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physical map on Germany/Austria hikes?

Old Jun 5th, 2018, 11:56 AM
Original Poster
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physical map on Germany/Austria hikes?

I'm looking to walk through parts of Austria in late September (maybe 5-6 hours a day) and I'm wondering how folks navigate on foot these days. Do people still use paper maps? Or is there a good app that won't charge me USA roaming rates?

I know trails and paths are well-marked in Austria, but how do I find a source of information on them? I'm new to this type of travel.


robbydee is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2018, 12:21 PM
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I always use paper maps. Usually I buy them or borrow them from my library. For a first overview the free panoramic maps provided by tourist informations or cable car companies should be fine - and in your case probably totally sufficient for your walks.
Ingo is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2018, 09:37 PM
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We wander about Austria frequently and use a combination of Freytag and Berndt maps and the outdooractive App. (maps can be saved offline).
fourfortravel is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2018, 09:42 PM
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Or buy a dedicated GPS device and load a GPX track on it
menachem is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2018, 02:57 AM
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Freytag-Berndt and Kompass are the leading publishers for hiking maps.
In any mountain community with hiking trails you can buy the respective hiking maps at the local TI or souvenir shops.

Trails are indeed well signposted in Austria and Germany, but it's a bit different than hiking in the US (at least IME).
From what I know from the US you will drive to a trailhead parking and have a limited option of 2-5 trails that go somewhere.
The signs will usually give the clear names like Twin Peaks Trail or Scenic Loop Trail.

But in the European Alps there is a huge network of trails that criss-crosses mountains and valleys. Trails are often not only footpaths but also use forest roads for some parts before they veer off again. So staying ON the desired route at intersections instead of hiking down the wrong branch of a forest road can be more of a task than in the US. It's also not always the case that you find clearly named signage at any intersection in the woods or mountains. Often just a color code on trees or rocks will tell you that you're still on the right track.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2018, 04:17 AM
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The critical issue is that GPS (the thing that tells you where you are) is not provided by your telecoms partner, so is free, so roaming fees do not come into it.

What you need to do is choose an offline map app (there are probably hiking ones, I use mapme for cycling) and down load the relevant map for the area you are walking in and when, out walking, the app asks (do you want to go online just-say-no). Easy peasy. You can test this out at home if you don't believe me.

Some people will say that GPS is not accurate enough for mountain hiking and you need to add telephone mast triangulation to up the precision. Normally I think that is nonsense, but up a mountain, use that heavy thing above your shoulders to work it out.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2018, 05:09 AM
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You can load down the map of Austria for free (all scales, all hiking trails):
You can easily compose the maps you need and print them out.

Last edited by neckervd; Jun 6th, 2018 at 05:12 AM.
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