This is a work in progress. But rather than typing things elsewhere, I’m building it here as I think of things and find things. – Pete 12/12/19
There are multiple ways of doing what I’m mentioning here, but I’ve found that this is helpful for me and I’m posting it in case it might help others. This is written with Nordic skiers in mind, but it applies to many outdoors people, hikers, mt. bikers, snowshoers, etc.
Avenza is a commercial mapping program that allows you to keep track of where you are, where you are going, to mark waypoints, etc. As such, it is similar to many other programs. The one particular advantage that it has is that there is a large library of maps covering trail systems that you might wish to follow. Two that got me started on it are the mountain biking trails on Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham and the Nordic ski trails at Sovereign Lake and Silver Star in British Columbia.
Cost: To download the app to your device (phone or tablet, Android or Apple) is free. You create an Avenza account to manage your maps. Some maps cost money to download, others are free. So far, I have done everything with the free account. I don’t think the Professional is needed.
How to get started: (It’s not too complicated, but if you want some steps to follow, try these…)
- Go to your phone’s app store and download the Avenza Map app
- On your computer, go to the Avenza site, click on ‘My Account’, and ‘Register’ a new account with your email and password. (You can do this on the phone, but I think it’s easier to navigate and find maps on the computer.)
- Select Products/Avenza Maps, scroll *way* down to find the Avenza Maps button (or click Avenza Maps). Then click the ‘Get Maps’ search button and choose some maps to put in your shopping cart. Or you can open another window and click on the links below.
- Check out. If you only pick free maps, you do not need to enter a credit card, but I think that you have to create another account to check out (just use the same email and password (not sure this is necessary))
- Go to your phone, launch the app, and log in using the account that you created on the computer.
- Click on the little head in the upper right corner, download your maps, and you are good to go.
- I don’t do a lot of fancy stuff. I click on the circle with the 4 ‘ticks’ which centers my position in the map. I click on the three dots to start tracking, which gives me basic data on my trip.
Maps I found of interest: (search for maps at the Avenza Map Store. You can select (buy if necessary) on your computer, then install them later on your phone, or get directly from your phone.) I’ve had good luck searching for maps by entering ‘Washington, USA’ or British Columbia, Canada’ in the ‘Find Maps Nears’ box and then key words in the second box.
- Salmon Ridge Sno-Park (free)
- Mt Baker Backcountry Ski Routes (Heather Meadows and other parts of Mt Baker) (free)
- Sovereign Lake XC Ski Map_2018 (Snowshoe map also available) (free)
- West Vancouver Mountain Bike Trails (some coverage of Hollyburn Nordic) ($0.99)
- Winter Trails, Methow Valley (free)
- Mount Spokane Sno-Park (see 2nd page of search results) (free)
- South Summit Sno-Park (east of Winthrop) (free)
Bellingham Environs Outdoors
- Galbraith Mtn Trails Map (Awesome!) ($14.99, supports local bike club that maintains trails)
- Vancouver BC Bike Paths (free)
- Chuckanut Trails (free)
- San Juan Islands (free)
- Blanchard State Forest (free)
- Bellingham WA Historical Map GEOPDF 30X60 (basic map of B’ham and Whatcom County allows practice out your door) (free)