Tag Archives: YouTube

Bushwalking 2.0 | Some Social Media Websites to Grow your Club

Once you have a social media plan to grow your bushwalking Club membership you may be wanting some ideas to help you implement it. Here are a few social media websites to help you get your message out to prospective members.

 Twitter

This website allows you to send short text messages (tweets) to other users. As mentioned in an earlier post,  it is a good idea to monitor what others are saying about you and other local bushwalking clubs so you can modify your focus if needed. Including the ability to “tweet” directly from your website allows visitors to tell others about your website and creates a snow ball effect. Tweets can attract traffic to your website and may appear in search engines.

Facebook

 A club Facebook page is a great way to promote your “brand” and allow “friends” to send messages and post news to your “wall”. Many bushwalking Clubs already have a FB presence and if you were really keen you could place an advert. You can add share buttons to your website to allow visitors to promote your web page via FB

Flickr

This is an ideal place to post photos and video from Club walks, which can then be used to promote your website, via links. They can be made publicly available or if you want kept private for only Club members. Flickr has limited value as a direct promotional tool but does help your Google ranking.

PS You could use the comments and ranking facility built into the site to administer your Club photo competitions.

YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing website to which you can upload small video clips taken by your member’s smartphones or cameras. What better way is there to show what a fun Club you have than to post clips from bushwalks and other activities? Links in the video description can very effectively link back to your website. Videos rank highly in search engines.

digg

digg is a social news site where you can place items, of news value to the bushwalking community, which can then be linked by other bushwalking sites and blogs. News items rate highly in search engines and can lift your prominence quickly if widely distributed.

StumbleUpon and Reddit

These are social news sites where web pages can be  shared and found by potential new members.

Del.icio.us

This is a social bookmarking site where you can share your bookmarks which might be of interest to other bushwalkers, instead of hiding them away in your website. If your bookmark list is comprehensive and has lots of keywords to help searching, you may attract lots of visitors. Have a link from your home page to your Club’s bookmarks on delicious.

For example: oz.bushwalkingskills bookmarks

Links

Twitter
Facebook
Flickr
YouTube
digg
StumbleUpon 
Reddit
Delicious

Acknowledgement: Some of the descriptions were developed from The CMO’s Guide to the Social Landscape (2011) pdf

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Bushwalking Rescue: Emergency Beacons and Personal Tracking Systems

What communication device should I take with me on a bushwalk to a remote area? What about a satellite or mobile phone? Why should I replace my EPIRB with a PLB? What alternatives are there to a PLB? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a SPOT ?

Traditionally, when walking in a remote area, you always walked with a least three others so that if one person sustained an injury, two of the group could go for help, while the other looked after the injured person. With the availability of satellite technology and sometimes simply a mobile (cell) phone, it is possible to seek help from where the injured person is located rather than have to walk to the nearest road or homestead.

Most people are familiar with the mobile phone, which has excellent range if there is line of sight. This means that sometimes, even in supposedly remote areas, there will be good reception from a mountain top or ridge line. If you are within range of a tower used by your carrier then your family of friends can contact you too; it is not just one way. In an emergency, by dialling 000 or 112 your phone can access the tower of a competitor and effectively roam between carriers depending on which has the best signal.

For more information

Bushwalking Rescue: Emergency Communications by Cell or Mobile Phone

Satellite phones can achieve the same as a mobile phone, but even when there is no line of sight or the distance from the nearest tower is too great. Both the phone itself and the plan are expensive, so for many this is not an option. They do however offer the advantage that your family or friends are able to get in contact with you if they wish as it allows two way communication.

Emergency Beacons

Many bushwalkers had been using an EPIRB ( Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) which until February 2009  provided the extra layer of security in remote areas, but this had a very poor accuracy*, as low as 20 km, low power and time lag in activation. The alert frequency from the EPIRB (121.5 MHz) is no longer monitored by rescue authorities so they are now useless and should be disposed of carefully. Battery World provides such a service free of charge.

This has now been replaced by a PLB, which operates at  two frequencies, the higher 406 MHz to give the satellite alert and the lower 121.5 MHz provides the final homing signal for the search aircraft. The more expensive models have a GPS in-built which means that not only can an alert be given, but that the exact location of the injured or lost person can be given. This is a great improvement and dramatically reduces the search time as the location is given to within 100m. Without a GPS, they have an accuracy of about 5 km.  They must be registered so that emergency authorities can access details of next-of-kin to check that it is not a false alarm. They also have access your route plan if you have registered it. PLBs only offer a one way service: user to emergency rescue services. They can be hired form a variety of sources depending on location.

Check the Australian Maritime Safety website for details of approved models . If purchasing from overseas check with ACMA that it meets Australian requirements.

Read more…..

* Communications for Bushwalkers Rik Head Bush Search and Rescue Victoria (Version 1.0 March 2009) pdf

Satellite Personal Tracking Systems

SPOT  gen3 is an example of a handheld system which is capable of sending your position by satellite to a list of friends and  can also be displayed on Google maps. If you need help, a message can be sent using a preset list of custom messages. In a life threatening emergency, there is a SOS button which sends a message and is relayed by GEOS to the AMSA RCC as for a PLB.

