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Maps me or maps.me provides offline maps using OpenStreetMap data but how do you use maps me? Can you use it for hiking & other adventures? Well, we have used it for plenty of hikes & other adventures, all over the world… so yes, you can.

From hiking in Colombia to cycling in Cuba, with maps me we have planned our route & navigated our way through some pretty remote places. In this post, you’ll learn exactly how we have done just that as well as how to use maps me for your own hiking & other adventures.

We have used maps me for hiking & other adventures, such as the Camino Real, Colombia - The Wilder Route. Image shows Kelly walking on a path towards a cloud covered Canyon.
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We have used maps me for hiking & other adventures, such as hiking in Colombia

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Updated by The Wilder Route on 21st May 2021


How To Use Maps Me

Search for the app maps.me in the app / Google play store, download it for free, connect to WIFI & download the maps for the area you are hiking or adventuring in & you are ready to go.

It is that simple.

A couple of things to note…

  • You can download maps on mobile data but be aware that this will eat into your data allowance.
  • To download maps for a certain area just zoom in on that area & you’ll see a blue ‘download map’ button – press this button to store the map on your phone for offline use (this will take storage on your phone, the number of megabytes is shown for each map).
How to use maps me - just download your map online & offline you'll be good to go - The Wilder Route. Image shows Adam walking on a path in the Yorkshire Dales.
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How to use maps me – just download your map online & offline you’ll be good to go.

How To Use Maps Me For Hiking & Other Adventures

We have used maps.me to plan road trips, hikes & even used it to navigate when we did an independent cycle tour of Cuba. The app details all roads & trails & has enabled us to get out there & explore some real off-the-beaten-path spots.

If planning a hike or other adventure, we mark our route out on maps.me by dropping pins on the trail forming a loop, like this…

Map show Helvellyn Striding Edge route, descening down Swiral Edge & following Red Tarn Beck all the way back to Glenridding which is where the route starts - The Wilder Route.
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A plan of our circular Helvellyn walk via Striding Edge, in the Lake District National Park, England.

Adding a start point so in the case above Glenridding (where the blue dot is) & an endpoint by dropping a pin close to the starting point we then add stops so in this case we added A) Low Spying How, B) Helvellyn & C) Greenside Road to form a loop.

To do this on maps.me…

  • Zoom in on the area in which you’d like to plan a route.
  • Hold the screen where you would like to start your route & click on ‘route from’.
  • Hold the screen where you would like to finish your route & click on ‘route to’.
  • To add stops, hold the screen on the place you would like to add as a stop & click on ‘add stop’.
  • You’ll then see at the bottom of the screen the time, distance & elevation gain – note, that we always carry out extra research on all of this & don’t only rely solely on maps me.
  • Once your route is planned you can hit start but what we do is, as shown in the map above, drop pins along the entire loop or route so that it is easy to follow when we are offline.

To give you more of an idea as to exactly how we’ve planned different types of adventures, go check out…

A road trip through the Bardenas Reales – Northern Spain’s Navarre Desert

The Camino Real Colombia hike – an ancient route from Barichara to Los Santos

we have used maps.me to plan & navigate plenty of hiking & other adventures - The Wilder Route. Image shows Kelly on a hiking trail at Lago di Braies, Italy.
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We have used maps.me to plan & navigate plenty of hiking & other adventures.

How Does Maps Me Work Offline?

The app uses GPS to pinpoint your exact location so you can view on your map exactly where you are.

We have found this feature extremely useful & reliable. In remote areas, it has, at times, taken a while to refresh & catch up on our location but overall it’s excellent & has worked everywhere we have used it.

As well as using maps.me GPS feature offline we have found it great for things like long bus journeys, checking on the map exactly how far we are from our final destination or how far we are from the next town or city.

Using The Maps Me App Safely

As mentioned above, we do not rely solely on maps.me when hiking, cycling, or on any other adventure. We plan our route on it, to give us an idea of where we are going as well as what facilities we can expect to find along the way then we carry out more detailed research.

For example, if we are hiking, we will look at blogs on our specific route or look at forums to check out others’ experiences of the route/trail. We take note of the elevation & elevation gain, how much time others have hiked the route in & if they have experienced any problems along the way. We also always check mountainforecast.com for up-to-date weather, taking particular note of how windy it will be. 

