Thursday 7th April 2016
We have been asked about the software we use for this blog and how we measure our daily mileage.
The software Dot uses to upload her blog is WordPress. The mobile app is on Dot’s Samsung GS4 android phone and so far has worked very well. She writes the text in notepad then publishes the post for that day inserting the relevant photos taken on the same phone. Everything is done on just her mobile phone.
We have our own website, which is hosted by HostPresto. We pay about £30 a year for the domain name and web space. The advantage of paying for the service is that no adverts are displayed as can happen with some of the free services.
Usually the posts are uploaded using WiFi, but very often if the local phone signal is 4G then it can be done immediately, sometimes from the tent in a field ! We both use Giffgaff “pay as you go” and pay just £10 per month for 500 minutes of calls, unlimited texts and 1 GB of data. This has always been plenty for keeping in touch with friends and family and also for mobile data use – using the internet and uploading the blog. Up till now we have had very good mobile phone coverage – GiffGaff uses the O2 network.
For finding our way I have the Ordnance survey maps on my android mobile phone. The software uses the GPS on the phone to locate and record our walk as we go. This gives a readout of our day’s walk including an accurate mileage.
That way we have an exact total for each day and also for the distance walked so far. The GPS takes into account every twist and turn that we take including the ups and downs. When I bought my phone I made sure it had the three types of GPS – assisted GPS, Glonnas, and normal GPS. The phone has always been able to locate where we are except when entering some buildings. The software that included the maps is Memory Map which cost just £60. It took a while to get used to it but we practised using it before we set off on our walk.
As a backup I carry strip maps of the route in my rucksack. Up till now we have not had to use them but it’s reassuring to know they are there just in case the phone stops working for some reason. When we had decided which route to take we copied and printed the relevant parts of the OS maps and glued the sections together. That way we didn’t have to carry the whole maps, just the part of the map where we would be walking.
To ensure the phone is always useable, I have 3 batteries, one in the phone and two spares. I made sure to condition the batteries by charging to 100% and fully discharging five times. That way the phone can be plugged in to charge up anytime even if it’s just for a few minutes. Wherever we stop and a plug socket is available we use it even if it’s just for a few minutes. With three standard batteries the phone will last at least four days. I just make sure to turn off the GPS when finished walking for the day. That way the battery lasts longer.
So if you have any questions please contact us.