Info

Introduction

This page offers information about GPSrs and related things (maps, geocaching, etc.)

Equipment
You can find a good selection of GPS receivers and accessories in the shop (via amazon.co.uk). This means you not only get good advice, but you can buy with confidence and also help support this site.

Maps
You can find a good selection of official Garmin maps in the shop (via amazon.co.uk). This means you not only get good advice, but you can buy with confidence and also help support this site. These maps are an alternative to the FREE OSM based ones I offer on this site.

Geocaching
Looking for a new hobby, like hiking/cycling but want to add a new dimension to it?

If so then geocaching may be just what you are looking for. It can be done on your own, in groups or as a family activity. Kids love it as it is a treasure hunt! More details can be found on the following links:

  • Geocaching.com [The official home of geocaching on the web] Some data from the site:“Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.”
  • A Guide To Geocaching [PDF from Geocaching.com]
  • Lost and found: James Cracknell goes geocaching [Telegraph.co.uk]
  • Outdoors: Geocaching [The Scotsman]

Looking for MapSource?
You can download the PC (Windows) version from here.

Looking for BaseCamp?
You can download the PC (Windows) version from here.
You can download the Mac version from here.

Looking for RoadTrip?
You can download the Mac version from here.

Common Sense, etc. when outside…
1. You should never rely on just electronic maps or GPSrs, you also require a compass and a paper map of the area you are hiking/geocaching in. Ideally you should plan a route, both electronically and on the paper map, so that you have a good chance of not getting lost.

2. You should ensure that you tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Also take a fully charged mobile phone in case of emergency and a whistle. You might like to check in at regular intervals by phone.

3. Ensure you have the right footwear and clothing for the expected conditions as well as waterproofs, water, food, first aid kit, etc. A torch or two would be a good idea too, as would a hiking pole or two.

4. Last but not least use your own common sense as terrain can change (flood, slip, fire and other natural changes to the countryside do happen). Paths get moved/closed/diverted, etc. If in doubt backtrack and find a suitable (legal RoW) to use instead.

All of the above are important, as is ideally not hiking on your own. Having suitable training in the tools (such as maps, compass, GPSr) as well as having good knowledge of the countryside in general (livestock, code of conduct, respect, trespass laws, etc.) can be a life-saver or at least save an argument.

I do all of the above except when I’m in my local area where I know all the paths like the back of my hand. Anywhere I have never been before or remote areas, deep forest, downs, fells, mountains, etc. I take all of the above (and more besides). But then I was in the Cubs & Scouts and have spent a large chunk of my life in the outdoors, and not just in the UK, so I should know what I’m doing and be prepared for most eventualities.

Disclaimer:
The author accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for any ill effects resulting from the use of any information, files or links contained in this document or any part of this site.