Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Registered User Boo8meR's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-07-2005
    Location
    Central NC
    Age
    35
    Posts
    131

    Default Journal/Blog Host Question...

    As I've started telling people about my plan to thru-hike, people have expressed interest in following along via some type of blog/online journal. I don't have FaceBook and won't be getting it so that option is out. I was wondering what you guys might suggest. I'm only going to be taking my phone with me (iPhone 6+) as well as a 15,000 mAh external battery. I don't intend to take anything else electronic. Here are my questions/plans...

    --I would like to be able to create 'entries' in my phone each day and then update to the website either when I'm in town or when I find service on the trail.
    --I don't want to have to worry about a website going down and losing all of my notes, I'd eventually like to print them when I get home to have a hard copy (would you suggest having a friend or family member backup, externally, each update I post to save as I go in case something happens to the site/server while I'm out??)
    --I'd like to be able to upload pictures along with each update, if possible
    --I'd like access for those following along to be fairly simple and reliable - password option would be nice

    Ideally I'd be able to do all of this from my phone if/when I get service on the trail. My phone will be in airplane mode for the majority of the trip and will be tagging along mainly for music, kindle, and camera; but, since my family are pretty keen on my doing this and I'm not entirely opposed to creating something that would help me remember this for years to come, I'm on board.

    I've seen trailjournals and haven't really looked much more into it. I figured I'd ask those who have done it before which they liked and why.



    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Registered User Boo8meR's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-07-2005
    Location
    Central NC
    Age
    35
    Posts
    131

    Default

    ***Posted to add: I'm also looking for input from those who have followed along as a friend or family member did a thru-hike to see how you liked different websites that were used, especially if you've followed different people on the trail who were using different sites to host their journal. Which did you prefer and why?

  3. #3

    Default

    trailjournals is a popular site. Postholer is another. Or you can start a blog, there are several sites which host blogs. Wordpress is a popular one. As for restricting access, I think that is possible, but you'd have to investigate that yourself.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  4. #4
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-29-2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    1,020

    Default

    I looked into both Trail Journals & Postholer before my hike. I went w/ Postholer. It was easy to type up an email on my phone & capture all of the special data I wanted and more (i.e. hours hiked, where you start/end, highest elevation, lowest elevation, people met, rest breaks, etc). Trail Journals appear to be the more popular format used by most hikers.

    A buddy of mine used TrailJournals.com. He would type up his daily blog in an email, send it to a friend, & the friend would in turn transfer it (cut & paste?) into TrailJournal.com. This seemed convoluted.

    I'm not techie-savvy enough to figure out WordPress. There is never a teenage around when you need one.

    Good luck with your decision & your thru-hike.
    2013 AT Thru-hike: 3/21 to 8/19
    Schedule: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...t1M/edit#gid=0

  5. #5
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-15-2004
    Location
    Colorado Plateau
    Age
    46
    Posts
    11,002

    Default

    Wordpress offers Wordpress.com hosted sites that if not as flexible as your own site, are easy to set up. If you decide you want your own hosted site on a different hosting company (e.g. instead "mycoolblog.wordpress.com" , you can have my "mycoolblog.com") it would be very easy to transfer to wordpress platform hosted elsewhere.

    Blogger also works well in terms of a free-hosted site if not as easy to transfer and is limited in features.

    Postholer.com offers a lot of in built infrastructure in terms of desired features if you want a journal and have no plans on blogging beyond that. If you are tech savvy, you can run it "under the hood" of your own website if you later decide to go that route.


    Trailjournals.com is old-school but considered easy to use from the reader viewpoint.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
    Twitter: @pmagsco
    Facebook: pmagsblog

    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    4,046

    Default

    I have run a non backpacking site on WordPress for the past six years and would also recommend Wordpress as a very flexible and robust platform.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  7. #7
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-18-2015
    Location
    Valdosta, Georgia
    Age
    48
    Posts
    596

    Default

    I'm planning on Youtube video uploads and there a "discussion" tab in there as well. I think I'm going to type it all out on my phone in word or something, then copy/paste it to Youtube. That's the plan so I'm hoping this works anyway. Still looking into Trailjournals and Postholer tho for options though.

  8. #8
    Registered User Walkintom's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-16-2010
    Location
    Eagle River, WI
    Age
    48
    Posts
    697

    Default

    I like Wordpress.

