Navigation

Maps
The most authentic and autonomic way to travel still is by map. It’s a bit more strenuous, but more fun to find your bearings on a piece of paper. A bit like phone numbers too, since my phone remembers them for me, I can’t recall a single number. Same with maps, GPS makes you lazy, where travelling by map means you know where you are. One of our favourite brands of maps is Reise Knowhow. Good scale, laminated, nice details and frequently updated. We got most of our maps in Utrecht, with InterGlobe.

GPS
Very convenient, both for finding your way and for tracking your route. We use a tablet or smartphone for navigating, with OSM maps on it. Backcountry Navigator (BC Nav) is the app we run for field navigation. Orux Maps is our favorite for tracking our whereabouts. It saves your tracks and can write them to a webserver, to plot them on a map.

Radio
We have both a 27MC and an FM transmitter available. Depending on the group we plan to travel with, we equip either one. FM has better reach (25+kms in Morocco!!) but is less popular, 27MC is probably the better option.

Local traffic regulation
Before heading out, you will want to know about local traffic rules and regulations. Having to argue with local police is something we like to avoid. So pay attention before you leave, that all blinkers, stickers, vests, alcohol-tests, emergency triangles, et cetera are present.

Camping regulation and campsites
We tend to do a lot of wildcamping, usually two nights out, one night on a campsite (for sanitation and washing).
Most countries will tolerate a bivak from dusk till dawn. However, some countries do have very strict policies on camping, especially several day stays. You could end up facing a nasty position or high fines. Even so, wild camping is plain fun. Even in countries like Croatia we do camp out in the wild, but a few things to take into account:

  1. is it legal? Make sure you are not visible if it isn’t (mind your lights during dark hours),
  2. are you occupying someone’s property? Ask for permition if it is needed (usually national parks are not okay to camp),
  3. is it safe? No wild animals, flashfloods, sharp things (nasty on an overnight pee-break), put out fires before going to sleep, don’t leave food outdoors,
  4. never leave a trace; no rubbish, take or bury your personal waste, don’t break/trash/ruin things. Pack it in, pack it out.

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