Craig Wareham of ViewRanger offers ten tips to get your family active 

ViewRanger is a free adventure app that can turn your mobile phone into a GPS navigator and interactive guidebook.  The company was set up by two outdoors enthusiasts Craig Wareham and Mike Brocklehurst to encourage more people to enjoy the countryside.  Since then ViewRanger has gained over 1 million downloads and is used by everyone from families on a Sunday walk through to international search and rescue teams out on life saving missions.

The app provides access to over 10,000 downloadable routes recommended by other people.  These routes include directions and details of the degree of difficulty, time taken and the surface conditions allowing you to make an informed choice.  Anyone can create routes and include their own comments on points of interest and photographs.

Craig offers the following tips to anyone who would like to persuade their family and friends to take pleasure in being outdoors.

1.      Pick a good route that has been recommended by someone, preferably a circular route so it is easier to encourage reluctant walkers to go on.

2.      Check the surface and the gradient before you set off.  If you are walking younger members could perhaps cycle or use scooters which is often more fun for short legs.

3.      Don’t be too ambitious for the first walk and be truthful about the distance, you want your family to trust you.

4.      Walks along rivers or canals usually have something to see whatever the season.

5.      Choose a walk with a purpose.  Like to a castle, folly or viewpoint or via a place to stop for lunch. .

6.      Challenge younger members to find or see items on the route with a prize at the end. Choose easy things like a feather, yellow flower, tractor. Take photographs of things too large to fit in a ‘treasure’ bag.

7.      Get slower walkers to lead from the front.  ViewRanger uses active navigation with a buzzer to keep you on track so even those not confident with map reading can find the way.

8.      Choose a walk near a National Trust property with a tea shop. There is often just a car park fee to enter the grounds and you are sure of a treat at the end.

9.      Cycle instead of walking.  It is much faster and paths on old railway lines are usually flat.

10.    Track your trail as you go.  Everyone wants to know how far they have gone and how much further it is. ViewRanger allows you to do this and you can even geotag your photographs to provide a record of your adventure to post on Facebook.

ViewRanger allows you to be spontaneous, as the maps are stored on your phone and always available even without a phone signal.  A range of Ordnance Survey mapping, including all the national parks, national trails and key leisure areas are available to purchase from ViewRanger.

To see how recently retired Jim Storer uses ViewRanger and his favourite walks please go to:

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