Any adventure into the British mountains requires expert route-planning and the ability to navigate. This can be daunting, especially in unfamiliar mountain country that’s lacking in signposts, because – like any other skill – it’s only easy when you know how. So step forward komoot, perhaps the best companion app for hillwalkers you’ve never heard of. It may just revolutionise the way you approach your trips to the hills, and unlock a whole new world of adventure.
WHAT IS KOMOOT?
Komoot is a multi-award-winning routeplanning and navigation mobile app for hikers, hillwalkers, mountaineers and cyclists. The free-to-download app enables people to get outside and experience the many riches of the great outdoors. Founded by a group of six friends and outdoor enthusiasts from the Austrian Alps and Germany, komoot currently has over eight million users worldwide and is ranked as the leading outdoor app in Europe.
Komoot are offering Trail and Country Walking readers a free regional map bundle of their choice. For these regions, routes/maps can be saved for offline use, turn-by-turn voice navigation can be used, hikes can be tracked in flight mode and komoot can be synced with a GPS device.
Simply head to komoot.com/g to create a free komoot account, then enter the code: TRAIL MAG Offer closes 31/10/19
Once you’ve downloaded and signed up to komoot, you can plot a hiking route (called ‘Tours’ in the app) by picking a start and end point.
Click anywhere on the map and select ‘Start here’, or search for a place or address in the app’s search bar.
Click or search for another point on the map and select ‘Set as destination’.
Komoot will then automatically plot a route for you between your start and end points.
Additional waypoints can easily be added to the route, like a point of interest or another summit.
It’s also easy to adjust your route by dragging and dropping the Tour line as you wish.
Routes can be personalised by adding additional info to the map such as points of interest, shops and food and drink stops, as well as Highlights from local hikers.
As an example (see right), if you select Wasdale Head as your starting point and the summit of Scafell Pike as your destination, a route will be plotted that follows the footpath beside Lingmell Gill and past Hollow Stones. The route can easily be adjusted to take in the Corridor Route if desired, or even via Mickledore.
KEY ROUTE INFO
Alongside the plotted route, komoot provides you with a heap of useful details, including:
Estimated time the walk will take, plus the total distance you’ll cover.
An elevation profile showing how much ascent and descent is involved.
A description of the route’s terrain (road, footpath, mountain path).
Details of the type of ground you’ll cover (tarmac, gravel, unpaved path).
This kind of information is invaluable to help you envisage the type of walk you’ve planned and plotted and – crucially – it’s all available before you tie your bootlaces and set off.
Much like the satnav in your car, komoot will speak to you while you’re on the go and voice turn-by-turn navigational directions. To save on battery power, this feature is even available while the phone is switched to ‘flight mode’.
No signal? No worries. Importantly, plotted routes on komoot can be saved on your phone for offline use. This means there are no moments of panic trying to find internet service when navving in the wilderness or on the hill, while also saving your phone’s battery.
Komoot suggests the necessary experience and fitness levels required for a plotted route, and even advises on any technical gear (for example, sturdy footwear) that may be needed. If you enter your existing fitness capabilities, komoot will even try to tailor your routes based on that personal information too.
WORKS ON MULTIPLE DEVICES
As well as your smartphone, you can plan, plot and adjust routes on komoot’s website (komoot.com) via a desktop computer or laptop, and the routes will automatically be saved to your phone. And for tech-savvy walkers who own an outdoor smartwatch, komoot can easily be synced with devices made by Garmin, Wahoo and Apple, to make navigation even smoother.
There is a fun community aspect to the komoot app as well. Users can create ‘Highlights’ to their saved Tours, such as a favourite pub for a post-walk pint or a particularly arresting viewpoint. Members can also add reference photos, of a sunbathed summit or a majestic lakeside vista for instance, from their Tours to inspire and recommend to other komoot friends and followers, or even invite others to join them on their next Tour.
FREE TO DOWNLOAD
The komoot app is free to download from app stores for Android and iOS devices. If you’re a mountain-loving outdoors fanatic, make komoot the next app you download. There’s a whole world of adventure out there, just waiting to be explored…