How to Navigate With No WiFi or Internet Signal

To preface, you should ALWAYS travel with a paper map of your region, whether you are at home or on the trails. There is really no excuse to not have one - a paper map is great for emergencies and they will never let you down. I recommend the National Geographic maps, as they claim to be waterproof and tear-proof. They also have a Road Atlas if you are traveling cross-country.

However, I totally understand the ease-of-use when using your mobile device to get from point A to point B. Type in the location, set it on your dash and let it go. But what about when the internet signal fails? Trust me, this happens near any National Park and in rural areas.

On my last trip I discovered the magic of the Google Maps "offline navigation" option. Simply download a specific area in the Google Maps app, and as soon as you lose connectivity on your phone, you will still be able to navigate within the area you downloaded. This feature works for point A-to-B navigation, as well as a destination search within that map area. You can also see useful info about places (opening hours, contact info).

The downloaded map has a (roughly) 30 day expiration date - it is a cool feature since it takes up space on your phone and you will probably forget to delete it later. If you need to access your offline maps, click the button in the top left corner of the app and there will be a "offline areas" menu option. This is where you can search a place to download, but you can also do this through the home search bar.

All that being said, be sure to check out TEP Wireless. This company offers an inexpensive WiFi hotspot with an unlimited data plan - way better than any offer your phone company will have when traveling abroad.

 

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