The best investment I ever made for SOTA was buying all the 1:50000 maps for the UK in electronic form. That was £125 in 2007 ISTR. It later entitled me for a free upgrade to the new program and a load of extra features for free. At the end of 2013 I bought the latest upgrade including all the UK at 1:25000HD and 1:50000HD plus streetmapping etc. The licence allows me 5 complete installs so I have it on my desktop, laptop and tablet plus a smaller copy on my works laptop. I always have the whole mapping available without going online. I’ve spent about £450 in total on electronic mapping but it’s money so well spent in my opinion.
Yes, no internet is a killer, you can’t check routes, Google Streetview etc. I’m putting together 3 SOTAxpeditions right now, one for Scotland, 1 for DM/ON and 1 for DM/HB9. Connectivity in the UK is easy as I’ll have 3g/4g plus Wifi in the hotel. It’s more of an issue when in DM/HB9/ON, I can get fixed price internet access on my phone when in Europe but it doesn’t allow tethering. The solution is to print out lots of maps and plans etc.
A full set of paper 1:25000 maps costs a lot more than the £350 I paid I think it works out nearer £6500 for paper. I print out the relevant bits on a colour laser printer and shove them in the map case.
I found a system called ‘Getamap’ which costs £17.95 per year and allows access to the OS maps, including the Landranger format which I tend to prefer, and allows printing off parts of the maps that you want.
I’ve also downloaded an app to the smartphone that should allow me to see better where I actually am at any time.
If you have an Android phone check out Locus (pro version is cheap, ad-supported version is free). With the addition of Locus - addon Map Tweak you have access to dozens of map providers, including the Bing OS mapping (T&C apply). Locus can download vast areas to your flash card ahead of time.
Some don’t like relying on a phone for GPS, but they’re so cheap now (I saw one last week bought for £20!) just take two if you’re bothered.
There are lots of low-cost options available, more so than ever before. I used to acquire map data from wherever but I realised I was spending lots of time trying to find free data. In the end I decided my time was worth more than the cost of the software so I bought the full fat solution, all 40GB of data. YMMV.
Bing supplies O S data on the web - just zoom in and select O S mapping. In true “Scottish” style I use the print-screen option and paste into MS Paint. Cost = paper plus ink. Protect from the weather using a plastic filing wallet.
There is no excuse for not adopting the 5P principle. Single summit activations don’t necessarily need a detailed itinerary, but the planning is still required.
Except most of the Scots I know up here (and me of mixed origin) have actually bought Memory Map or Anquet It’s you tightwad 'nachs who seem to have issues opening your wallets. I bet you still have some white fivers inside yours!
The cost of map packages has certainly come down considerably. Still a lot different from free though. I haven’t looked any further since researching options a year or two ago, when Locus was clearly superior to other free/cheap apps. It is very actively maintained.
I do also print out OS mapping at 1:25000 scale and laminate in A4 pockets - that’s big enough for a summit or two, or even four when I remember it has two sides! Safe from UK weather - unless it gets blown out of your hand.
Anyway, plenty of options for you Dave. Do remember also that (given internet access) you should be able to download the routes from the SOTA mapping project site as GPX and have them displayed over the map on your smart phone. But only where they’ve been uploaded - just a minority in GM/SS.
I use Getamap and find it to be very useful. You get a range of tools, the ability to print out selected areas at custom scales, export to Garmin GPS and Google Earth, online storage for your maps and it’s always up to date. I love paper maps and have a huge collection of them but an A4 sheet in a plastic pocket is immensely more practical for use in the field!
I’ve subscribed to getamap, so will see how it goes.
I tried the Android OS MapFinder app and did not have a good experience. It wanted to download several hundred MB to the phone, and I didn’t have the space, so I uninstalled just about everything and freed up over 1GB of space but it was still not able to even load the 2MB option…
No way to save the huge file to the SD card, so I gave up.
Maybe we should start a new thread and finish this one as we’re getting a bit off topic now?
You can pick my current smart phone a Samsung Galaxy S2 up now for less then £100, I was going to buy a dedicated GPS unit as you mentioned - exactly you may as well take two phones ! I have also made up a power pole lead to charge it from my LiPo which has plenty of spare capacity.
To navigate I use a mix of RRT which I find works very well, printed out maps and HH compass from the mapping project (most difficult walks have routes thanks to Gerald etc). If finding the car is going to be tricky I then drop a pin on google maps to guide me back. So far I have yet to find this inadequate and it is rare that I have to use a compass.
When I put my copy of Memory Map onto my Android phone I uploaded the files to the SD card with the card in my computer’s card reader then put the card back into the phone. There was no way MM was going to load to the card any other way (that I, of limited intellect, could find - and I didn’t have an 8 year old child around to show me )
For Android and iPhone I recommend you consider Viewranger (the usual disclaimers apply - I have nothing to do with the company etc. etc.)
It’s specifically designed for phones and is not bad with battery usage.
It also has a useful facility called “Buddy Beacon”. As long as you have mobile coverage it will send your location to a central server at preset intervals - down to 30 seconds. You can allow “Buddys” to track where you are. If you lose coverage and then get it again later it catches up with the missing points. So it allows real time tracking.
£70 for the whole of the UK at 1:50K, £200 for the whole of the UK at £1:25K. Other countries available. You can download or for a bit more get them delivered on DVD.
The maps can be installed on 4 devices at the same time. They are big though!
You don’t need to use the premium (paid) mapping - there are other alternatives that can be downloaded.
The Buddy Beacon facility works without any paid mapping…
NOTE: Buddy beacon doesn’t replace the potential need for some type of emergency location equipment that works when you don’t have mobile signal. See other threads for discussion on PLB/Spot/Yellowbrick etc.
I agree Gerald, Viewranger is VERY good. To save battery in the phone I use a small Nokia GPS receiver which I put in the top of the rucksack and it’s connected via Bluetooth GPS app in the phone, using this the phone battery will easily last a full day and the Nokia will run for 24 hours plus.
One of the reasons I use Anquet is that it lets me draw my walking routes on the maps and set up my own “Naismiths” values. This gives me good info on how long a walk may take. It also lets you wrap the map over the height contours to get a 3d view.
Here is Bishop Hill and I’ve marked how far I think Dave got in yellow and the remaining route in pink.
No, I actually auctioned my last one Andy to pay for some more petrol to get me north of the border when I was a wee bit short of funds. Anyway, as a friend at University used to say “it takes two Scots to equal the meanness of one Bristolian”… He was from Bristol and I don’t ever recall him buying a round.
Some of us still use a felt tip. Remember those? - I believe Staples still sell them. Maybe I just come from an earlier generation than you do - when times was hard…