IMPORTANT: Please NOTE final Shipping Dates for Christmas 2010 have now passed
At CheapTents we want to keep our customers “in the loop”, as part of this we have been continually giving you delivery updates during the recent bad weather. Today we’ve been contacted by one of our two despatch companies explaining that orders despatched after Friday will not reach various scottish regions until AFTER christmas.
This means that if you are ordering with the intention of delivery to an affected area before Christmas you must order BEFORE Friday (17th).
Post code areas affected by this: Note: this is currently only affected SCOTTISH Postal Codes
Aberdeen – All AB & ZE
Edinburgh – All EH, FK, TD plus KY 1-4, KY 11-12, KY 99
Glasgow – All G, KA, ML plus HS9, PA 1-38, PA 41-78
Perth – All D plus KY 5-10, KY 13-16, PH 1-26
You can continue to view our delivery updates for all areas here.
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.
Snow in Pudsey - Sourge Geograph.org.uk
However, as I’ve said above winter can be dangerous. For walkers there are many things to take into account from the cold to slippery surfaces. Below are my Top Ten Tips for Winter Walking.
Wrap Up Warm – this as with many of my points may sound obvious, but it is normally the obvious that are over looked. Ensure that you layer your clothing, the thicker the layers the better. Your layers of clothing should include Thermals, a Warm Fleece, a Soft Shell Jacket and a Waterproof Jacket.
Don’t Loose Your Footing - footwear is one of the most vital aspects of any walker’s kit. Incorrect footwear cannot only lead to injuries but can also mean you may get much colder much sooner as your feet can loose heat very quickly. You need to address three questions when thinking about footwear for winter walking; 1) Are my boots waterproof? 2) Are the boots suited for walking the distance and terrain you are likely to be on? 3) Is the grip good enough and if not do you have crampons?
Fingers, Toes and Nose! – ok maybe not nose, but it sounded good. Taking care of your extremities is vital, you can loose a lot of heat through them and in doing so you will get very cold very quickly. To combat the cold always have some nice thick walking socks, a pair of gloves (wind-proof preferably) and a nice warm hat. Also it’s a really good idea to carry spares of these as you never know when you may need them.
Plan Plan Plan – it is vital that you take your time and plan your walk. It is even more important that you leave a copy of your planned route with someone who isn’t making the trip, this means in emergencies you will be easier to find. You should leave a copy of your route even if you are only taking a short route and / or walk the route on a regular basis.
Take a Torch … and Batteries! – during winter it gets dark quickly and early, it is easy to get caught out and about in the dark. It is therefore vital that you carry a torch (and / or headtorch) with you at all times when winter walking. It is also very important that you don’t forget to take spare batteries for your torch, it isn’t worth the risk of getting stuck on a mountain in the dark! This also reminds me ensure your mobile is fully charged and again if you have a spare battery take one.
An Ice Axe? – yes really. An ice axe can be a very important piece of gear for walking during winter, providing that you know how to use it properly. Ice Axes will help you both up and down a hill/mountain and will really aid your progress … it also means should you need to dig a shelter you have a piece of gear to do so. However, it should be said in most areas this isn’t really necessary.
Walking Poles – now these can be a help or hindrance depending on various factors. If you are hill walking then they can really help you get about, if you are walking on flats then you will probably not need them. Remember to check the pole tips and even take spares if you can.
Survival Bags - these are a cheap and cheerful way to get out of stormy weather fast. If there is more than one of you on a walk why not invest in an Emergency Storm Shelter, a little bit dearer but they are much more comfortable.
Don’t Get Caught Out – winter means 2 things, it is cold and the weather is changeable. It is important therefore that you check the weather before you go out for a walk, and I don’t mean look out of the window. Checking the weather isn’t a chore, simply check on the metoffice for the latest weather and weather warnings where you are walking. If it is forecast for heavy snow or rain you may want to reconsider your plans, remembering if you change route to tell someone!
Enjoy the Walk – the UK has some of the most amazing scenery, both in and out of urban areas. Why not take a camera along with you and take some lovely snap!
If you can’t find a route you want to walk near you this winter, why not take a look at the walks being planned by the Rambling Association. Each year they organise lots of events for walkers of all levels and ages, click here to take a look at walks near you.
