Trek or blog when travelling?

We are soon to travel to the Kimberley's for 3 months. In order to document our trip and give our friends something they can follow our progress (without being members), which would be best? Something I can upload the best pics of the day. Thoughts??
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 22:15

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 22:15
Most travellers set up a blog on one of the free bloggers Carolyn and Peter. I find I don't have time when touring :O so do mine in detail after I get home. I send a few photos in a 'where we are' type of email to a group occasionally.



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Reply By: Greg & Dianne - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 22:19

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 22:19
Hi Carolyn & Peter,
we too are travelling soon to the Kimberley and WA. We have set up a closed Facebook page for our family and friends to see where we are and what we have been doing. Enjoy your trip and safe travels. Greg & Di
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 22:19

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 22:19
Its going to cost you thousands to go to the Kimberleys a $30membership is nothing. Blog on ExplorOz and you have a permanent record of your travels for your friends. yourself, and all of us.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter Lally - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:24

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:24
I think you misunderstood me Chris - we are members, I just wanted a platform where people who want to read the blog don't have to be members. The point was blog or trek - which is the best way to record
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Follow Up By: OBJ - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:39

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:39
Quick quiz, Idler .. what do you think the M E M B E R part of their ID on this site means? Take your time now.

OBJ
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:42

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:42
Now now OBJ, show a little respect for your elders.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 22:48

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 22:48
Hi Peter

Seeing that you are members, you can still do a blog and your family and friends can just log on as usual and view what you have in your blog.

One tip, when inserting images, use lots and make sure that you do not down size them too small. Nothing is worst that looking at what you think is going to be a good picture, only to find that the pictures are the size of a postage stamp.


Have a great trip.


Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter Lally - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:25

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:25
Thanks Stephen.

I appreciate the advice about the pictures.
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Reply By: Jerscott - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 06:17

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 06:17
I always feel like a photo blog is a nice way to do it. It's always great to read about someone's experience, but the pictures always make it more real. Just set up a freebie.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 07:18

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 07:18
EOTrackme is another option you could try to supplement your travel blog, if you have a smartphone.
This provides anyone you give the tracking detail to, to follow your movements on a map.

Having said this, I haven't tried this for a while as a couple of large deviations (like from Broom to Perth) we didn't take were displayed, causing some confusion amongst our family members.

I am going to run this again on our next trip and see if my new model iPhone behaves itself.

Bill


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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter Lally - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:28

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:28
Thanks Bill, we downloaded the EOTrackme last night! it will certainly be part of our travels. Will keep on eye on it and make sure it doesn't take us off the track from the intended destination!!
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 19:38

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 19:38
Hi

Just to clarify you dont need a "smartphone"..the system works on a variety of devices including ipads, android tablets (or any android device with GPS), windows laptops (via OziExplorer) and SPOT devices - read all about it HERE

What you will need is some way of sending the data to ExplorOz (i.e. a pathway to the internet) - for some its all part of the system e.g. SPOT, smartphone on data plan. For others its just a case of hooking into the internet in some way e.g. wireless.

Obviously in remote areas, for some systems (i.e. not satellite -> internet) your data stream will not be "live". However tracking data is stored and once you get into phone range or can use wireless (or some other connection to the internet) your track log will be sent and the map of your progress updated.

Cheers
Greg

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter L - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:37

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:37
Thanks Greg.

We hadn't worked out what to use the EOTrack me with yet. Hubby has an android phone with Telsta, but we think we will be taking that SIM out and putting in our new/second-hand Iridium satellite phone since most of the GIbb River Rd will be out of phone/internet coverage. (this phone isn't GPS enabled, its anolder model) I have an iphone with Optus, so we could use that - I understand in my brief reading (hubby has been doing most of the research) that the EOTrackme doesn't need phone coverage, I also have an iPad which we are taking so could use that as well.

We will be investing in a Telstra wifi modem with an extra aerial. Don't think my current optus modem will have the same coverage up there. We realise there will be big areas where we won't have internet coverage, but if we can use the blog system and them just upload when we have coverage I can still update my photos and details each night, and it will get uploaded the next time we are in a coverage area.

So different from our previous short trips! We have managed quite nicely without internet and phone coverage for up to 10 days at a time (can be quite a blessing) but this trip will be a lot more challenging keeping in touch with our house sitter and adult kids.

Thanks again
Carolyn
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 15:08

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 15:08
...keep in mind you will need different EOTrackme software/app for android, iphone/ipad etc..not sure what version you have already downloaded - you don't say.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:35

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:35
This is a little off topic and I took my time posting it.

We never put anything on the web that lets others know we are not home. Why, you ask. Because we were burgled once. Electronics stuff was stolen but worst of all was the jewelry, mainly my family hand downs, including a diamond ring from Mum that went back many generations. Never again. We may mention it in planning but always use bogus dates. We aren't in need of others following us as "no phone (sat phone) call = all good".

Just our opinion of telling the world where we are.

I would use a locked account on something other than the popular sites. Photobucket.com comes to mind. Post the photos and add your comment in the description of the photo.

Another reason we don't do this is because we rarely have internet/mobile coverage where we go.

Which way you choose all the best we had 6 weeks up there. Try to add a cruise on the ocean side of the Kimberley and not with that big lump of steel where you are just a number. Try this mob and I recommend the 7/8 day cruise up the coast. They know you by name.MV Diversity II charters out of Broome

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Follow Up By: SDG - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 16:45

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 16:45
My thoughts exactly. The amount of times I have seen posted (facebook) that Joe Blow is relaxing on the deck of their holiday house blah blah blah.
Just allows that would be thief the knowledge that the house is going to be empty for a while. They can take their time.
I'm heading off to a cruise, and the last place I'm going to advertise it is on a social site. Even with privacy settings set high, it is still on the world wide web.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 17:33

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 17:33
I just went to three sites and got my full name, part address etc and and a smidgin more data to find our house.
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Follow Up By: SDG - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 19:31

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 19:31
Yep. Easily enough done. Why I have never given correct personal information over any computer sites.
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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter L - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:50

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:50
Great advice! I do have some comfort in that we will have a house-sitter at our place the whole time we are away, and we have a live "Esme Watson neighbourhood watch" who lives across the street and misses NOTHING! Actually we have two.......
I don't have a public facebook account which helps. Will have to think a bit about blogs/facebook and what informaton I have on there. I must say we have posted holidays and trips repeatedly over the past 3 years with no problems YET.
I must have been thinking along your lines as I just changed out username on this site which DID include our last name but I realised it may be a security breach so changed it so that address etc couldn't be tracked.
Might have to set up a closed facebook group that can't be seen by friends of friends which is where I think the problems come in.
Thanks again for the great advice. You guys are the experts and we novices really appreciate your wisdom!
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:50

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:50
With a surname like smith I do not have this problem, there are to many of us. Besides my house is always occupied.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter L - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:57

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:57
BTW will definitely try MV Diversity II charters out of Broome
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 07:43

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 07:43
SDG

It can be hard when using plastic to buy something without giving such info. That's one of the main reasons we use an intermediary payment system and also one that needs a number generator like the banks do. Well our bank does.

Carolyn and Peter

You will so love a trip with Gaven and Janine. They are excellent hosts and we still get Christmas cards from them.

I didn't mean to alarm anyone with this security thing. I worked for many years in a "special" part of the government and saw so many ways of gleaning or phishing data that it and the burglary changed our ways. I even turned the camera on in the home PC from work. Didn't have to use a password either!!! Unfortunately this job was a little late for us.

On a brighter note, the blogs and stories we get from trippers are superb especially with all the technology and computing available. I will look forward to reading about your trip.

We are off to a solo crossing of the Madigan Line through the Simpson next. No links to home on that trip. Got permissions (land council and private land holders) to go as a single car also. Great - now when!!! Ahh I will keep that under my hat.
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Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:37

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:37
Trek or Blog?

Whilst trek notes can document your daily travels much like a dairy, I always find a series of stories on people’s trips more interesting.

Rather than writing a running commentary on the whole trip you could write some stories on specific things and places you visit. Mind you, nothing wrong with a running commentary, as long as it doesn’t become mono-tone, if you understand what I mean…

And as Stephen mentioned elsewhere include lots of photos. Photos can capture the imagination and draw the reader in.

Enjoy your travels and I look forward to reading.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter L - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:56

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 21:56
Thanks Baz
I must admit I've had pretty good feedback from family and friends in the past on my updates and sharing of our travels - usually on facebook or via email.
I totally agree I don't think everyone wants to read that we broke camp at 7am, had 6 hrs driving, paid xx for fuel etc. I think they are more interested in the mishaps and near misses and funny things that happen along the way - like meeting up with neighbours out in the desert which happens!!
Photos won't be an issue - well actually they will cause I usually take hundreds each day (LOVE the digital age) so there will be plenty of photos, I'll just have to cull them. A good picture tells a thousand words. I am also a scrapbooker so its in my blood.
Looking forward to hearing your critique on how we go!!
Carolyn
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 15:27

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 15:27
And I'll look forward to the "arm-chair" ride on your trip...

Cheers, Baz - The Lanmdy
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:40

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 08:40
How and what you do will depend on your personal preferences. If you want your friends to follow your progress on a day to day basis you could use Facebook (using a closed group) but beware that in places like the Kimberley you may not have internet access for days at a time.

My preference, arrived at over many trips, is to write a daily trip diary. Whilst I usually write using the computer, when we are travelling I prefer to sit by the campfire and write the diary the oldfashioned way by hand. We also take a LOT (thousands) of photos.

Then when we get home I write up a series of blogs using the blog facility on this site (available to paid-up members) and include plenty of (edited) photos. I now limit each blog to about 2 pages and make sure I break the text up with paragraphs to make it easier to read.

This process has the advantage that it gives us time to reflect on our experiences and remember and recall the trip. We find that doing so greatly adds to the pleasure of the trip itself and cements our memories of it. And the resultant blog becomes a source of information for others on here who want to travel in that area (although you can limit who views you blog if you dont want to make it public.)

