More and more people have smartphone nowadays. Today there are very interesting GPS application for hiking.

    Sometimes we plan a hiking route and is not easy to find a reliable map of the area we want to visit. One option is to buy a paper map at “La Casa del Mapa” or any specialized bookstore or mountain shop, to take our plan on paper and then  use our compass in the traditional way. Admittedly, all this has its charm, but sometimes get the map is not easy and certainly not fast. Moreover it often happens that the area of ​​interest falls right in the division of multiple sheets, so we have to buy more maps.

    A good option to get quickly and print planes ready to go to the mountain the next day is IBERPIX system. This is a viewer that lets you select the area of ​​interest, set a scale and print. Fast and cheap.
    But if we have a smpartphone with Android, we have an even better option that will allow us to save even print. This is the application OruxMaps. It is a GPS-like application that lets you load plans, get your position, follow traks, make suggestions on plane … It is simply excellent. And it’s free, what more could we expect? (worth donating to the project).

    The application allows you to load maps from the Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica. In practice the same plans that we can buy in “La Casa del Mapa”, ie maps from the Instituto Cartográfico Nacional. That is, we load our maps and from that moment we do not need Internet connection (which is often scarce in many mountains).

    Oruxmaps, an excelent app, and  FREE!!

    Suppose we want to do a hiking route in some mountains of our geography. Go to CNIG website and download the maps  needed at an appropriate scale. Download to the phone and thats all. We have as many maps as we want within our mobile viewer.

    Then we can load a Wikiloc route, for example, superimpose it on our map and then follow it with the help of  the GPS.

    Of course, not all advantages. Having a phone with GPS and OruxMaps with all maps and routes  we want is not a excuse to have a minimum knowledge of traditional orientation to make effective and safe use.

    Another drawback is that the process of loading planes from CNIG is not obvious and require intermediate steps, using programs like OruxMaps Desktop.

    Finally, besides the loss of romanticism of the traditional map, be carefull with the phone’s GPS. Typical battery life is short, it may get wet with rain or fail for many reasons. It is not wise to deposit 100% of our trust in a technological device so volatile and fragile.

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