The world of routes has become more complex than it used to be. Personally I like to use paperback route books, but I usually read non fiction, adventure and technical books on my e book reader.
Regarding navigation, I prefer to keep my options open and switch from one method to another, having lost maps and had phone battery run out. I explore maps, route books and apps to get ideas for my walks as well as downloading and recording routes on Viewranger. At times I have relied entirely on GPX routes, but I am finding that maps and books remain important resources for me. I now try to ensure that I have a map and a digital route back up on all walks.
It is a new hybrid world that outdoor users live in now, with proponents of different methods debating which is best.
In acknowledgement of the good use I have put my route books to, I thought I would mention a few of the route books I use as well as the download sites:
- Townsend, Chris. ‘World Mountain Ranges – Scotland’ Cicerone. 2010
- ‘The UK Trailwalker’s Handbook’ Eighth Edition. LDWA. 2009
- Bagshaw, Chris et al. ’50 Walks in Durham and Northumbria’ AA. 2010
- Baker, Edward. ‘Walking the Cheviots’ Sigma. 1996.
- Hall, Alan. ‘Walking in Northumberland’ Cicerone. 2010
- Hallewell, Richard. ‘Short Walks in Northumbria’ The Ramblers. Collins. 2011
- Brooks and Conduit. ‘Northumberland, The Borders and Hadrian’s Wall’ Pathfinder. 2000.
- Hall, Alan. ‘The Border Country – A Walker’s Guide’ Cicerone. 2010.
- Jackson, Peter. ’25 Walks. The Scottish Borders’ Mercat Press. 2009
- Turnbull, Ronald. ‘Ben Nevis and Glencoe’ Cicerone. 2007
- Scotways. ‘Scottish Hill Tracks’ Scottish Mountaineering Trust. 2011.
My go-to sites for digital downloads are:
- LDWA website (Long Distance Walkers Association) for long distance walks in Britain (downloads only available to members)
- Walkhighlands.co.uk for long distance walks and day walks throughout Scotland
- Viewranger (now Outdooractive) navigation app on which I upload and download routes.
If you would like to recommend any new or interesting route books, sites, apps or maps, please let me know.