Would you take your smart phone on a country walk?
Posted by Sue Davis
April 5th 2011 at 12:00
Sue Davis plots her route using GPS, Googles her way out of danger, and uses email to consult the oracle (her mum) – all in a single, very techy walk in the countryside.
It was a lovely day so my partner and I decided to take our toddler out for a walk in countryside. I slipped my iPhone in my pocket in case of emergencies and thought no more on it.
Once we got there (Wye Downs in Kent, beautiful!), I remembered I had an application on my phone to track the trail that we followed so I fired that up. It was a ‘lite’ version so only recorded the trail for a short while, but if I had bought the full version I could have recorded where we went so that we could follow the same trail again in the future; indeed we could have even uploaded it to the internet for other people to follow.
I used the same application when we got a bit lost and it told us where we were, where North was and where the nearest path back was.
A little later my partner was trying to ask a local farmer whether the cycle tracks went back to where we live. Whilst he was doing that I found the relevant maps on the phone and was able to tell him by the time the locals had worked it out.
Later we came across some lovely flowers in the woods and I thought they were violets. Normally I would have taken a photo and then forgotten to check later, but this time I took a photo and emailed it to my mum to ask; whilst I was still in the woods. Alternatively, there are paid for applications for identifying birds, trees and flowers that you can download if your mum doesn’t know all the answers.
The best use of the phone was when we had to cross a field of cows with two bulls in. My partner – having had a situation with bulls in his youth which involved running very fast and vaulting a fence into a patch of stinging nettles – was somewhat concerned. I was of the opinion, leave them alone and they will leave us alone. But who was right? We didn’t want to risk our two year old here. So out came the phone again, onto the web and ask the question. Turns out bulls are (mostly) safe when there are cows in a field so we off went and they barely glanced our way.
I also took photos and videos of the day on the phone which now seems to be almost too basic to mention.
So, instead of taking a map, camera, video camera, compass, countryside guide, flower identification guide and phone it was all on one device that slipped into my pocket. I love technology!
Do you take technology with you when you take a stroll, or do you prefer to keep things natural?
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