Different ways of taking advantage of the website maps
The routes presented on this site are built with Ride with GPS (RwGPS), which moreover than planningroutes, allow also to record yourrides when out there. Planning route options allow to add icons, change the route color (which we do here according to the kind of road) et embed those maps on the bikepacking.quebec website with an interesting imagery.
Maps on the overview sections, as much for the Québec Bikepacking Traverse main itinerary than the routes network, are built with My Maps from Google, importing the GPS files created with RwGPS. Some people would be tempted to copy those general maps into their own Google account or download the .kml fil to use it on their device. It is however recommended to download the different routes through RwGPS because:
- an smaller itinerary file is easier to load on your device and there will be less tendency to bug;
- the routes on RwGPS are frequently improved and the update on the overview map can take longer to be done.
No need to use the RwGPS paying plans to enjoy the functionalities letting you download the routes on your device. Creating a free account in fast and simple with an email and a password.
Using the routes on a GPS
Start by going on the bikepacking.quebec route page you want to download and find the map. Click on Send to Device.
If you have a Wahoo, you'll need the RwGPS and Wahoo apps on your phone. Follow the instructions written when choosing this option. Be sure that your wifi and Bluetooth is activated. By choosing the Wahoo option, the route will be pinned on your own RwGPS account and will be bookmarked on your next GPS sync with the Wahoo app.
Garmin GPS uses .fit or .tcs files and the RwGPS site will invite you to download this latest format on your computer. Plug your GPS to your computer to upload the route following the instructions provided on the screen.
Using routes on your phone
By clicking on the same Send to Device option, you can send the route on your iPhone or Android device. On both cases, you'll need to have the RwGPS app on your phone. After sending the route, you'll be invited to download it, which will allow you to go on offline mode. You'll then be able to use the route even if you're not on your cell network.
Using other apps
Navigating a GPS file on your phone can uses the battery quickly. If you wish to only have an overview of the route on your phone, as a complement (or not) of your GPS, it is possible to do this, using an app like maps.me. This app allows you to download a map from a specific region to then use it offline.
On the map shown on the bikepacking.quebec website page you want, click on View Full Version, just beside Send to Device. You'll be redirected towards the route directly on the RwGPS website. By clicking on More then Export as File, a menu will show with many types of files possible to download. It's possible to do this without having a RwGPS account.
The .kml format is the one used for creating Google Maps routes, but they are also useful for maps.me. Download this format, then send the file to yourself by email. On your phone, by opening the file, you'll only see code, but on pressing the share icon, you'll be able to send the files towards maps.me or your favorite mapping app. In maps.me, saved files are found under the bookmark icon. You can make those routes visible or not, as well as adding markers.
Lastly, when you use an app to geolocate you while you don't have cellphone service or are on plane mode, don't forget to keep your wifi active in order to find you with better precision.
And you, which navigation tools are you using on your bikepacking adventures?