Camping Tip of the week

Put items that you will need last at the bottom.  You won't be reaching for your pajamas mid hike. Along these lines, the bottom of your bag typically will contain fuel, a stove, sleeping bag, most of your clothing, and food supply

Heavy items should be at the center of your rucksack and closest to your back.  Reason? Extra weight on the outside adds pressure and tension against your shoulders, as does extra weight on the bottom.  When we carry children for example, we instinctively hold them close to the center of our body.  It's the same with a pack.  Your tent and main water supply are items that should fit close to the center of your spine.

Top (and Outside Pockets):
Place here any incidental you may need to reach in and grab.  This includes sunscreen, bug repellant, a trowel, toilet paper, torches (you don't always make camp before dark,) first aid kit, an extra jumper, hat and gloves (depending on the climate,) snacks, maps, a compass, sunglasses (if you're not wearing them.) Don't forget snacks for energy, a bottle of water, and a small bin bag in case you create rubbish along the way.

Extra Hints:
Place fragile items in the center surrounded by softer items.
Most of your cash can go in the center of your bag, hidden in clothes.  Thieves check outside compartments first, so avoid these pockets for precious stash.
Utilise a little of each compartment to prevent contents from shifting.

It seems so obvious but I'm dreadful at packing!

Used with kind permission of Outdoor Camping Direct  UK's Number One Outdoor & Camping Store

Finding Ebay Camping bargains

It's winter and if you camp like I do, in a tent, with no heating, you probably have packed up now until the spring (big high five to you if you haven't!)

But while you sit before your cosy fireplace do your thoughts turn to camping? Do you read your Camping and Caravanning Magazine cover to cover and then sigh a dream of fields and ....well maybe not, but now is a good time to hunt out some bargains ready for next year.

Ebay is a great place for the odd tent or spare pole (all of my tents are second hand, 2 from ebay). It's good to get things now because you can pick up stuff that is nearly new, bought for this years summer holiday by people that thought they'd like camping and didn't and are now selling, and also things bought by novices that do like camping but have now realised what they should have bought and are selling off surplus. And of course the keen camper who is selling off things due to a tent upgrade.

And winter is a good time to buy because only a weirdo true camper looks for camping things in winter, so you can often snap up a quick cheap sale. Especially if you use a sniper app (yes I cheat sometimes for things I really really 'need')

Things to watch for, that will nab you a bargain, are tents that are not erected, it's cold and wet and people may have only just decided to have a clear out - they can't be bothered to photograph the tent up, but don't be put off, read the description, Google the actual tent so you can see what it looks like (check the price new too to see what a bargain it is) and then bid away.

Don't be scared if a tent needs a little repair either (ooh a blog post for the future!) you can do all sorts of repairs yourself for only a few pence in many cases. Re proofing a tent is also surprisingly easy.

Always check where the tent is located - most tents are listed as collection only - so be sure you can afford the time and money for the drive, or email the seller to see if they would be prepared to parcel the tent up if you organised a courier (some parcel firms are surprisingly cheap!)

Here is a selection of things I've found with a search today.

ebay advert for a tent
Large canvas frame tent
 Nice canvas tent, square and old school but a lot of space and as it's canvas its asking to be painted!

ebay advert for a vango tent
Vango Tent
 Nice modern tent, I suspect used once and now space is needed!

ebay advert for a bright coloured canvas tent
Retro Canvas tent
 Love a retro canvas frame tent, bargain!

ebay advert for a canvas bell tent
Bell Tent
 Not so cheap as the others but a gorgeous bell tent all the same.(and if it gets no bids you could always make an offer)

Has that whetted your appetite? Go on, have a browse...keep your credit card handy.

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