn to the comfort of an armchair and an open fire.

Even the most hardy of us who would be out in all weather find ourselves sitting indoors -brushing up on skills, servicing equipment, planning next years trips or learning different methods / places to visit through various means.

This book I am writing about is one of those books that you can’t put down and even when you’ve finished it it’s the type of book that stays on the coffee table and is picked up and shuffled through many times.Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält

This book by Ray Mears and Lars Fält is a fantastic beautiful must-have for every Bushcraft enthusiast!

 

Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält: The Authors

Ray Mears is well know in the UK, Europe and Worldwide!   This book is written together with Lars Fält, the founder of the Swedish army survival school and instructor of the Parachute Rangers.

Lars has an enormous knowledge of life and survival in the wilderness of the Northern Hemisphere and is also the author of 10 books on this subject.

Ray’s has an enormous knowledge base, lots of experiences and a natural and peaceful approach to life.  His documentaries have and still are an inspiration for everyone.
Northern Hemisphere

In this wilderness, knowledge of the forest, Bushcraft, is indispensable and you have the best opportunities to apply it correctly.

Instructive and inspiring

The landscape, cultures, knowledge and traditions of the traditional inhabitants, the trees and animals, every piece of wilderness is covered.

This book has been in development for 30 years.

It contains an imaginative voyage of discovery through the impressive forests of the Northern Hemisphere.

Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält is full of information and covers every aspect of being in the wilderness in both winter and summer (clothing, kit, skills, cooking, survival).

Revealing the age-old traditions and techniques, and how to carry them out yourself.

Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält
Lighting a fire in the snow

I love the way that this book refers back to the indigenous people of the Boreal Forest and shows how bushcraft was not just a way of life but a way of surviving.

This book describes extensively how you can live in this environment and what is needed for this.

Apart from a beautiful book Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält is also a reference book for anyone who would like to experience this.

This book is a great source of information on methods, utilising natural products, recipes and much more.

What do I think about this book?

Like I said Out on the Land is a wonderful book that you will find difficult to put down!

Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält is full of impressive photos, stories, where and why these methods are used and awe inspiring. Which will get you outside and practice what you have learnt.

Loue Tarp

If you want to have a look at some of the equipment used in this book such as the Loue Tarp have at look at Ray’s website Woodlore.

Ray Mears has and still is a great inspiration to me.  I love his documentaries I learn a great deal from these especially his carving tuitions and fire lighting skills

Where to buy?

Interested readers can purchase this book in many languages from amazon.

Ray Mears Documentaries

One of my favourite episodes is when Ray is in Sweden.

This episode he starts of in the South, paddling with Lars.

Learning how to harvest fatwood to turn into pine tar and then ventures up North to learn day to day bushcraft from the Sami and learn about the importance of a Puukko.

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Revolution Race GPx Pro Pants

Review Revolution Race GPx Pro Pants

Here’s a quick review Revolution Race GPx Pro Pants

Review Revolution Race GPx Pro Pants

Review Revolution Race GPx Pro Pants

I had a delivery of a new pair of outdoor pant from Revolution Race.  I have had a pair of their GPx pants for a while now and really like wearing them.

I’ve used them in many different environments.  I wore them for 4 days walking in the Lake District and they worked well.

What I liked about them is the way that they dried really quickly.

I wanted something even more hard wearing for more arduous terrain and use especially for walking from Nikkaluokta to Abisko next summer.

Review Revolution Race GPx Pro Pants
GPx Pro Pants

GPx Pro Pants are a multifunctional hybrid pant with 4-way stretch and reinforcements on the knees, seat and lower legs.  I especially like the reinforced areas around the heels.

The reinforcements in RVRC® Flex is both wind and water repellent.

The stretch panels ventilate and gives an incredible comfort and are very fast drying.

Review Revolution Race GPx Pro Pants
Side Ventilation

The pants are equipped with ventilation zippers along the thighs, these are extremely good at releasing heat and condensation if need be.

The knees are fitted with pockets for knee pads if required and with boot hooks these pants are ideal for muddy / rocky terrain.

Like the GPx Pants they are very figure hugging.  If like me your used to baggy pants, these take a little to get used.

Once you’ve adapted to them you’ll find them extremely comfortable.

The only down fall I found is that even thought the pants are hooked onto my boots they still ride up on the back of my boots.

Heres a short video review Revolution Race GPx Pro Pants.

Specification

Continue reading “Revolution Race GPx Pro Pants”

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