Countryfile Magazine - - Lazy Days -

TRAIL GPS Ord­nance Sur­vey, £434.99

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 coun­try­ in the early sum­mer. JP

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