Advantages

  • Works were you mobile (cell) phone has no reception
  • Allows customised messages to friends
  • Allows automatic tracking of your position at regular intervals
  • Relatively low cost purchase price

Disadvantages

It is a one way system like the PLB, with no messages from friends possible. There is a  yearly subscription fee in addition to the purchase price. Currently the basic fee is USD $115 and the tracking option fee an additional USD $49.99 Purchase price is less than AUD $200 with free shipping.

Read more…..

SPOT FAQ

You Tube User Review  SPOT 2

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Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

Just come back from traveling the Great Ocean Road and in particular exploring the vicinity of Port Fairy and Apollo Bay in Victoria.

Who could visit the Otway Ranges without being tempted to do at least one day walk along the 104 km Great Ocean Walk from near the Twelve Apostles to Apollo Bay?

Well, I did two day walks, each of about 15 km mainly along the coast, firstly from Ryan’s Den to Johanna Beach and, secondly from Cape Otway to Castle Cove; two of the most spectacular parts of the Great Ocean Walk.

Have a look at my slideshow

The two magnificent day walks I did were both planned using the excellent map:

Great Ocean Walk Map 1:25,000, Datum GDA94 (1st edition 2010, Parks Victoria, $14.95)

and the outstanding guide:

Walking the Otways: Track notes compiled by the Geelong Bushwalking Club Editor Carolina Rose  3rd Edition Geelong Bushwalking Club 2001

which may be purchased from:

The Editor
“Walking the Otways”
c/- Geelong Bushwalking Club Inc
PO Box 675
GEELONG VIC 3220

The GOW campsites I saw were excellent, with shelter sheds, rainwater tanks, platforms for packs and well screened numbered tent sites, which have to be booked in advance.

Ryan’s Den to Johanna Beach (10:30 am – 4:00 pm)
 
I did this walk in the opposite direction to that advised by Parks Victoria, which in hindsight was a disadvantage, as the signage assumed you were walking the other way and, if I were camping overnight in the GOW campsites, would not have been permitted.

I chose this section because of easy access by car on bitumen roads at both ends, making a car shuttle easy, and its frequency in commercial tours. This leg is about 14 -16 km and takes 4:00 – 5:30 hours depending on which guide you follow and is labeled medium to hard, as it is quite undulating following the coastal cliffs and then inland with a gradual ascent from the sea for several kilometres.

I walked in at about 10.30 am from the Great Ocean Road (GR 980089) following Ryan’s Den Track, to the GOW track (GR983078) and then turned west to the Ryan’s Den GOW campsite where I had a mid morning snack, admired the beautiful coastal views and the well set up campsite before returning to the track intersection at about 12 noon. This loop took about an hour through rainforest, sometimes on muddy tracks but only a few cm deep and is well worth the extra time spent for the great views.

I arrived at Johanna Beach at about 4 pm, averaging about 3 km per hour for the day. My favourite spot was Milanesia Beach where the solitary whitewashed hut against the green hills was one of my best photo shots.

Cape Otway to Castle Cove (8:30 am – 2:00 pm)

I chose this section because of easy access by car on bitumen roads at both ends, making a car shuttle easy, and its frequency in commercial tours.

This is between 12.5 and 16.6 km depending on who you believe and takes from 4:30 to 6:15 hours once again depending on the individual. I took  5:30 hours including breaks and time for photography, but I did keep up a cracking pace between stops.  This is largely a coastal cliff walk with spectacular views along the coast in both directions, and especially of the Cape Otway lighthouse.

The Cape Otway cemetery (GR179968) is well worth a visit as it shows how harsh the environment  was in the 1800’s, with the graves of shipwrecked sailors and the young children of the lighthouse keepers.

If you wished to cut it short then this would be possible at Aire River which is a little over half way and appears to be a popular fishing spot with easy access by road. Cape Otway to Aire River is 9.6 km, 3:15 hrs

More to follow…..

Related postings

Great Ocean Walk, Victoria | Realignment of Route | Moonlight Head to the Gables

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This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

My "Personal Survival Kit" (PSK)

Survival Kit in a Sardine Can
Its amazing how many different “personal” or “minimum”,”emergency” or “survival” kits (PSK) lists there are in existence. Every bushwalking book seems to have a different one. Try A Google search…. I found hundreds of thousands of references. Try searching YouTube and you get 68 videos showing how to put one together.

Why are there so many when they all aim to provide water, fire, food, shelter in an emergency?

Of course, many of these references are not entirely relevant to bushwalkers, who have to carry whatever is in their kit and therefore must make savings in both weight and volume. 

So why is there no universal list for bushwalkers?

Well some items do seem to appear in all lists, in one form or another, but the inclusion of others depends on the priority you give to provision of water, shelter and food or whether your focus is upon thermal regulation, hydration, and signaling.

Perusing an equipment list from the 1965 edition of ‘Equipment for Mountaineering’ published by the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club we find a whole lot of items that the modern  lightweight and minimal impact walker would never carry or which have been replaced by better alternatives.

tomahawk, machete, handkerchieves, tin opener, cigarettes, Dubbin, song book, sharpening stone, boots with nails  …..

