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Wild Camping and Social Hiking

Last week many of my worlds collided into one little awesome micro adventure. Together with my brother Lee I combined photography, social media and camping to get away from day to day life and have some fun! 

Wild camping is something I've been wanting to do for a very long time but I always managed to find some vital piece of equipment I didn't have to stop me (or so I thought). I realised it was time to stop worrying about what I didn't have and make do with what I do have and so I called up my brother and we hatched a plan to go out wild camping mid week and be back in time for work the next day. The target area was the Forest of Bowland, we had never been there before but is fairly close to home. It's an often overlooked area for hikers so we knew we had a good chance of not being spotted and asked moved on. 

I knew this trip would be the perfect chance to get some awesome landscape photo's both with my iPhone for good old instagram and my Sony camera so I added to my camping kit my trusty tripod and Camera and widest angle lens. 

To take care of the navigation side of things I used an awesome iPhone app called Viewranger. This is great little app if your into outdoor adventure. It lets you download ordnance survey maps locally to your phone (or iPad) so they work even when you have no signal. You can plan routes to follow right on your phone. The app gets really good when your on your hike! Just turn on the track feature and the app will give you all sorts of data about your direction, pace, elevation... the list goes on.  My favourite feature is that you can send out beacons for your friends to tracker your location and see where you are. An invaluable feature if anyone gets separated from your party. This is an awesome app which is free but if you want local maps you will need to pay but the prices are very reasonable. Read on to the end to see how with the Social Hiking website you can do some awesome things online to share your adventures.

Planned route to and from our camp target (Castle Langden)

The start of our Hike at the farm at the foot of Parlick Hill

View from top of Parlick Hill

Taking in the Views

We tried to ignore the fell runners passing us making us look soft

Top of the 1st hill, time for a coffee break

Fair Snap Fell in sight!

Epic skies 

Looking back at Parlick as we approach Fair Snape Fell

Trig point at Fair Snape Fell

Lee Just Hanging around 

Me checking out the view

From here we took the path to the left down. There was a lot of down! 

Camp site at night

Carbanara for Tea!

Camp site all ready

Breakfast on the go! 

Morning coffee


Time to head back

Less photo's more walking

River crossing (sort of)

Get the feeling we are being watched

Following the water back

Big(ish) hill to climb!

A look across the flatter part of the walk, walking back towards Fair Snape Fell

Getting back to reality

View looking back at Fair Snape Fell from the side of Parlick, almost home

Love this photo

Not even bothered

A look across the Forest of Bowland

Adding to the fun of the trip I used a website called Social Hiking: Share Your Adventure. I really like what this site does. Basically I have it set up to work with the buddy beacons on Viewranger. This creates a live map which you can share whilst you are our walking showing your followers exactly where you are. Not only does it draw a map as you go it also overlay your social media updates in real time from Twitter, Instagram, Audioboo, Flickr... the list goes on, cleaver stuff hey? On the map bellow you can see our route to the campsite (blue line) and the return leg (orange line) and on these lines you can see when and where all my tweets, instagrams and photo's were taken. Go on have a click on the icons bellow and see what happens.

The other part to this is how it's retro active. What I mean is when I got home I edited the photo's on my Sony in Lightroom then uploaded to flickr after the trip. These photo's are added to the map even though this was days after the trip! How cool is that. I also added more accurate route data to the map by exporting my track from Viewranger and adding it to the social hiking map filling in the gaps between the intermittent beacons I was sending during the walk. 

The features of Social Hiking are great and the community behind it is really friendly and helpful. Trust me if your reading this then you probably want to give these apps/services a go.