As for family and friends who want to follow us on a daily basis - our experience has been that in practice most of them dont get the time to do that, or may do so for a few days, then only occasionally after that. Or give up when you dont blog because you are out of phone contact - whatever the reason you will want to live your trip on your terms and will have plenty of other things to think about anyway, without being bound by the expectations of others back home. Im not suggesting that we cut ourselves off - we keep in phone contact where possible. But I have found that writing a decent blog is not really compatible with daily travelling and exploring.

Having said that on future trips i might consider combining my daily diary writing with a FB group where short entries - a photo and a few words - are the go.

Click on the blogs button beside any members name and you can see how each blogger approaches your question.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 12:56

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 12:56
We used to do the "reporting" thing (untill home burgled) and like you Val we found that their attention wandered. Much better doing it when we get home. It's also "pleasant" around the fire talking and writing about what we saw. That way both have input.
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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter L - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 22:07

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 22:07
I have also done a daily hand written diary before as you describe Val, then when I come home (sometimes a year later if I am running behind!!) I scrapbook the journey. This time I have been working with some digital scrapbooking programs to quickly throw my photos together each night with a few bits n pieces, because the thought of going through three months of photos terrifies me....I can do a whole photo scrapbook album - or two - just on two weeks!!! I can thet get it printed into a book at a later date. Reasonably economical.
Since we are taking our time with this trip I'm hoping I might have a bit more quiet sit time...but then again there will be hundreds of people up thee we will want to meet and share experiences with too.....so maybe not!!

I do agree that going over it later (like when I scrapbook) really does help to bring it all back again.

I can't take too long to document it when we get home.....will need to start planning the next trip!! ; )
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 17:26

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 17:26
Carolyn & Peter,

Back in 2011, when we did a couple trips that weren't medical or work related, we bought a "copy" of Nomads Notes.

Probably not want you want, in relation to letting the relations know where you are/what's going on, but is a useful travel tool. Can log camp sites, fuel use, photos and a host of other things that would make blog writing, at a later date, much simpler. The Boss used to update onto her Android phone at the time, say after refuelling, and we could then download all the info onto the PC.

Think it's available from E O shop too.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter L - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 22:15

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 22:15
Thanks Bob

I like the idea of an app that makes it easier - but $47 for an app??? bit of a rip off for a digital product I think???

Being a scrapbooker anything that makes it easier to collect info as you go is a good thing

Still...$47....Its sent me to the App store and there are heaps of apps there - more research!!!
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 22:44

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 22:44
Yeah, $47 seems exxy, in amongst the free, $2 & $5 apps these days, Carolyn, but can't remember what we paid back in 2011.

Back then it was a program, and apps were a bit scarce? And imagine they have to make a bit of profit too, eh. We haven't used it since those trips we did in 2011, so that makes it even more expensive. :-(

Happy planning,
Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Kevin S - Life Member (QLD) - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 17:44

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 17:44
An interesting subject.

We have been doing both long (e.g. the big lap), medium and short trips since 2009. I blog, discharge my duties as accountant of a small company and see the sights, and get eight hours sleep a night. It depends how you spend your time. I got over camp fires when I was a teenager, so my evenings are spent doing the first two of the above, unless we are in company with someone who must have a camp fire in which case we are sociable.

I have found my Nexus 7 tablet invaluable for drafting blogs. If I wake early or is a few spare minutes it is so easy to pick up and make some notes or progress the next blog post. I email the notes to my computer with any photos that I have taken on the tablet. Incidentally, I have downloaded the Swift Key keyboard to my tablet. It is excellent. I received an Emil a few weeks ago to tell me that it had saved me 100,000 key strokes.

I started posting blogs to the EO blog site and giving a running commentary of our travels on a day to day basis. I have changed more towards writing on subjects - perhaps to be offered to travel magazines in the future. Or perhaps not! I also moved my blog to my own hosted blog site so that I have complete ownership and control of of the material. I have an extensive list of readers who I notify by email when a new post goes up.

For tracking we use the Spot2 device and EO TrackMe facility. All my blog readers know how to check where we are. Additionally we hit the OK button on the Spot2 at day's end to let a selected group (e.g. son and daughter)know where we have stopped for the night and that all is well. Or not well, but we have not had to use those buttons on the device as yet.

On occasions, when travelling to remote destinations, we have advised someone at the destination how to track us on EO. That proved useful on one unexpectedly wet day on the Dowling Track. Next trip we are planning a couple of quite remote side trips. We will report our intentions to police and give them instructions on how to check us on EO FollowMe should we not check back in on time.

I am a keen supporter of EO and although my blog material does not appear on the EO site, when I get home from trips I use photographs and notes to update and create new Places. I also use my images and videos to create videos with sub headings and background music for us to watch in our dotage when we can travel no more.

We all do things differently. I have posted this to give a slightly different perspective on how these things are handled by other travelers.

This stuff is peripheral, of course. The main event is to travel and see this great land.

Cheers,

Kevin
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Member - Carolyn & Peter L - Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 22:19

Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 22:19
You are so right Kevin! A big part of my reason for doing a blog isn't just so family and friends can share our experience but also to re-live it myself at a later date - I have a shocking memory, that;s probably why I scrapbook!

I will keep focused on the main event!

Carolyn
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