Outdooractive app

As followers will know, I have been uploading my routes on to the ViewRanger app for several years. Apparently ViewRanger has now merged with the Outdooractive app, which is available from all the usual places. This is a subscription app offering high resolution maps.

Apparently Viewranger routes will remain with them indefinitely but I have now synchronised my routes onto the new app and will run both in tandem for the time being. I hope walkers will benefit from having the choice until I am able to compare the two apps more.

I wish them well at Outdooractive. It may take a while for me to update the links on this blog and my YouTube Channel. In the meantime, links to both sites can be found in the sidebar of this blog and on YouTube, and for Viewranger read Viewranger or Outdooractive in my blogposts. Thanks. ūüĆĻ

Rosie with an i

FYI I am now Rucksack Rosie with an i, rather than Rucksack Rose on all my sites, so the link to my website has changed to rucksackrosie.com just because it feels friendlier somehow. I am not a tech specialist but this may mean you will need to refresh your website links. My YouTube and Outdooractive sites are also now named Rucksack Rosie, although the links to each of them remain the same. Otherwise I am gradually editing the links in my blog so that they continue to work. If you find any broken links let me know. Thanks very much for your continued company.

Scottish Day Walks

For information, I have divided up my Scottish day walks into geographical walks and themed walks.

Under geographical walks so far there are two new sections entitled Border Beats and Edinburgh Exploits (including Lockdown Loping). Under themed walks there is a section called Perthshire Protection about outdoor conservation work. I look forward to expanding all these in the fullness of time. Check out my Outdooractive route collection too.

Looking across towards the Cairngorms from the Speyside Way near Aviemore

Obviously the walks I can do at the moment are limited by the present restrictions, but they may appeal to other people in the same situation.

Hikerspace I

This post is intended to be an occasional feature showcasing some of the websites which I have enjoyed recently. I would welcome your suggestions about good sites.

Trail Angels
Trail Angels on Hadrian’s Wall

Chris Townsend Outdoors Blog by a very experienced backpacker with an impressive outdoor CV. Unparalleled knowledge of gear and environmental issues.

Grough Magazine An independently owned site featuring news and features about the outdoors and outdoor activities.

Hiking in Finland  A European backpacking blog in English written by the multi skilled Hendrick Morkel

Homemade Wanderlust  Blog and Vlog following trailhiker Dixie’s interesting and involving attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail and become a hiking triple crowner.

John Muir Trust Founded in 1983 with the aim of conserving and protecting wild places for the benefit of present and future generations

Northumberland National Park This site is growing into a well researched and  interesting website about the area. They are quite responsive to comments and criticisms from users.

The Outdoors Station Podcast A professionally produced podcast covering many aspects of the outdoors from the Cartwrights at Backpacking Light UK

Scotland Outdoors Podcast A wide ranging, well informed and entertaining podcast about outdoor life in Scotland.

Tramplite Ultralight long distance hiker who designs and makes his own line of hiking equipment when he isn’t hiking trails around the world

Walk Highlands All aspects of walking in Scotland are covered in this engaging blog which has a good mix of trail data, downloads and long form posts. It is supported by accommodation providers who want to appeal to the outdoor market.

Rucksack Rose

Tramping around Tyneside

3 years ago I moved from the borders back to Newcastle. Because I wasn’t sure whether there would be demand for urban walks on my site, I made a YouTube¬†playlist of my Tyne and Wear walks but didn’t create GPX files as I do for most of my trips.¬†I have now uploaded these walks onto Outdooractive¬†as well as YouTube.

Sometimes life limits the options we have open to us for outdoor pursuits. I hope you will enjoy these Tyne and Wear walks. They are all accessible by public transport – one advantage of city walking.

St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay
Tyne Bridge and Millenium Bridge, Newcastle

Top Publisher Award 2018

I have been digging my old trumpet out and dusting it off to receive this very exciting ViewRanger (Now Outdooractive) award, alongside 9 other distinguished recipients.

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Craig Wareham, Co-Founder and CEO of Viewranger, describes the annual award as follows:

‘The Top Publisher Award recognises people, organizations and publishers creating interesting, engaging, and high quality trail guide content.¬†Each year, just ten outdoor organizations and authors receive our top award for contributing outstanding digital content, including route descriptions, turn-by-turn directions and photos to share with the growing outdoor community’

Press Release Image
All 10 of the 2018 Top Publisher Award Winners

By way of acknowledgement, the ViewRanger app has dragged my blog out of the dusty filing cabinets and card indexes where it was created, and into the digital present. The app provided me with exactly the tools I needed to make my routes accessible to a wider audience and to communicate directly with users.

Thanks to my followers and all at ViewRanger for making it happen for all my Rucksack Rosie sites. Please note that ViewRanger is now assimilated with the Outdooractive app which can be downloaded from the usual places.

rravatarsa4
Rucksack Rosie – Avatars

Twitter Detox

As a digital immigrant, I didn’t really know much about online safety when I started Rucksack Rosie using a pseudonym in 2012. My aims were to celebrate the life of my late mother and to remind myself that beauty and kindness still existed in the world. I wanted to connect with outdoor people who are normally excluded from outdoor debates. Naively I thought that is what the internet was for.

Because of this, I didn’t know how to react or who to turn to when my sites were targeted by cyberstalkers, malware and organised trolling following a terrible trip out with a stranger on Twitter to Wideopen Hill in 2014. This culminated in a trip to the police and a solicitor in 2017.

For 5 years I made repeated attempts to refer the Twitter gang to my personal site for information and news, but the main thing I have learned is that trolls like them can’t, or won’t, read. After my studies in 2016, issues from the same people flared up again when I mentioned that my application had been accepted for the TGO challenge, and their sheer unpleasantness resulted in my withdrawal from the event. 

This was soon followed by another outburst from a couple of people from the same group (without even knowing the circumstances) when I mentioned that I had made a call to Mountain Rescue for advice during a walk in memory of a relative.

RR Bullying 1
Blow the whistle on trolling and harassment

This group seem to have nothing better to do with themselves than to wreak emotional devastation on Twitter. After haranguing me for over two years, they eventually pressured me into disclosing private information which was really off topic on this blog.

All these experiences have changed my approach to blogging and social media, which is ironic on a blog intended to share beauty and kindness. As a result I have put Twitter on hold as I’m not sure it is the right platform for remembering people, beauty, kindness, survivors or fledgling businesses. When I try to balance out the positive contribution it is making to Rucksack Rosie against the emotional damage being caused by trolls, and the lax safety responses from the company involved, the option to come off Twitter became an increasingly tempting one.

Otherwise everything else will hopefully carry on with improved productivity in a less toxic environment. Thanks again to the people who have stopped by. It means a great deal to me.

Wild Flowers
Wild Flowers near Malham

Postscript: I finally came off Twitter completely in February 2020 having ceased to enjoy the experience at all some time ago. I am hoping to rediscover the pleasure in walking which drew me to blog about it in the first place. Names of trolls available on request.

Does the world need another review of 2017?

Summary.

The answer is probably not, so I’m keeping it short. Like most years, 2017 has had it’s ups and downs for me.¬†I have¬†achieved many of the¬†aims for Rucksack Rose that I set out a year ago; completely updating all my sites, introducing a way to support me and producing more regular content, which includes ‘talkie’ videos and GPX links.

Outdoor
rucksackrose.com

In April, under pressure from Twitter trolls, I wrote a bit about my childhood experiences of aggression, and the ways in which I learned to cope with them, in Overcoming Anxiety. I can only hope that writing about this may help others who have had similar experiences.

In September I celebrated the fifth birthday of this blog and passing the 100k views mark on both my YouTube channel and my blog. I am proud to say that views currently stand at 108k+ on YouTube and 107k+ on this blog.

RR Thanks
Thank You from Rucksack Rose

In spite of these successes, responses to supporting me have been muted although I realise that competition is pretty fierce in this area. Thanks to the companies who have sent products for me to look at and try out and I hope it is onward and upwards for you in 2018.

Pictures.

My achievements over the last year included completing my first solo wild camp in January to Shillhope Law in Upper Coquetdale, Northumberland.

Sunrise from Shillhope Law
Sunrise from Shillhope Law, Northumberland in winter

I also completed two backpacked trails – the Berwickshire Coastal Path in March..

Sunrise near Eyemouth
Sunrise near Eyemouth on the Berwickshire Coastal Path
Eyemouth Port
Eyemouth Port, Berwickshire

… and the Speyside Way¬†in May.

Cairngorms
Looking towards the Cairngorms from the Speyside Way near Aviemore
Fochabers
Near Fochabers on the Speyside Way

I did two shorter camping trips; Pitcarmick on the Cateran Trail in June, and Bealach Cumhang on the Rob Roy Way in August, both of which featured a lot of rain.

Blackcraig Forest
Views from Blackcraig Forest on the Cateran Trail
Camp site
Bealach Cumhang Camp on The Rob Roy Way

In between these trails and camping trips, I also managed some lovely day walks in North Northumberland and the Scottish Borders when I began experimenting with ‘talkie” videos. This featured some very loud wind drowning out my speech, until a friend suggested a microphone.

Tweed and Till
First live video: Confluence of the River Tweed and the River Till

For those who like to keep count, I did a total of 11 wild camps this year before Lyme disease took hold. The second half of the year was quieter, as the prolonged symptoms required two courses of antibiotics.

In order to have some off-grid time, I did some outdoor volunteer work at North Perthshire in October. During this rewarding trip, I learned a lot about the ecology, history and stewardship of the three sites where I worked, as well as meeting some great people.

Garry Bridge
Voluntary work in North Perthshire: View from Garry Bridge, Linn of Tummel
Killiecrankie
Trooper’s Den at Killiecrankie
Linn of Tummel Falls
Waterfall at Linn of Tummel viewpoint

Since then I have been focussing on writing, photography, editing, adding to and improving my GPX routes, various site improvements and spending less time on social media.

2018.

This year I have realised that my outdoor life is essentially a reflective place and a sanctuary in which to recover, recharge and renew. I therefore wish my supporters and my genuine followers and readers a happy and tranquil New Year filled only with positive people.

RR New Year 2017