Plan runs, rides and walks with this selection of navigation aids – all of which allow you create, follow and share hiking and cycling routes
Sprawling an unwieldy and mug-stained Ordnance Survey sheet across a kitchen table to plan a walk is one of life’s great joys. But while poring over a paper map will always have its place, today there is a large and rapidly growing array of sophisticated digital tools to help with the business of planning hikes – a good way of sating wanderlust until the lockdown lifts.
Here are some of the options. If you’ve never used an online mapping tool before, their interfaces take varying degrees of getting to grips with. All, however, share a similar system: you plot a dot-to-dot route using waypoints and the app automatically generates information on the route (distance, elevation, and sometimes duration). Many of the apps described here can also be used as navigation aids when actually on the walk, although any digital tool should only be used a supplement to – not as a replacement for – being able to navigate with a paper map and compass.