Kids Holiday Activities Are Back!
The Christmas School Holidays are almost here...
Don’t worry! Boulders have prepared a fun filled week full of activities for your children to take part in. At Boulders, we not only want you to climb more but to also enjoy your climbing experience with the family.
Whether it’s helping your big sister work her way up through the levels in NICAS, taking mum and dad for a quick climb up the walls or maybe you want to relax in our cosy cafe while your children scale the heights of our indoor climbing centre, at Boulders we’ve got an activity that will suit all of your family’s needs.
We know that not all parents are able to get time off over the holidays so we’ve set up a fantastic deal with working mums and dads in mind. Take advantage of our early bird drop off at 8:30am and late pick up at 5:30pm knowing that your children will be left with friendly and fully qualified instructors. Parents can rest assured that their children will have an exciting action packed day, meet new people and enjoy a tasty lunch from our cafe.
Don’t just take our word for it; listen to what Sam, Chloe and Megan have to say:
‘I had a really good time, it was fun and challenging’ Sam age 9
‘I enjoyed trying to climb all the different walls’ Chloe age 10
‘I think Boulders is a good way to improve your confidence in yourself and others’ Megan age 11
This Christmas Holiday Boulders will be running Kid’s Holiday Activities from:
1) Monday the 20th December – Wednesday 23rd December 2010
2) Tuesday the 28th December – Thursday 30th December 2010.
Boulders will be closed on the following dates:
Friday 24th – Sunday 26th December 2010
Friday 31st December 2010 - Saturday 1st January 2011
Running from the sea to the sky, from the plains to the earth’s highest peaks.
Outdoor sports such as running, biking, skiing, duathlons, triathlons which are undertaken at altitudes above 2000 m are collectively known as Skysports. Typical locations for Skysports are The Alps, Tibet, Nepal, Kenya, Colorado, Mexico or
anywhere that the sky and mountains meet.
And there was me thinking that Skysports was about watching football, rugby or cricket on a widescreen LCD TV at home or down the pub.
The Federation for Sport at Altitude, set up in 1995, is primarily concerned with sporting events above 4000 m. According to the FSA:
True sport means looking beyond the confining restrictions of individual disciplines, beyond self-limiting boundaries.
After the race for survival, the hunt, civilization, today, these ancient rituals have been transformed into sport.
A sport with precise rules and regulations qualifying athletic performance, safeguarding man and the environment – in the true spirit of the Olympics.
The FSA membership card is only issued to people who successfully finish a SkyMarathon.
The International Skyrunning Federation
Founded in 2008 the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) represents Skyrunners and organises a number of Skyrunning events, including Skyrunner World Series which is a series of 14 annual racing events staged in 12 countries. The ISF also organise the bienniall European Championships, the four-yearly World Championships and the SkyGames held every Olympic year. The ISF definition of Skyrunning includes additional points regarding the severity of the mountain slopes, as follows:
Skyrunning is defined as running in the mountains above 2,000 metres altitude where the incline exceeds 30% and the climbing difficulty does not exceed II° grade
2011 Skyrunner World Series Races
The 2011 Skyrunner World Series Races kick off in May, with the Vertical Kilometre on Mount Elbrus. Located in the Russian Caucasus mountain range, between the Black and Caspian seas, Mount Elbrus (5,642 m) is Europe’s tallest mountain. Other Skyrunner events are set to take place across southern Europe as well as the USA, Japan, Venezuela and the Philippines.
The 2012 Skygames will be held in the Pyrenees, Spain, and include SkyMarathon, Vertical Kilometer, SkyBike and SkySpeed events.
The ISF is an Observer Member of the UIAA (International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation).
Skyrunning Races take place in mountains above 2000m. Source: Wikimedia Commons by Sondrekv.
The Ben Nevis Race
Since the United Kingdom’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, is well under 2000m, it is not actually possible do any proper Skyrunning in the UK. However, one of the Skyrunner trials does take place on Ben Nevis anyway. The annual event, known as the Ben Nevis Race, will next take place on 3rd September 2011. The race starts at New Town Park, Fort William, and is up to the summit and back down.
