Satmap Active 10
I am a huge fan of Ordnance Survey Maps. I’m also a devotee of GPS navigation tools. However, if you want to travel light, carrying both can be a bit of a faff. But now there is Satmap. This neat, very portable navigation tool, does everything you’d expect of a GPS, with the added, excellent virtue, of being able to transpose your whereabouts onto fine quality OS maps of the area.
There was a time when I would use my GPS simply to make sure that I didn’t get lost, now, I can browse the surrounding region to look at the lie of the land, the nearest watercourse, or any of the other features one would normally look for on a conventional map. It’s a great tool for walkers, cycling and even in the car. I’ve been using mine to plot otter territories in Shetland and the nesting sites of Dotterel and Ptarmigan in the central highlands. Fine detail OS maps covering the whole of the British Isles are available on memory cards, and their contents are of the high quality and accuracy which we have come to expect from OS, who are as far as I’m concerned, the finest makers of maps in the world.
I have always loved studying an area I mean to explore by pouring over a map of the region. Now, I can do it as I go along and know precisely where I am in relation to features that are around the corner. I’ll give you a good example of how useful this can be in practice. Just the other day I was following a female otter and her well grown cub along a bit of Shetland coastline which was new to me. I lost sight of them as they went around a headland. Usually, I would have to sneak up to the headland and take a peek to work out what my next move might be, but with the Satmap, I was able to recce the coastline ahead and choose a course that would put me bang in line with the oncoming otters. It worked!
I’ve only scratched the surface of what this great piece of kit is capable of and already it’s an essential addition to my gear list.
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