By: Blonde Two

Without fail, there is one question that the lads always ask us when they finish a day’s walking – and that is “How far have we walked?”  When it comes to the great outdoors, guys, young and older seem to have a fascination with the numbers.  This is not a problem but it is interesting to notice the difference.

When I go out walking, I usually have very little idea of how far I walked in total.  The only time I take notice of distance is when I need to know it for navigation purposes – Direction and Distance, just think DD (not those DDs!).  I tend to measure my walks by the time they took (always two hours longer than they were supposed to) and the number of steep hills (always two more than I planned).

Calculating the distance for the lads at the end of a long, tiring day can test the brain cells. Their distance in kilometres is on their route cards but they always want to know it in miles – I am pretty good at maths but, despite my best attempts to learn it, my 1.6 times table still eludes me.  I guess the number of miles is one thing that they know the folks at home will be able to relate to.  If you have never waded through bogs, crossed rivers and got lost in the mist, you could be forgiven for not really understanding what your kids are on about.  Most people, however, understand and can sympathise with distance in miles.

There are lots of electronic devices that can help with the numbers.  Today, at the gym the numbers told me that I had burnt 300 calories, got my heart rate up to 140 and still had five minutes to go.  I would hate to have all of that information pumped out at me on Dartmoor but lets face it, there is not a lot else to be looking at in the gym unless you like watching yourself sweat in the mirror.  Interestingly, I never get as out of breath at the gym as I do walking up a Dartmoor Tor – clearly the numbers don’t make you work harder.

Mr Blonde Two likes to measure his bike routes using a clever whatsit called Strava.  By the magic of GPS he knows where he has been (I think he would know that anyway), how far he has cycled since the beginning of time (well nearly) and how quickly he cycles certain legs of his routes.  On top of this, he can compare his time with the times of other people who cycle his route.  I guess Strava and the other whatsits are the perfect combination of being outside and being at the gym – fresh air and lots of numbers all at once!