It is amazing to think that this is my 100th post for Hill-Walking For The Over 60’s. It has been an incredible journey so far especially when I think that this blog was not what I originally intended to do. I have written websites and been involved with this medium since its inception in 1991, but none have given me as much pleasure as this blog. So why has this been so different?
I have been a Hill Walker all my life, I cannot remember a time when I did not walk or cycle. As young kids we would be sent out to be ‘play’ in the morning and not expected to seen again until we were hungry at tea time. We would walk miles out into the local countryside and create dens, climb trees and generally have fun.
Joining the Scout Association at 8 years old structured my outdoor activities with organised hikes and camps, rock climbing and caving. I would spend most weekends on Exmoor, Dartmoor and the Brecon Beacons exploring and learning navigation and survival skills. Over the years I have walked all over the UK, Europe & Middle East, but particularly in Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Cumbria.
I had always worked with the youth, teaching them all that I had been taught either through the Scout Association, Association of Youth Clubs or the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. But it was as I approached my 60th birthday my focus changed as I saw my contemporaries retire and sit at home watching the clock tick away to the final curtail call. I realised that there was a whole new target audience just waiting to be encouraged and coerced into walking.
The original idea from my wife was for me to write a book, and that is still an option, but the easier way to start was to launch a blog targeted at the over 60’s. The blog would cover walking and health issues, safety and navigational posts, ideas for routes and things to do when out walking and much much more. And so on the 14 October 2016 Hill-Walking For The Over 60’s was launched – to complete silence!
However, this changed very quickly as by December of that year, just 2 months after the launch of the blog, I was selected to be one of the Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champions. All of a sudden I had access to a greater audience, became associated with established bloggers and became a member of a unique group of social media influencers.
It seems hard to believe that in just two years the blog has grown in size and stature and is about to published its 100th post. This is, of course, in addition to the other 50 odd pages that have been published on the website.
I have even been nominated and shortlisted for numerous awards relating to blogging about outdoor life. Culminating in being shortlisted by The Great Outdoors magazine for Outdoor Personality Of The Year 2018. A nomination that put me alongside the greats of the Outdoors World – Alan Hinkes, Chris Townsend, Alastair Humphreys and Steve Backshaw.
So where do we go now?
I have looked at the subject matter of the posts over the past two years and can see ‘holes’ in the content that needs to be addressed. My ‘Walks Through History‘ series seems to have been a minor success, so I think it is time to look at a series on map reading and navigation. There are many other areas that I would like to cover, so we will see what happens over the next 100 posts.
Thank you for your continued support.