I've got some carbide going for Â£5 per kilo. Doesn't take into account postage because I aint posting it. If you want some, let me know and we can arrange to pass it along from meetup to meetup till it gets to you
The Manfrotto 718SHB is arguably one of the best, if not the best, tripod ever made for exploring. It's light, strong and compact, yet still features a normal height and three way head. Spare parts are available as well.
Sadly they don't make them any more, but I spotted one on Ebay with two hours to go...
Well worth a punt if you're looking for a tripod. I bought one as a replacement for another 718SHB about two weeks ago or I'd be bidding on it.