What made you decide to start this blog?
Well, first let’s take a step backwards. Let’s start with the question "Why do I like to go Off On Adventure"?
OK, why do you like to go "Off On Adventure"?
There’s no simple answer, but it’s a combination of several things: being outdoors, getting exercise and experiencing nature. I like being "off the grid" and like the physical exertion involved in hiking, kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing, trail running etc. I like the feeling of navigating or pioneering a course to a destination; interpreting weather and nature’s effect on my course and the self reliance of having everything I need on my back.
So how does blogging fit into being "Off On Adventure"?
I’m also a tech guy (it kind of goes hand-in-hand with being an engineer). I like to plan for an adventure by researching routes, trips, times etc. Trip reports are often found on blogs. When I’m considering my adventure choices, I’ll google something and the results are often from blog posts. Of course some of my searches for "off the grid" type adventures didn’t yield any pertinent results. So I started thinking….
As I read more blog posts, I started following several blogs as part of my general reading. I came to realize that I also could contribute to the blogosphere in the arena of outdoor adventure. I could report on my own adventures and post routes and trips to supplement what was available and to provide content that was not available elsewhere. An equally important reason I decided to "hang my shingle" in the blogosphere was to provide myself with something of a historical journal of my adventures. Pictures, text, routes, maps, video…everything could be stored in one spot.
Do you have a special focus and/or unique goals for your blog?
Yes. My blog is a personal blog, and not a business blog, so I focus on writing only about the outdoor activities I am passionate about and the things I find interesting along the way. My blog consists primarily of trip reports.
My goals for the blog will continue to evolve as the blog gets more mature. My initial goal was to produce well written concise trip reports that included stats and maps along with my opinion of the overall quality of the adventure. I wanted to supplement the posts with a few pictures and link to external sites for additional background information as appropriate.
I like to use technology wherever I can to enhance my posts. I’ve already made a few "improvements" to my typical trip report content. I use everytrail.com to post my GPS tracks and I place an everytrail track widget in my blog post. I link from everytrail to offonadventure.com for my trip reports/pictures. When I have numerous pictures to share from an adventure I create a Picasa Web Album and link to it from the blog post.
I use peakery.com to track my summits of peaks and my progress on peak lists. For creating GPS tracks and waypoints I use a Garmin Oregon 450T and I supplement that with an Android app, Backcountry Navigator Pro, which I use on my Android phone to create similar information.
How might your blog evolve in the future?
In the short term, I may add a page to document the gear I use and why. I might consider doing gear reviews of other products. I’d like to step up the use of social media with my blog. Currently readers can follow the blog with Google Reader or select the "Like" button on the blog to "Like" Off on Adventure on Facebook.
As far as long term evolution, I have no idea. I’m really enjoying the interaction with other bloggers via comments posted to and from our respective blogs. It’s like making a bunch of new friends who have similar interests. For the most part, our blogs are personal blogs so there is no business competition, just a similar love of the outdoors.
So blogging has worked for you?
Yes, definitely, although I’ve found it to be addicting. The more I blog, the more I want to blog. Whenever I go too long without a post, I get edgy to post something new, which in turn tells me it’s time for another adventure. It’s a vicious cycle, but that’s the magic fairy dust for me. Reflecting on an adventure by writing a blog post relives and memorializes the trip. To hear from a reader that a post is interesting or useful is the icing on the cake. Off On Adventure (OOA) is oooooaaaahhh fun.