Do you hike?

Do you use a website or service to do your research when planning your activities?

Shortly after our wedding, my wife and I decided we would take advantage of the wide variety of hiking opportunities that exist in Arizona.  That was a little over one year ago and we’ve really covered a lot of ground since.

We’ve been on the Woodchute Trail, Camelback – Echo Canyon, Humphreys Peak, and Badger Springs. We’ve hiked up in Sedona, The Grand Canyon, Page, Pine, and many other places and trails.

None of this would have been possible without my Garmin nuvi250, and my subscription to

I think the Garmin GPS goes without saying as most people know the features of a car based gps navigator.  One cool feature I found was being able to send Google Map coordinates directly to my GPS receiver.  There are benefits to being even a little connected!

The best investment we made in our new hobby was our annual subscription to  Trails is site that has an awesome database full of information for any type of hike, bike, or outdoor excursion.  Speaking of GPS, I noticed that the staff at Trails just recently added GPS features to their trail database.

What I found to be most helpful were the trail write-ups and the “my hike” features.  Trails uses excerpts from major publisher hiking and trail books.  You have to be a paid user in order to access the trail write-ups and topo maps, it’s $49.95 a year and in my opinion very worth it.  We’ve certainly gotten our money’s worth in one year.

The “my hike” features are really neat because you can add your comments about the hike or trail you just walked.  You can also add pictures and submit your comments and pages to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Do you use a different site, or have any suggestions on where to look for more information?

ReTweeting without the RT is stealing

I know that most non-tech savvy people have a hard time getting their arms around Twitter, as do I at times.  In recent months Twitter’s growth has been exponential so it’s possible that new users aren’t sure how to properly retweet a tweet, got it?  Good.

A Retweet is: A way for Twitter users to share Tweets or information that they find helpful or useful from someone they follow.

Ok, cool, but how do I ReTweet?

Glad you asked, according to Mashable here is the correct way to ReTweet:

Copy and paste the original tweet and send it out. To give credit to the original person, users usually put “RT” plus the originator’s username at the beginning of the tweet. Here’s an example:

– The Twitter user @benparr tweets: I just heard that Apple is releasing new iPods in July!

– You retweet by posting RT @benparr I just heard that Apple is releasing new iPods in July!

So unless you’re lazy or don’t understand simple examples there is no reason not to use the RT @username to give the original author credit.  Without the RT your followers don’t know that the tweet came from someone else and that’s just not fair.