In this sense, technology comes to the aid of adventure seekers by offering advanced Outdoor navigation systems that are now considered indispensable travel companions.
While classic paper maps still retain the romantic appeal of adventure travel and remain a reliable alternative to computer systems, more and more people are turning to Outdoor navigation systems in recent years. These, thanks to the integrated GPS signal, offer the advantage of being able to pinpoint your position along the way, plan routes before departure, tackle alternative paths, and many other facilities that we will see shortly in this article.
What is a GPS signal and the best navigation systems on the market
GPS, an English abbreviation for Global Positioning System, is a technology born for military purposes in the United States but which is now widely used for many daily and recreational activities. This system, in fact, through a network of satellites, provide mobile phones and GPS receivers with geographical coordinates and time information, in all weather conditions and anywhere on Earth.
There are many devices that have a GPS receiver inside and these range from commonly used objects such as mobile phones, cameras, watches, tablets and smartwatches, to the more professional receivers easily available on the market.
⇒ One of the best known is certainly the Garmin GPS receiver. The well-known company specializing in aviation technologies offers a wide range of portable devices designed specifically for hiking and outdoor activities. The sturdy and compact design allows you to carry your navigator secured to the backpack or to the bike handlebar. In fact, these devices, designed to withstand atmospheric agents, are equipped with a long-lasting battery and are designed to guide the most varied outdoor activities step by step, while recording your route to help you find your way back.
Anyone who love to make long journeys on foot or by bicycle is well aware of the importance of having everything they need at hand in a practical and functional way, precisely to avoid having to make unplanned stops.
⇒ Smartwatches perfectly meet this need and offer several advantages. First of all, a watch, unlike other devices, can always be consulted thanks to a screen specially designed to be clearly visible in all weather conditions. In addition, when using a smartwatch, all you have to do is turn your wrist and the screen automatically lights up. Not to mention the fact that another device could also fall on it and break while the watch is still firmly on your arm.
Many prefer the convenience of a watch, so Garmin has also adapted by offering a Wereable line, as has Finland's Suunto, which has a line of watches designed for hiking, offering the ability to track your heart rate as well as your barometer.
Best Outdoor GPS apps
Traveling with little weight is essential for many kilometers of walking or for a bike tour, and some people prefer to use the now ever-present smartphone rather than carry additional devices. Apps also allow you to have additional features that classic GPS cannot have, let's see the best apps for outdoor trails.
⇒ With regard to Outdoor navigation systems, the best known app is certainly Google Maps. As well as guiding millions of motorists and pedestrians through city traffic every day, this Google service is also available to hikers, suggesting alternative routes as reliably as ever. This mix of information is based on the fundamental contribution of the users themselves, so as to provide constantly updated indications on the best possible route.
Implementation for cyclists has only been available in our country since December 2020 and responds to the global trend in favour of sustainable mobility, obviously linked to environmental reasons but also to interpersonal safety requirements.
Moreover, thanks to artificial intelligence, with the latest updates, it will be possible to identify the presence of sidewalks and sloping roads, as well as mark pedestrian crossings and pedestrian areas.
Rome is the first Italian city to benefit from the recent innovations, but it won't be long before the new features are visible to all users.
⇒ The limit is mainly the lack of a community of hikers who can suggest new itineraries to discover as well as new points of interest to visit, but which is instead the basis of another of the most popular Outdoor navigation systems.
We are of course talking about Kommot, an app for smartphones that allows you to plan your excursion either by bike or on foot, retracing the route suggested by another user or simply following the routes recommended by the system.
To start, just choose what type of adventure to experience and then filter the available routes by difficulty, duration and accessibility. You can also receive notifications from the app with interesting places to discover.
⇒ When using a smartphone, we all know that the battery can often be very short-lived. The phone going out would be a very unpleasant experience, especially if you are outdoors in the middle of a hike! The GPX Viewer app offers the possibility to use offline maps to save our device's battery. The only thing you need to do is to download the route correctly before turning off the connection.
⇒ Keeping track of hikes is the main reason people use navigation apps, but what if you want to look back on the thrills of the trip later? Relive allows you to create a 3D video of the excursion while you are using the app to orient yourself.
⇒ For those who want to share their excursions and who are looking for the right motivation to venture out, Outdooractive is the perfect solution. In fact, this app offers the possibility of printing out itineraries and sharing them in the "inspiration" section designed to group them by type of activity.
⇒ For the more experienced Oruxmaps is a must: an intuitive and essential app designed for technical use, while providing all the necessary services to the hiker such as the possibility of recording a waypoint (point of interest) starting from a photograph.
The proposal of Slow Active Tours
There are many other Outdoor navigation systems that allow you to travel alone, available for free or for a fee, but they all offer almost the same standardised service.
⇒ Those who want to live a truly personalized and increasingly safer travel experience, crossing routes previously experienced firsthand, we provide the Ridewithgps application: designed for hiking or cycling, this app is one of the Outdoor navigation systems that most has convinced us over the years.
A shortcut code will be indicated in the "Services List" that you will receive a few days before departure. By entering this code, you will be able to download your personalised travel experience.
Ridewithgps can also be used offline, reducing battery consumption and without using mobile data traffic, but we always recommend that you have a charged portable power bank in reserve.
With the ability to update the itinerary in real time, by relying on us you will always be sure to take the best route. In addition to the route, each travel experience is accompanied by practical advice and information on the most interesting places to visit. For each stage of the chosen route, we insert a series of points of interest to discover nearby, such as museums, botanical gardens and farms or masserie. You will find, for example, the details of the tastings of typical local products that we will book for you during your trip, as well as suggestions for sipping good wine in one of the many villages that characterize our beautiful Puglia or the destination you choose.
And since traveling light is the fundamental prerogative of those who tackle long distances, together with our bike rental and luggage transport service, we include the use of a handlebar mobile phone holder. Practical and safe, in fact, it has a hook that can be easily applied to the handlebar of the bike to always know which way to go, without missing out on the spectacle of the surrounding nature.
Yes, we too have been tempted by technology, but technology that is useful and invasive enough to make a safe and carefree holiday!