Training – Plotting a trail

Remember in ‘Mapping it Out’, when I mentioned the potential PCT partner in the shape of Ed (Who’s going to be hiking the PCT this year too)? … HURRAH! Yesterday we finally met and went for a training hike together, getting about 15 miles in. We went to Ranmore common and the base of Box Hill.

Here’s one near the start of our hike. Just before we got lost.

HOw to Plot a route/excursion!

I’m very capable of losing my bearings whilst on my training hikes, so I thought it would be smart to map out a route. What could possibly go wrong? A fantastic web and phone application for creating or finding alternative routes is on Very useful to those that are looking for day excursions away from the trail, but then need to find their way back. Here’s a step by step guide of how to use it most effectively.

It’ll begin by showing you a world map. Something like this.


You can then zoom in to your desired start location.


If you then click on “Paths”, which comes under the map type options. You’ll see a new view. This shows the recognised trails in the area.


Then you can start plotting your route. Simply click on the point where you want to begin, then click a new position on the map. Do this with relatively short distances at a time (if you want a more specific design).

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 12.45.13.png

If you click “show timer” in the top right, then you get a rough idea of how long it will take too. Once completed, you can zoom out to look at your full route and also name/save it for private or public usage.

This was the walk I designed for a get together in Matt’s name last October 2016. Find it here

DON’T forget to download the map!

I had a bit of a shocker by not doing so. Downloading the route to your phone gives you the ability to use the map’s full functionality without the requirement for internet connection.

Once we made our way into the Ranmore area, it didn’t take long for us to get lost…

It wasn’t devastating though. We found lots of fantastic trails around Ranmore, whilst I did my best to get a selfie with some sheep. Then we eventually found a fantastic view point before flukily finding our way back via the River Mole. Here’s a couple from towards the end.


A viewpoint we found, where we attempted to work out which direction to go.

Unless you’re fantastic at gauging how far you’ve hiked, it’s well worth plotting a route (or at least a rough version). This will help with training, as you’ll know your own capabilities.

Click here to go back to my blog posts.