Whenever I am out walking, unless I know the route already, I always take an Ordnance Survey Map with me. I prefer the Explorer series with the orange cover. Without one I feel like I am walking in a fog; uncertain of what is ahead which makes me extremely anxious. Of course this totally ruins the whole experience.
Also I always use a paper version. So I have a shelf full of OS Maps. As I do more walks researching for my book "Canines, Campsites and Campervans; Rambles with Rover" so the number of maps increases.
But whilst doing research for the chapter entitled "Keeping Safe" I thought I ought to investigate the easy and effectiveness of the digital version. So I have been spending the past few days playing around with Ordnance Maps on my laptop and phone. Like anything new it does help if you read the instructions first. As you use the item and become more familiar with it so it become quicker to operate.
I have to say using the map on my phone is similar to using a Sat Nav when driving. As you walk so the marker moves across the map indicating where you are. It is very easy to see if you are deviating from the path.
This would be extremely useful when entering a large field and being unable to see the exit gate or stile. Which ever direction you set off across the field the app would indicate if you are going "off piste". This would save you having to walk around the field trying to find the exit. Wonderful.
I have tried the app out on a few short walks around home. Each time I use it I get more and more excited.
I can't wait to use it on one of the walks to be included in the book. I envisage it allowing me to be even more specific in my instructions. But and it is a big but I need to do more research to ensure my fledgling idea is viable. If this proves to be the case I will then have to re-walk those I have already done. Lots to do out and about in my motorhome.
Despite the easy and convenience of the Map App I will and everyone should also take a paper version.
The disadvantage of using the app on a phone is the speed with which it drains the battery. If the phone goes dead because the battery is out of juice there is a big problem.
When I am walking, the taking of photos and making notes means I am out for long periods of time. Therefore I am looking into getting a powerbank so I can recharge my phone without direct access to an electric supply.
More technological equipment to carry about.
There is no reason why I should include this photograph except it is one I took on one of my "research" walks near home. I thought it was rather atmospheric. If you look very carefully you can just see, through the cloud s, the line of trees on the horizon.