Over the past 18 months, a few apps and websites have helped us maximize our outdoor adventure fun while staying inside the lines of COVID-19 health restrictions:
- Participaction, mainly for the annual Great Big Move challenge (family members across western Canada join together to achieve step count and move minute objectives);
- AllTrails, 10Adventures and various blogs for new-to-us trail ideas and adventure planning;
- iNaturalist to help identify new-to-us flora and fauna; and
- Relive to share our adventures with close friends and family.
What is Relive?
Relive records a track of your outdoor activity, allows you to add photos, videos and short comments to the track, and then turns it all into an animated 3D video. When you share with family and friends, they get a bird’s eye view of the terrain you travelled with pauses to view photos and video clips. At the end of the video, Relive shows the distance, time and elevation change.
If you’ve never seen a Relive, pause your reading here to watch Mr GeoK’s Relive video recap of one of our 2021 larch season hikes.
Getting Started with Relive
The Relive app is available for Android and iOS.
There are lots of good tutorials out there on how to use the Relive app, including the Support page on the Relive website. I recommend checking out the “Getting Started” and “Creating Videos” sections first. If you have another tracker that you want to use to capture your route, the “Apps and Integrations” help is also key.
If you prefer your Tutorials via YouTube, I found this 2020 guide and review helpful when I was getting started.
Probably the best way to get started with Relive is to download the app and give it a try. The free version has most of the premium “Plus” features – definitely enough that you’ll be able to tell whether this app is for you.
Our Introduction to Relive
We learned about Relive from a friend when she shared one of her adventures via a text message link. This was some time during the summer of 2020.
Mr GeoK was particularly intrigued and immediately downloaded the app. Then he went back to the start of our 2020 cycling/hiking season to create a Relive video recap of each ride and hike. The ONLY reason he could do this is that we carry a Garmin GPS with satellite messaging capabilities, so we had a track (.gpx file) for each activity that we could import into Relive.
Ever since, he’s created a Relive video recap for all of our shared adventures. And he also does this after his solo bike rides.
I started out happy to let Mr GeoK do all our Relive videos. But then I did a couple of solo rides and walks and thought I’d download the app, too. I started with the free version and waited for Relive’s black Friday sale to pay for the premium version.
Fast forward to November 2021 (date of this post) and we’ve created well over 300 Relive videos between us.
So What Have We Learned?
1. It’s Almost Certainly Worth Upgrading to Relive Plus
For me, the three biggest reason to upgrade from the free version are:
- Edit function – I carefully proofread my text before pressing the “Create” button for my first video. But as I watched in through, I noticed a typo. My options at that point were to live with it, duplicate my track and create a new basic Relive or upgrade to Relive Plus and make the quick edit. We like knowing we can edit our Relives as many times as necessary.
- More photos AND video – the basic version allows you to add up to 10 photos to each Relive. The Plus version allows up to 50 photos and up to 60 seconds of video clips in each Relive.
- More options – select from multiple music tracks, tweak the video settings (resolution, playback speed) and more. We like being able to turn on snowy landscape for our wintertime adventures.
As with most paid subscriptions, you can go month-to-month (USD$6.99 at time of writing) or pay up front for an annual plan (USD$38.99 at time of writing). The annual plan is a significant cost-savings compared to paying $6.99/month for 12 months. But fefore forking over USD$38.99, take full advantage of the 30 day free Relive Plus trial to confirm whether the upgrade is worth it for you.
2. Use the Privacy Features
There are three privacy features.
First, you can make your whole account private so that only people you approve can follow you. Second, if you do a lot of your adventures starting from home, set up a privacy zones to mask your home address. Yes, you lose a bit of distance off either end of your track. And no, it’s probably not foolproof against someone determined to figure out your regular start/end point. But it seems prudent. Both of these privacy features are accessed by tapping the settings gear on your profile page.
The final privacy feature is at the track level. You can set any recorded activity to private by tapping the three dots in the upper right corner when you open a track for editing/creating a video. Select Set activity to private. I wish there was an option to automatically make every activity private. As it is, I manually set every activity to private. Once I’ve finished creating my video and I’m happy there are no more edits, I select Set activity to public.
There are several routes I frequently walk for active transportation. I generally leave those private forever. That way I have a complete record of my outdoor activities in Relive, but I’m not cluttering up my followers’ feeds.
