This was a happy find. Sitting on a ferry, heading out to Lamma for a hike around the back of Sok Kwu Wan, I did a belated web search to get an idea of how long the walk might take, and up came details of a hike that had been posted through this app.
This particular hike had been part of a beach clean-up, and had taken 11 hours for what I knew would be a two- to three-hour hike. But I got an idea of what I was in for from the posting of the distance, elevation and even the views, as this person had also posted photos.
The ferry journey went quickly as I downloaded the app and tried to get an understanding of how it worked so that I, too, could post my trail. The app uses the phone's global positioning system. As you walk, run, ski, sail, paddle or cycle a route, you can stop to take photos, which are plotted onto the map to provide a comprehensive log.
The app also gives you room to write a short story and provide tips about your journey, either as a memento for yourself or a guide for others. You can also share your results on the EveryTrail website (everytrail.com), Facebook or Twitter via your phone or computer. The ability to edit from a desktop is particularly useful as, for example, my walking companion had also taken some photos, which I later added to the trail.
There are thousands of trails uploaded - from hiking to fishing trips - in places from Hong Kong to Yosemite National Park in California to the lakes of Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. The 'search nearby' function uses your location to list trails, or you can search by entering a location and activity - and thus get inspiration for your next trip.