I have always tried to involve readers in decisions about this blog, but the poll regarding which navigation app I should use was inconclusive, with few votes cast. I will therefore try to continue using both Viewranger and Outdooractive for now.
Because I need to focus on work after a period of settling in to my new home in Scotland, I will be shifting back to the free wordpress plan, so you may notice some changes from the end of this month. Subscriptions will not be affected. I would like to continue with my long distance walking here in this beautiful country, so I will still be writing up on my trips.
One of the things that trolls have made me realise is that, put simply, I began this blog because I love walking and the countryside, which is where my walking started 20 years ago. However there are a small but vocal group of online outdoor trolls, who are just brimming over with hatred for people who have come to the outdoors via different routes, or who disagree with them in any way. We know who they are.
My aims now are more selfish because they have to be. I need to focus on work and on self care. I also hope to rediscover my love of the outdoors without endless scrutiny from people who think they know best about everything. I can’t help noticing that the people who really do know best about the outdoors hardly ever do this.
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. There are three subscription tiers on the new app – Basic which is free, Pro and Pro Plus. Further details are available on their website.
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. 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. 🌹
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, Viewranger 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.
Although my first complete year in Scotland has been a relatively quiet year since losing my father in July, I think I have made the right decision to move here after living on the border for 10 years. I have had some great day walks, trips and life experiences, which only living in Scotland could have afforded me. I wish you all a very happy and successful year for 2020 and hope you will return to my sites in the New Year.
The arrival of the Summer Solstice always reminds me not to take for granted my favourite season. This is a reminder of why I love late spring as it unfolds into summer and is intended as a response to Ben Dolphin’s regular vlogs in praise of winter.
Like many followers, I measure the year by the appearance of certain sights and sounds such as Primroses, wild Garlic, Bluebells, Cuckoos, Larks, dawn choruses, Hawthorn blossom, Swallows, Buttercups and so on. I sometimes wonder whether this is tied to my birthday, which often coincides with the arrival of the bluebells.
From the Primroses to the Brambles the summer creeps in and builds to a magnificent climax if we are there to witness it. I have lost the last vestiges of school taught religion as an explanation for it all now. However I remain unfailingly impressed by the show which is put on for us if we spend time outdoors.
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.
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’
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.
I thought I would write a post regarding my love of walking Trails (listed under the Trails tab) to try and inspire you to walk a trail. After some cogitation I came up with the following factors which have inspired me:
You gain a sense of progress which is rare in real life
The world is a beautiful place
The kindness of strangers who want you to succeed
The unique perspective it provides on the places you walk through
The community of other hikers
The perspective it gives you on life’s problems
Nature, nature and nature
The sense of freedom and independence it can give you
But somehow this still didn’t convey my love of walking long distance paths. So, here are some pictures:
…..which is when I realised that I could fill a book.
As you may know, Northumberland was my previous stomping ground, and I have managed to accumulate a large number of posts, trips and routes in this area (listed under the Northumberland tab).
For those just joining me, there are routes arranged geographically by towns and places including Amble, Bamburgh, Rothbury, Wooler, Breamish Valley and the Farne Islands. There are also routes arranged thematically by their common features such as Roman remains, caves and rock art, waterfalls, castles, coastal and short walks.
I hope you enjoy my blog and all the featured routes. ICYMI GPX files are now available for most of my routes, including all my Northumberland routes, from Outdooractive (formerly ViewRanger).
As National No Smoking Day is coming up on 14th March, I thought I would include a post about giving up. On or about this time of year a few years ago, I finally gave up smoking using nicotine patches and healthy nibbles, after a couple of failed attempts. I am not trying to preach about the dangers of smoking, because any smoker would be hard pressed to ignore the warnings emblazoned on cigarette boxes.
If you decide to give up, focussing on a physical activity you enjoy helps to remind you how much better you feel by not smoking. I started with easy walks and built up over the course of a year or so to more challenging routes. Getting fit again was not an overnight achievement and I had to work at it gradually.
If friends find it hard to accept your decision to stop, maybe it’s best to broaden your circle to include more non smokers. Since I gave up smoking I have met new friends through my hiking who have made me feel like a reasonably normal person without a cigarette in my hand. I may not be an elite athlete, but this doesn’t matter as much to me as having improved my health.
I am happy to support anyone who tries to give up, having seen the damage it can do to a member of my family. Statistically many of us are likely to have friends or family affected by lung disease, so please donate to the British Lung Foundation if you have a few pounds to spare.