Get outdoors for the summer solstice

Now Solo Expenses has given you more time thanks to effective and easy expense management, how will you use it? What better than to plunge into the great outdoors, which you can now do with the help of ViewRanger, our selected app of the month for June 2017. With Solo Expenses having helped to get your financial health in order, it’s the perfect support for tuning up your physical health too. And as this app suggests, there could hardly be a better time than the summer solstice on June 21st

Imagine standing at the top of a Lake District peak and looking around you at the scenery. Would you know what the features were called?

To be fair, it would be irresponsible not to, because that would mean you were lost, and we wouldn’t want that any more than you, or the mountain rescue volunteers, would. The traditional way of knowing your location would have been with a trusty paper map and the skills necessary to read it, or Wainwright’s iconic guides – but now there’s a new kid on the outdoor block. ViewRanger is an app for iPhone or Android that augments the view with annotations to show you the names of the features you can see with the naked eye, as our picture, from its Skyline feature, clearly demonstrates.

That’s just one of the features of this GPS-based piece of technology, which will also show you the route you need to take, overlayed on a picture of the terrain.  It will also allow you to work through a mileage challenge, clocking up a distance over the year of anything from 250 miles upwards. That’s not a tough ask, even now, with the year half over – it’s less than a mile and a half each day.

If you don’t fancy walking, then viewRanger works equally well for cycling, if that’s your preferred option. Or it can combine them all, as Alex Staniforth did with a 10-week challenge to climb to the highest point in every UK county – a journey of more than 5,000 miles.

Money or miles – similar to Solo Expenses
He’s making use of a feature that makes ViewRanger similar to Solo Expenses – the ability to record progress. One records paces, the other pennies, and offers a cumulative total.

Another outdoor adventurer Alastair Humphreys is working with ViewRanger to get people outside with a summer solstice challenge. Between now and July 9th he wants people to get outdoors and have a microadventure, backed by the information inside ViewRanger. He said: “The aim of the challenge is to make people realise outdoor adventure doesn’t need to be epic, time-consuming or expensive. All you need to do is come up with a fun idea for a local microadventure – like a night hike, wild swim, hill-top camp or forest cycle – then head outdoors and do it.

Adventure this summer
“The Summer Solstice Microadventure Challenge encourages people to do what they know they’d love to do but always put off: live a little more adventurously. I use ViewRanger on all of my own outdoor trips – whether that’s a walk in the English Lake District or a month-long busking trip across Spain – and the app opens up endless possibilities for spontaneous overnight microadventures by putting amazing quality maps and route guides on your phone. So come up with a cool idea, download the app, get outside, do your microadventure, then share it with us!”

He’ll then pick the best, with prizes on offer. There’s more information here.

Craig Wareham, ViewRanger CEO, said: “Our aim at ViewRanger is to make the outdoors accessible to everyone. The app allows you to track your progress on detailed maps and works without phone signal, pointing out the most interesting points along the route as you walk.”

But be careful!
Of course even though a phone signal isn’t necessary, some life in your phone battery is, so having some kind of mobile charger is a great addition. About 250 search and rescue organisations use ViewRanger; it would be pretty embarrassing if you had to call them out because your phone battery was flat. Hmm, take a map too (along with the rest of the gear you could need), and know how to read it.  Even the best app can’t protect you from a nasty turn in the weather…