Ross Packman completes South West Coast Path with ViewRanger's Track my National Trail

Posted on 30/08/2013

Ross PackmanIt took Ross Packman 50 days to walk the entire South West Coast Path with ViewRanger, as part of his ‘Forgotten Paths’ challenge for charity, which was supported by local people along the way. 


The Forgotten Paths challenge – a 630 mile solo-hike on the UK’s longest National Trail –was in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society and required an innovative use of social media as Ross explains;


“The premise of Forgotten Paths was to raise as much money as possible for Alzheimer’s by using social media sites, such as Facebook and twitter, to provide updates on my progress and to appeal to local people for accommodation along the coast path. The response was incredible and out of 50 nights, I only had to camp five times.”


Ross was sponsored by ViewRanger as part of the ‘Track my National Trail’ challenge. He used the ViewRanger app to view Ordnance Survey mapping for the entire National Trail, on his phone. 


“The ViewRanger app provided me with quick and invaluable access to Ordnance Survey maps on my phone, which highlighted exactly where I was, as well as any local points of interest which might offer accommodation or some food to keep me going!”


As Ross was going to be heavily reliant on his phone to contact local guest houses and B&Bs, ViewRanger also provided him with a PowerMonkey Explorer – a solar powered battery charger.


South West Coast Path"On the few occasions when I couldn’t arrange accommodation I fell back on wild camping. The PowerMonkey provided me with an invaluable means to recharge, which typically provided my iPhone 4S with a 60% recharge after a day of heavy usage.”


The South West Coast Path is one of the toughest trails in the UK. The path falls and rises with each river mouth that enters the sea, meaning Ross had to climb almost four times the height of Mount Everest to complete the National Trail.


The ViewRanger app has in-built tracking software which records your change in altitude over the course of your hike, and displays it in an informative altitude profile. 


Ross says the walk was more than worth it:


“The highlight of the trip was the rugged and remote stretch of Cornish coastline between St Ives and Pendeen. Walking around that part of the trail really felt like I was fully exposed to the wilderness and beauty the UK’s countryside has to offer.


“If anyone is planning to hike a similar trip I would recommend investing in a quality pair of hiking boots and to ensure they think about how they will keep hydrated for their entire trip – particularly on remote parts of a trail. I would also recommend using the ViewRanger app to ensure quick and convenient access to Ordnance Survey mapping on your phone.”


So far Ross has raised over £2800 for Alzheimer’s Society by completing his National Trail Challenge. If you would like to support Ross’ fantastic achievement you can do so here.

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