To take part in the Ben Nevis race you must be be a member of a bona fide Athletic Club, over 18 years of age and have completed three Category “A” hill / fell races as defined by the Scottish Hill Runners or the Fell Runners Association.
Once you’re in the race you need to be quick since you must reach the summit of Ben Nevis in two hours and any competitors who do not complete the course in 3 hours 15 minutes will be refused entry to subsequent races. The current fastest record holders are Kenny and Pauline Stewart, from Keswick AC, who in 1984 completed the race in 1hr 25min 34sec (mens record) and 1hr 43min 25sec (ladies record) respectively.
What gear do you need for Skyrunning?
To compete in the Ben Nevis race you are required to take full waterproof body cover, including head covering and gloves, and a whistle.
The most important part of your kit are your trail running shoes. These must have a good grip and a protective upper to resist water and snow. Trail running shoes such as The North Face Fire Road and Salomon Pro 3D are recommended by the ISF.
In warm climates when the race is short and without much altitude, a singlet and shorts can be adequate. Generally Skyrunners will wear more protection such full-length tights or long, microfibre pants and a long sleeved top or cycling shirt with pockets for carrying a lightweight windproof jacket. Other recommended and sometimes compulsory gear includes gloves, sun glasses and a head band or hat.
Other essential equipment includes a compass and altimeter or GPS, energy bars and water.
Going lightweight is a must for Skyrunners, with shoes and equipment typically weighing in at less than 1 kg.
IMPORTANT: Please Note final Shipping Dates for Christmas 2010 have now passed
Whilst some of us are enjoy the current weather conditions, ideal for walking in the countryside, however we have heard a few moans and groans about the snowy weather conditions. Even from our delivery partners. Anyway I’m loving the weather and hope you are too but we need to tell you about some possible delays in delivery of orders.
Most of the UK is currently under severe weather warning for “wintery conditions” and as such the Royal Mail and Parcel Force, our delivery partners, have issues warnings that some deliveries may experience delays.
We would ask all customers to allow for such delays before contacting our team as we are unable to speed up deliveries delayed by weather.
Furthermore we would ask all customers ordering with the intention of a pre-christmas delivery (i.e. Christmas Gifts) order any products as far in advance as possible. In doing so we hope to reduce customer stress as the weather conditions look set to be “wintery” until at least the new year, meaning delays in postage should be expected.
CheapTents will keep you up to date with any further changes to delivery times.
Below Updated : 17/12/10
Due to recent snow fall and other weather conditions some areas of scotland, northern ireland and wales are suffering from some delays.
RoyalMail (we are assured) are doing as much as they can to ensure deliveries are made.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post explaining Phase One, the start of our website updates and I also talked of what was to come in Phase Two. Today, with Phase Two nearing completion I’d like to tell you a little about what updates Phase Two has included.
Phase Two updates are somewhat more complex than those in Phase One. This is to say without the changes made earlier Phase Two could not even be attempted, it also means they changes are more technically challenging and take longer to implement.
Phase Two has seen all of the “non-shopping” area redesigned, realigned and content updated. Starting with the homepage which has been totally revamped. You will have noticed over the past few months we’ve played around with a few design variations, from these we have taken the best bits and put them into a single design. Other “non-shopping” pages have also been redesigned somewhat to fit with the new feel of the website and to help users navigate the website and content much more easily.
The design changes have been live for just a few days but we are already seeing that users are flowing much more easily through the website to the product(s) they are looking for.
Late last week we also implemented Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode, also known as 3D secure. This is an extra measure we’ve been asked to include as part of our checkout by our bank as it helps to decrease fraud and protect you, our customer. These systems add an extra step into the checkout to confirm your credentials using a password based system, we must emphasise CheapTents do not have access to this data, these details are between you and your bank. You can read more about VbV and SC on our secure shopping information page.
There is more to come!
You will have noticed CheapTents is not a small website, indeed with near 1000 products live at this moment, we are far from it. With this in mind we’re still working on various updates as part of Phase Two. These updates include extra functions on product pages (I will update you on these when they go live), an updated search utility and a new look blog with further website integration.
As part of our updates we are looking for your views on the updates so far. We’d like to know specifics of where things don’t work as you think they should, don’t look quite right and of course we’d like to know what other features you would like to see on the website. We ask you to send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below, Thank You.