If you have been following my blog for a while, or perhaps you are a member of the AG walking club, then you will know that I use technology for all sorts of things to do with the outdoors. Even though I always have a map in my rucksack, I have never had the need to use it as my phone is always charged and has never let me down (touch wood!).
In my line of work, I have had my fair share of minor accidents when out on a walk. There was the time when one of my members slipped into a stream, or another member was pulled over onto the gravel by her dog, even before the walk had started. There was the time when one of my members laces locked together and her face planted which ended up with a rather large lump on his head, but I have been very lucky and have never to call an ambulance. I would be crazy to think that "it will never happen to me" as the law of probabilities say otherwise. The more walks I complete, the higher the probability of something going wrong.
For example, today, on a lovely muddy walk, one of our members grabbed hold of the wire fence with his bare hands to lift it up for someone to pass underneath, rather than climbing a rickety stile. There were no signs to say it was an electric fence, but believe me, he soon found out that it was! What if that guy had a weak heart or had a bad reaction to the shock. We were in the middle of nowhere. Even if I called 112, what would I tell them? You can just imagine the conversation with the emergency services .... "Can you send an ambulance please?. We are in a field, um... there is a big oak tree over there, we can see a pylon ahead of us and we are not far from Lamport - about 3 miles or so, does that help?" - no, not really!
What3Words - everyone needs to download this app!
I am on a mission to tell the world about this amazing app - What3Words. It's free of charge and could save someone's life! This app has split the world into squares and each square has been allocated three unique words. It is so easy to use, that even a young child would be able to click on the app and tell the emergency services exactly where you are located. Rather than me explaining, check out this quick video, but before you click play, please go onto the app store (iOS or Android) and download the app!
In addition to using this app for emergencies, it is brilliant for:-
- Replacing your SatNav! No longer do you need a postcode - just type in the name of the place where you want to go ie: Nandos, Northampton, then click "Navigate" - this will open Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze to direct you to the location.
- Share your location. By launching the app then click "share" - you can share your location with anyone via text, WhatsApp, email, messenger or any communication tool of your choice.
- You will start seeing What3Words locations on marketing material for venues, hotels and events.
- Walking events - if you are meeting at a layby or a car park that has no postcode, then What3Words is brilliant.
If you enjoy hiking and being out in the outdoors, whether this is with a group of people, or out on your own then please have this little app on the front page of your home screen. It could save your life one day or the life of someone you love. Grid references, map co-ordinates and understanding way marks is a skill that needs to be learned - I truly believe that this sort of easy to use technology will be the future. Try it out now.... this is the link to one of my favourite places in the world. ///fight.carting.forest