FRESH FROM THE BOX
TRAIL GPS Ordnance Survey, £434.99 os.uk/gps
You may feel it’s your solemn responsibility to navigate using a paper map, but a global positioning system – GPS – device really does take the head-scratching out of walks. And that allows you the freedom to relax into the world around you, rather than repeatedly stopping to squint at your map.
This brand new device represents the latest push by Ordnance Survey to break into a market dominated by American firm Garmin and a few others.
If you’ve not used one before, the Trail GPS device is pretty easy to set up. Plug it in, download the app to your computer, set up your account, and you’re off.
The bottom line, obviously, is that you’ll always know where you are, to within a few metres. You can also plot routes in advance, track your progress, and when you’ve really got the bug, share routes and sync with other useful apps.
Once you own the device, the mapping doesn’t come free forever. But you do get three years’ free subscription to the OS mapping app (OS Maps Premium), which allows you to find your location on OS mapping in England, Wales and Scotland.
If the price tag puts you off, it’s worth noting that if you have a smartphone, you can access the same mapping at a fraction of the cost of this device. There are many mapping apps available, including the aforementioned OS Maps Premium, which costs £25.99 a year, gives you instant access to any OS map through your phone, and will work even if you lose your signal.
But GPS devices have advantages over phones – they are robust and don’t drain your phone battery, for instance – and I’m looking forward to giving the Trail a thorough test in spring, so expect a full review at countryfile.com in the early summer. JP