If you are planning a hike, check our hiking blogs to see if we have written a detailed post on your route

For hiking safety tips check out our six things not to do when hiking

If you are new to hiking check out our ten hiking tips for beginners

You can run into problems when out hiking & on other adventures so it's important to know where you are going, using the maps me app correctly & being prepared. - The Wilder Route. Image shows Kelly hiking in fog in Scotland.
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You can run into problems when out hiking & on other adventures so it’s important to know where you are going, using the maps me app correctly & being prepared.

Maps Me Other Useful Features

Maps.me is not only useful for hiking & adventures but is great for finding the things you need.

Find Facilities & Amenities

Your nearest ATM, Restaurant, Pharmacy – maps.me has a built-in ‘categories’ feature to help you find almost anything you need. This is a feature we have found to be so useful. It has saved us a ton of time when arriving in a place, for example, rather than searching for our closest ATM we just check our maps me app.

Hidden Spots

The app also marks cool stuff like smaller points of interest & viewpoints that would not normally be on the ‘tourist’ radar, we have managed to find some great spots by simply checking the maps.me app & going to spots that look worthy of visiting.

You Can Add To It

If you are out & about & come across something that isn’t included on the app you can add it yourself using the “add a place to maps” function. We like this feature & have used it a lot, it’s a great way to give back to the maps.me community.

Save Your Places

You can pin locations with maps.me & this is a feature that we really love. For example, when you’ve just arrived at a new place you can drop a pin on where you are staying to get back there later, or have a look in advance & pin anywhere that you’d like to visit in the area. It’s also great to look back on after you’ve visited a place, to remind yourself of the names of all of the places you have been. This is especially good for content creators like us who want to explain to you guys exactly where things are as well as how to get there.

We use maps me to find viewpoints when we visit a place - The Wilder Route. Image shows Kelly taking in views above San Sebastian, Spain.
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We use maps me to find viewpoints when we visit a place.

Share Maps Me With Others

We’re always telling people about maps.me when we are travelling, encouraging others to download the app. It’s because it has helped us to plan & go on so many hiking & other adventures that we just want others to know about it.

Remember to share this post with anyone else who you think would like this app.

You can check out more of our adventures on our nature & adventure page.

Happy exploring,

Kelly & Adam x

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about the wilder route...

The Wilder Route - Author Bio. Image shows Kelly & Adam sat on a rock with a cloud encompassed mountain behind them, they are facing the camera & smiling. Kelly is wearing a bright yellow coat, a brown hat, jeans & yellow leg warmers. Adam is wearing a navy blue coast & jeans.

In 2017 Kelly & Adam Peck embarked on a journey that would change their lives forever... 

Equipped with a couple of second-hand bikes, they took a one-way flight to Havana, Cuba &, after a cycling escapade that took them over four hundred kilometres - through remote villages & untouched landscapes, the roots of The Wilder Route were firmly planted. 

From there the adventure was destined to continue... this intrepid couple spent the next 10 months soaking up the vibrance of Mexico, hiking up volcanoes in Guatemala, taking in the wild scenery of Canada & experiencing the beauty & diversity of Colombia, before eventually returning to the UK. 

With the feeling of exploration in their souls, Kelly & Adam knew that they wanted to build a life that brought them closer to nature, a life that made adventure part of their every day. Selling most of their belongings & packing the rest of what they owned into their tiny home on wheels, van life became the next step of their journey.

Since moving into their motorhome in 2018 (a Bessacar E560 named Barnaby) they have experienced many more magical moments, built their online business on the road & have even planned a wedding & said "I do" along the way.

Featured in publications such as Wanderlust Magazine & Housesitting Magazine & speaking at events such as Destinations ShowsBorderless Live & The Caravan & Motorhome Show about living a location-independent lifestyle - they are passionate about helping & inspiring others to explore, to connect with nature &, to live alternatively.

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as seen

as seen

The Wilder Route seen at Destinations - The Holiday & Travel Show in association with The Sunday Times
The Wilder Route seen at The Caravan & Motorhome Show, Event City, Manchester
The Wilder Route seen at Borderless Live
The Wilder Route seen in Wanderlust Magazine

as seen

The Wilder Route seen at Destinations - The Holiday & Travel Show in association with The Sunday Times
The Wilder Route seen in Wanderlust Magazine
The Wilder Route seen at The Caravan & Motorhome Show, Event City, Manchester
The Wilder Route seen at Borderless Live
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