3. If Needed, Trim your Track
If you forget to stop recording when you’re done your activity and end accidently record your drive back home, don’t worry! Open your track as if you’re going to start creating a video. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner and select Trim track.
Another way to keep your track trim and accurate is to turn on auto-pause. That way, if you have a sidewalk visit with a friend or take a snack break on your bike ride, Relive will pause recording until you get moving again. This results in a smoother viewer experience. Access the auto-pause toggle by tapping the gear icon in the upper right corner of your profile page.
4. Use the Add Moment Feature to Strengthen Your Storytelling
When you’re creating a new video, Relive automatically groups the photos you took at roughly the same location. This lets you quickly select all, one or a few photos from any photo stop and add a comment (limited to 100 characters).
But sometimes you’ll want to group your photos and videos differently. For example, maybe you took a bunch of close-ups over the course of your walk. But you’d like them to appear as a single group in Relive. Or you have a few photos of funny things you saw along the way and they’d be more impactful if grouped together. Maybe you want to show all the various snacks you ate with just one comment.
In any such case, tap Add Moment + in the bottom right corner of your screen. You first select where on your track you want your new moment to appear. Then you add the photos and video clips that make up that Moment. You can also use this feature to add photos and videos that have a timestamp outside the start/finish time of your track. Once you tap on the add a photo box, use the Media dropdown list at the top of the screen to access all the media on your phone, including any graphics you create and save as a .jpg or .mp4 and any photos taken with another camera and downloaded onto your phone.
Mr GeoK uses the Add Moment feature to include photos I take on our shared adventures. I put them on a USB stick and he uploads them to his iCloud where he can access them while creating a Relive.
5. Bring an Adventure Mindset to your Activities, for More Engaging Videos
I first wrote about developing an Adventure Mindset here. Knowing you’re going to create a Relive video afterwards is a good prompt to bring a sense of adventure to the activity. Knowing you’re going tell the story of your outing helps you pay mindful attention to the difficult, the humourous, the easy, the beautiful, the colourful, the boring, the fun, the revealing, the joyful, the “whatever” of the experience.
And creating a Relive video prompts reflection. As you tell the story of your adventure, you’ll automatically think about which aspects sparked joy and which parts you could do without, so that you learn from each experience and are set more informed intentions for your next adventure.
Top Three Features on Our Relive Wishlist
The Relive team seems pretty serious about collecting input from users. Over the past year, we’ve been invited to three different one-on-one video meetings with Relive team members. The first one was an opportunity to share our feedback as fairly heavy duty users of the app. The other two were to get our feedback on features/functions under (consideration for) development. One of the biggest enhancements we’ve seen is recent improvements to the 3D mapping.
The three features we would most like to see added to Relive are:
- The ability to select the order in which photos/videos appear in a Moment. At present, Relive presents the photos/videos according to timestamp order. So if, for example, you want to include a three shot series going from wind-angle context, to isolating the subject, to a detail of the subject, you have to remember to take the three photos in that order.
- Search functionality. The current search feature is limited to searching for other users – by user name! More useful search functionality would be by location and by trail name. Imagine being able to easily find someone’s Relive for a trail you are thinking of trying. You could watch someone else’s experience as part of your trip planning.
- The ability to have some control over how long a Moment takes to play. As things are, Relive Plus users can choose slow, normal or fast playback speed for each video. Normal is the default. But even at slow speed it can be hard to absorb the photos, videos and 100 character comments while watching straight through. Ideally, you’d be able to hold a comment on the screen for at least a couple of seconds.
We’ve shared lots of other ideas for enhancements with the Relive team: prologue and epilogue Moments, mixed activities (e.g. bike and hike or paddle and hike), an attributes card, and more. We look forward to seeing what comes next from the Relive team.
Mr GeoK is running iOS 14. When he got a warning that his 256 GB iPhone was almost out of space, he went looking. It turned out Relive was using more than half the storage. He deleted the app and reinstalled it to free up almost all of that space. It’s a known issue.
Relive has helped us hold on to an adventure mindset through the COVID-19 pandemic – despite walking some trails over and over and over again. 😉 For that, we give thanks.
Ready to give Relive a try? In the words of two Relive team members, just get out there and go for it. Use Relive as an excuse to try new things, with or without a pal. Take plenty of photos. Bring a fresh perspective to a favourite activity or trail by creating a Relive about it.
Already a Relive user? Share your best tips and/or pet peeves in a comment. We’d love to hear from you.