Another list from the mid eighties

  • water 1L 
  • whistle on a string around neck  
  • pencil and paper 
  • waterproof matches or cigarette lighter  
  • woollen jumper 
  • hat 
  • first aid (personal) (FAK)
  • waterproof jacket 
  • cord 
What changes are needed after all these years?
Well I think I would add at least four items which have become readily available since then: 

 I would then add some of the following or replace items in the list above with

  • micro-compass (if your not confident to use the sun or don’t have an iPhone or a GPS with an digital compass in built or if you don’t trust the batteries)
  • magnesium flint lighter as an alternative to a cigarette lighter
  • emergency blanket 
  • water purification tablets or water purifying straw
  • signaling mirror
  • flexible wire saw (to make tent pegs and poles)
  • fire lighters or solid fuel tablets
  • candle
  • collapsible water containers eg condoms hold 1L and can be protected by a spare sock
  • needles and thread
  • safety pins
  • scalpel blade(s)
  • length of plastic tubing for siphoning or to reach inside rock cavities or “yabbie” holes
  • cable ties
Often it is possible to combine some of the items eg a whistle, compass, thermometer, magnifying lens, signalling mirror, torch (Coghlan 6 in 1)

Now you have the kit, what sort of container should you keep it in?

A lightweight waterproof bag or perhaps a light weight metal container that can also serve to heat water in? Perhaps you could combine your PSK with your personal first aid kit.

Where will you keep it? 

On your person at all times! Ever fallen down into a creek going for water or got lost going to the loo…. some people do? This kit is designed to be carried on you at all times and to supplement things that you would normally carry in your clothing or on your belt.

The PSK should supplement what is being carried in you pack ( see later blog) and this in turn will be determined by
  • weather (storms, season, heavy rain, cold, sun)
  • terrain (river crossings, snow, mud)
  • vegetation (prickly)
Some additional reading:

Want a “real” wilderness survival kit? 

The quest for perfect PSK is never ending




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Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 3

Using Some Web 2.0 Technologies to Improve and Retain Club Members (Part 3)

Blogs (online diaries like this)

Do you want your Association/Club’s web page to be easily found in a Google search by potential new members?

 One of the best ways is to have new content appearing on your website regularly and what could be easier for your webmaster than having a member’s blog. Even better, good content will encourage others to link to your blog, positioning your website even higher in web searches. The more “followers” your blog has the better so offer the opportunity for people to choose to get automatic updates when you add to your blog.

Do you want greater ownership and participation from your members?

A blog encourages interaction between members and it is this interaction that is more important than the content itself in retaining members. Younger members are familiar with and welcome this high level of interaction that is missing from most conventional club websites. Your club leaders should take the opportunity to browse you club blog and to interact with new members

It is possible have contributions and comments automatically ranked and use this as a guide to what is popular and to respond and provide more of the same.

Why have a boring website that no one reads?

Sharing Photos and Videos.

Improve Club spirit by encouraging members to add photos and videos to your gallery. Organise an annual club photo and/or video competition using free web 2.0 photo sharing sites such as Flickr,  Picassa and YouTube. Don’t just upload members photos to your gallery, but ask them to comment and rate the photos posted. Offer prizes for the best in a variety of categories, using online voting.

Improve Participation by Improving Communication

Do you struggle to get “new blood” on your Committee? Have you thought about running Committee meetings online for those who can’t make it due to other commitments? How can members be reminded of Club events in a way that can’t easily be ignored?

 There are many programs around which allow you to chat with others and  to share good quality video and audio free of charge.

SMS is universal – nearly everyone has a mobile phone; it’s instant – messages are normally delivered in 10 seconds or less; and it’s reacted to by most people, more so than letters, emails or phone calls.

Why not try some of the ideas above? 

Don’t expect  to see a rapid uptake as it takes time for inhibitions to be overcome and for web 2.0 technologies to be accepted by those who are only familiar with the old paper copy or fax. Many people are happy to read a blog but feel embarrassed about commenting.

“Seed” your blog  by asking Committee members to regularly contribute until momentum takes hold.

Other posts in this series can be found by clicking on the membership tag on the right of this page
Post Options
Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 2
Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 1
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This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 1

The problem

Most Clubs and Associations have in common an aging and falling membership. It is often difficult to fill leadership positions. Surveys of members will often show that they consider this to be the most important issue that their club leadership should tackle.

How do we tackle this problem? Can we use  web 2.0 technologies to help us? What could work?

An common goal of all clubs and associations is to recruit more, and preferably younger, members and then to retain them. Try to share the load better so that a few dedicated members don’t do all the work and burn out.

Older members might be tempted to send out an email or even a letter to existing members and ask them to approach prospective members. These can be expensive and ineffective with poor response rates.

Web 2.0 technologies involve interaction and are very familiar to  young people, with well known examples being FaceBook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter. They offer the opportunity to interact with potential members who have never thought of joining a walking club and by the nature of the marketing technique, represent the target audience we need most.

All clubs need to spend some time marketing themselves using web 2.0 technologies.

Other articles in the series:

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This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.