So I’m a relative newbie to the Social Hiking fraternity. I had seen via a few of the people I follow on Twitter the familiar tweet of “I’m out and about track me live etc” When I was on my sun lounger in Turkey within the safety of Wifi decided to join Social Hiking.
Now I am just a geek in training, my journey has not been without its frustrations. Like all newbies, consulted the website and the “getting started guide” so first set up my Buddy beacon. Yes that worked ok. There is a bit of setting up, but once you get the hang of it, it is quite straight forward. Phil and Martin have been brilliant for sorting out my blonde questions!!
My first failing was to expect that Social Hiking worked as Endomondo (which I use as well to track my runs and my mile pace). Thank you Martin for explaining this to me!! Once I understood that Viewranger did that job. That as soon as I started the Viewranger app and my first beacon had been sent, Social Hiking picked that up and sent the set up tweet. So a trial run, round the block to try this out and success. Oh but I did the classic mistake and forgot to turn my beacon off doh!! Apparently this is a common fault amongst fellow users. But in doing this I have learnt how to suppress beacons and get the map back looking as it should!
I love it, every time I have time to explore the site and my maps, I’m always discovering things. The classification of peaks achieved whilst walking, not just Wainwrights!! That you can merge photos uploaded to Google+, share your maps/walks on various social media. I’m sure there is so much more but as I said I’m a geek in training!
There has been time when it has stopped tracking, mostly due to lack of signal, I’m afraid a common occurrence in the Lakes. But this is usually rectified by uploading a GPX file from Viewranger to fill in the gaps. The other good thing is when friends are tracking you, for example when we did a wrong turn on the Coledale Horseshoe walk. Martin messaged me to say “you appear to be doing more of a valley walk than a ridge walk!” Another occasion when it had stopped tracking a friend text to make sure all was well.
It’s great to have a virtual diary of walks, runs etc completed. Whilst walking with 2 other social hikers/twitter peeps the other weekend, we said we should do a Lakes meet up? Anybody interested in this get in touch.
So thank you very much Phil for designing this and letting us all use it. Because I like everyone else who uses it, we think it is brilliant 🙂