    Works well with smartphones of all flavors and you can get free blogging space from them without any trouble. If you ever want to convert that free space into your own website blog, that's easy, too.

  9. #9

    Default

    As a reader I really like trailjournals.com, but I know nothing about how the site works for the journal-keepers providing the content.

    One consideration for you is just how candid you plan to be with your entries. Year after year someone with a blog or on-line journal says something involving some breach of trail etiquette or LNT principles (peeing too close to a shelter, talking about helping themselves to some toilet paper at a hostel, dishing about some other hiker, etc., etc.) and before you know it the internet posse is all over Facebook and Whiteblaze venting their righteous indignation which inevitably leads to a bunch of them leaving scolding comments at the writer's blog or trail journal. It can get pretty ugly.

    So if you are someone who plans to shoot from the hip with your writings or simply wants to remember your trail experience in writing as it really was, rather than sanitized for public consumption, you might want to find a venue where you can limit access in some way. Or you could go the double entry route -- you could record some stuff for public consumption and some stuff just for yourself.

  10. #10

    Default

    Squarespace.

    iOS apps for posting, easy setup and hosting. Password protection built in.

  11. #11
    Registered User Boo8meR's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-07-2005
    Location
    Central NC
    Age
    35
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by map man View Post
    As a reader I really like trailjournals.com, but I know nothing about how the site works for the journal-keepers providing the content.

    One consideration for you is just how candid you plan to be with your entries. Year after year someone with a blog or on-line journal says something involving some breach of trail etiquette or LNT principles (peeing too close to a shelter, talking about helping themselves to some toilet paper at a hostel, dishing about some other hiker, etc., etc.) and before you know it the internet posse is all over Facebook and Whiteblaze venting their righteous indignation which inevitably leads to a bunch of them leaving scolding comments at the writer's blog or trail journal. It can get pretty ugly.

    So if you are someone who plans to shoot from the hip with your writings or simply wants to remember your trail experience in writing as it really was, rather than sanitized for public consumption, you might want to find a venue where you can limit access in some way. Or you could go the double entry route -- you could record some stuff for public consumption and some stuff just for yourself.


    I like all of this advice and have since set up a blog on Wordpress. I like it because all comments require my approval prior to being posted on my page. I'm also going to have a friend copy each update into a word document so I'll have a backup copy in case anything should happen to the site.

    I hadn't considered a separate set of entries just for myself but figure that's probably a good idea, too.
    Boomer's Blog | Attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail on an impulse…

    https://wanderingboomer.wordpress.com/

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-01-2015
    Location
    San Luis Obispo, California
    Age
    26
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Christoph View Post
    I'm planning on Youtube video uploads and there a "discussion" tab in there as well. I think I'm going to type it all out on my phone in word or something, then copy/paste it to Youtube. That's the plan so I'm hoping this works anyway. Still looking into Trailjournals and Postholer tho for options though.
    What are you planning on using for your camera? I've been doing some research on cameras with good battery life but I'm not really coming up with much. Thanks!

  13. #13
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-18-2015
    Location
    Valdosta, Georgia
    Age
    48
    Posts
    596

    Default

    I'm using my Droid Maxx phone for video and Probably a Nikkon Coolpix or something to that effect only for pictures. Fairly cheap at Walmart/Amazon and they use AA's. Not sure on battery life though, I didn't even think of that.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-06-2007
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Age
    64
    Posts
    2,000

    Default

    I believe that it's still the case the postholer.com is easier to use as someone posting entries from a mobile device (typically a smartphone). I switched over from TJ to postholer just before my first thru-hike in 2008 for this reason, and have been happy using postholer ever since. You can see the results of daily blogging on any of my journals, at http://www.postholer.com/brianle

    I write up a journal entry for every hiking day for my trips, almost always at the end of each day, and as you (OP) say, I post those when in town or occasionally on trail where I have time and cell service (plus adequate spare battery power). Have a look at the postholer site; I particularly like that there's an optional mobile-friendly view on things. I liked integrating SPOT use on one trail (don't use it generally), and on occasion I've used the option to format entries as emails and send them in that way. I think it's a fine enough view for readers, but clearly a step up for folks who don't have a support person at home to do the actual trail journal text entry.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •