Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Happy Halloween

Not much happening tonight; so playing with some new software.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

A Little Birdie

A little birdie told another little birdie, who told me that I didn't make the cut.

The way things have been the past few weeks; this may not be a bad thing. In the present climate committing myself to an event that is almost eight months away, may not be the best thing to be doing.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Breakfast is good for you

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day; so I always try to have a bowl of cereal every day.

I tend to only eat one sort though; which is Nestle's Fruitful Shredded Wheat. This type of cereal tends not to have gimmicky giveaway with it but at present they are giving something away with the cereal.

The 'freebies' are three little books produced by the AA/Ordnance Survey in their 'Walks in Britain' Range; there is one in each box, luckily you can see which book is in each box so can grab the three different one's.

The three books are entitled 'Pub walks in Britain', 'Nature walks in Britain' and 'Waterside walks in Britain' each book has 28 walks in it, the distances range from a couple of miles up to about ten.

Most of the walks do seems to be concentrated on England, with most in the Southern part but Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland do get a couple each in each book.

Each book is roughly 16x10 cm in size.


Each walk has a description of the route and a little map to accompany it.


Thursday, 23 October 2008

That'll teach me!!

I shouldn't copy and paste.

There was a mistake in the post about the 'Meet the Bloggers'.

The correct details are below:-

Date: 29/11/08
Time: 12:00 - noon onwards
Location: Don Pasquale in the Market Square in Cambridge
Directions Can Be Found Here: http://www.donpasquale.co.uk/index.php

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Outdoor Bloggers Open Meet

Darren over on Whitespider1066 has arranged a 'Meet the Bloggers' meet; next month in Cambridge.

The full details are as follows:-

Fancy meeting the folks behind the blogs you read? Next month a meet up is being held in Cambridge where a group of UK based Outdoors Bloggers are getting together and inviting you to come along and join them for a drink and a chat (and possibly a bite to eat).

Sadly we are not all rich and famous yet, so you will have to buy your own food and drink. What we can assure you is that you will have a great time, great food, and meet new like minded folks.

If you intend to come along could you use the following contact page to drop us a line so we can get a rough idea of numbers.

Date: 29/11/08
Time: 12:00 - noon onwards
Location: Don Pasquale in the Market Square in Cambridge
Directions Can Be Found Here: http://www.donpasquale.co.uk/index.php

Sunday, 19 October 2008

StickPic the camera attachment

Sometimes when we are out walking, we come across a great view or landscape that we wish to take a picture of; and sometimes this picture can look a bit disappointing because we don't have anything in the foreground to give it scale.
If we are walking with a partner; we can ask them to be in the picture or ask them to take one with you in it but its unlikely that both will be in the picture unless it's one of those taken at arms length and normally ends up with just two heads and no scenery.
But now there is a gadget on the market that helps to overcome these problems. The gadget is called The StickPic. The StickPic is a little plastic device that attaches to the tripod mount on a compact camera and the end of a trekking pole.


The StickPic

The StickPic weighs in at only 11 grams and is tiny; in fact so tiny that it would be easy to mislay in a pack or camera bag; that I think I will leave it attached to my camera at all times.


It really is small

Attaching to the camera is just a matter of screwing the thread into the tripod socket on the camera and making sure that it is tight. Attaching to the trekking pole is done by pushing the StickPic onto the spike end of the pole and giving a little twist to secure it.


On the Pole


Camera attached

It is recommended that a strap is attached to the camera and pole as a safety link; I will have to look for the strap to my camera as I don't normally have it on there.

Having only just received the StickPic and only having one try of it so far, I must said the I am impressed with it.

Below is a picture I took using the arm's length method and one using the StickPic attached to my trekking pole. The pole was set at its closed position which is about 80 cm (31 in)

To see the second picture roll your mouse over the picture.


Saturday, 18 October 2008


That's the final total of applicants for next year's TGO Challenge.

The draw for places will take place next weekend.

Seems as though this was a really big total for next year's challenge.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Being Naughty

I'm being naughty; as I'm still looking at routes for the TGO challenge and the latest news is that there are over 420 entries which will mean that there will have to be a draw for places, so I may not get in.

One of the areas I'm looking at are wild camping sites; now while its possible to legally wild camp in most areas of Scotland, it is nice to have a rough idea of where to camp. I have been looking at the maps and this gives a reasonable idea of what the terrain looks like but not what is actually like in really life.

I've just found a site (well not really found; as I had posted photographs to it before but had complete forgotten about it) that helps turn the maps into real life.

The site is The Geograph British Isles project which 'aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain & Ireland' which means a photograph of ever km square on the OS maps.

So if I want to see what a particular area looks like and if there is a chance of a wild pitch there; I can input the Grid Ref and a get a photograph of the area.

NO6484 is in and around the Bridge of Dye and this gives a good picture of what I would find around there (looks a good spot to camp) and of course if I want to see what is around Charr bothy I can.

I'm not to sure how the challenge purists will see this but for me it's an aid as much as the maps are.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

iTunes Video's

I have been thinking about ways to bring extra content to the blog, I've have a few ideas which may or may not appear over the next few months.

One of the new ideas was the way video's were being seen; all the video's I have done are over on YouTube and for the main this works pretty well; but I wanted something a bit more smart looking, after AktoMan mentioned iTunes on a post in the outdoor bloggers forum I thought I would take a look at this.

I always thought it was the more professional user that could have audio or video casts in iTunes but this isn't true; anyone can. So I started looking for a new host for the video's and uploading to it.

My video's are now available through iTunes on the following feed, this will allow the user to download the video's once subscribed to the feed.

At present there is only a few of the old 'Dales Way' and 'Scotland' video but over the next few weeks/months I will hopefully be adding new content.

My Brain Hurts!!!!

Yesterday my pro account on Flickr expired; so I thought O.K. time to sign up for another year, on the site Flickr were offering the chance to sign up for two years instead of the standard one.

This looked a better deal; so I went with this, only I couldn't get the payment to go through, after a couple of attempts I gave up.

Today my credit card company rang up about strange activity on my card, it turned out this was the payments I was trying to make yesterday.

Tonight I've tried again but again I couldn't get a two year subscription, so I went with a one year instead.

Now here's the brain burner; I've just had three emails telling me I have made three payments to Flickr, two for the two year subscription and one for the one year subscription.

I've always said that ordering and buying online was never a problem; tonight I'm not so sure.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Scottish Hill Tracks

I said; I wouldn't start looking at a route for the TGO Challenge, until I knew that I had made the cut but after recently buying the Scottish Hill Tracks book, I've been unable to resist.

I have always know where I would like to finish, so it means I only need to decide the start and middle parts.

There are a few places to start from with but I think I have narrowed it down to 2 or 3 that would suit me.

I like to have some interesting things or places to see when I'm off walking and although I know Scotland on its own will provide a lot of this, having a interesting start point will help.

I don't know why but my mind keeps telling me of places I should go to or pass through. One of these for some reason is Fort Augustus; which means an easy decision on where to go from there.

There are still big gaps but hopefully I'll know I've made the cut before completing the whole route.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


Why does everything have to have a username and password?

My router's playing up and I need to get into it but can't for the life of me remember the username!!!

So it looks like I've have to reset the router to the default setting; which terrifies me as I don't really know what I'm doing and could mean I have no internet :-(

Monday, 6 October 2008


With the weather being so poor yesterday here in London; I had nothing better to do than surf the 'net.

One site I found was the site for the up and coming Kendal Mountain Festival, and while looking at it, I noticed that they have an online competition for amateur films.

For some reason which I don't understand but all these film competitions only want films that are a minute long which means a lot of editing to get something half decent to show ( 3 minutes really should be the minimum).

Now; you all know my interest in making my little documentary hiking films, so I couldn't let this chance go by.

So after a couple of hours editing the trip from Scotland last May, I finally managed to make something to upload.

The films I have added are the original 'Dales Way in 60 seconds' and a new one entitled 'Through the Lairig Ghru'.

Now for the cheeky bit; if anyone would like to go and watch them and then vote, I would appreciate it very much. Unfortunately you do have to sign up to site to vote.

Kendal Mountain Festival

Also the site really compresses the hell out of the video's so they don't look that great.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Railway Walks

The BBC have started a new series with Julia Bradbury called Railway Walks.

The first episode was actually shown on 2 October; there didn't seem to be to many trailers advertising this.

It can be seen again on 7 October on BBC Four or available on the iPlayer for the next six days.

The first episode follows the Monsal trail in Derbyshire. Having walk this route on a couple of occasions; I must say that the T.V made it look a lot more interesting than it actually is, that's not to say it is bad but it is after all a disused railway track and we all know how straight and boring they can be at times.

Next week; is the Mawddach estuary in North Wales.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Back to the Future

Or more like back to the past. Playing around with Google's 2001 index of the Web and came across this:-

The original londonbackpacker; this was the first website I had, it had only been going a few months.

There are some familiar faces that look a bit different

Chris Townsend



and some things that haven't been invented yet