Hiking maps, and why I go digital.

*Disclaimer, I am in no way connected to the app distributor or do get anything for writing this*

You sit in your tent, put on your headlamp and unfold your 1 : 50 000 map. It barely fits in your tent, but it gives you a good picture of where you are and where you are going. Hopefully it’s water resistant so you can use it a rainy day. The paper map is impractical, and does indeed have its limits.

About two years ago I gave up the idea of the paper map, and started searching for an mobile app that could handle coordinates, POI:s (points of interests),  distance measureing,  beaconing, route saving – and so on. My list of demands are high – even higher than they would be for a so called analog map. I finally found the app Viewranger.

Viewranger gives me all of the above, including near to uncontested quality terrain maps, where many rotes are already marked on the map. Many of the ones missing can be found trugh the community, or added by downloading a GPS-file.

So what happens when my smartphone crashes?!
Well, first and foremost I’ve got two smartphones. One of them is water resistant, and the other one is not. I’ve got a  powerbank with me, and always one of my phones switched of as bacup.  The risk of a paper map being taken by the wind is basically as big as both my phones being ruined.

I feel safe with my setup. It’s a bit of a hassle, getting used to looking at a smaller screen, and having to move the map to see my surroudings – but you will get used to it, and never turn back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *