The Trans Euro Trail® is designed to be navigated by a GPS enabled device – either a purpose built GPS receiver such as a Garmin or a GPS enabled device such as an Android, Windows or iOS device.


 

NAVIGATION DEVICES

 

 

The main choice is between using a dedicated GPS Receiver or using a mobile phone with GPS capabilities. The pros and cons of each and the intricacies of their use are covered in our active TET Forum and on sites such as ADVrider.

If you choose a phone for your navigation, you’ll need a navigation app.

We’ve canvassed the opinions of TET Riders as to which devices and apps they use and these are the results in order of popularity:

 

 

Whatever device you do use, get to know it and love it but don’t depend on it 100%. It’s a gadget and gadgets break. We suggest you carry a back up and/or good ol’ paper maps and compass. If you’re sitting by or (worst case) lying under your bike in the middle of a Finnish forest or Greek mountainscape, having an idea of where you are and how to get back to civilization and your next beer is pretty critical – not to mention giving that search team an idea of where to find you.

 

 

THE TET TRACKS

 

 

The TET is provided in the form of GPX tracks. These have been “snipped” into sections of 10,000 track points or less (suiting those of us who use Garmins (or at least the more modern ones!)) but downloadable as single country packs from the relevant country web page.

Getting the tracks onto your device is up to you. If you’re not au fait with the process then pop over to the Forum for advice and videos.

 


 

Once you’re out on the Trans Euro Trail®, don’t treat the GPX as gospel. If it looks like the TET goes through someone’s garden but there’s a road round the edge, use the road! As you’ll know GPXs don’t detail every tiny twist and turn, use your common sense - follow the trail you see on the ground in front of your wheels.

If there’s a sign or barrier in front of you banning entry then don’t insist on the GPX being right but respect the sign/gate. Log it to send to us later - after you’ve found an alternative route.

It’s critical that the TET tracks that you use are the most up to date ones. As suggestions and comments come in from TET Riders already on the Trail, new versions are created and uploaded. These updates are communicated to all Trans Euro Trail® Forum members by e-mail and via posts on the Trans Euro Trail® Facebook group. If in doubt, download the GPX file just before you travel.

 


 

MAPS

 

 

If you have the GPX track, you don’t actually need a map but we wouldn’t advise this. All a GPX track is is a georeferenced wiggly line and tells you nothing about where you are in relation to the rest of the world. A base map on your unit over which the GPX track of the TET will be shown is a must. If you want/have to detour around a section of the TET or just want to find the nearest campsite, fuel, shop or hotel, then this map will allow you to find a POI and take you there (although it can’t guarantee the cleanliness of the sheets or whether the fuel station is open!)

 

 

Maps for Garmin devices:

There are commercial base maps available from Garmin or national mapping agencies such as Ordnance Survey but these can cost tens if not hundreds of Euros to purchase. The alternative, and one the TET Linesmen all rate, is Open Street Mapping. This is a community based open source project that we love. There are many different presentations of the basic data available to download and can be found at:

 

 

Maps for Mobile Phone apps:

If you’re using a navigation app on a mobile phone, it will offer you both free and paid-for base mapping. If you don’t choose to use the ones that are offered then the choice of alternative free maps is perhaps wider for Android devices than iOS and a good source is:

 


 

Paper Mapping:

We all love to lay a big paper map out on the kitchen table to plan our adventures or unfold one on the trail to orientate ourselves or people we meet with what we’re up to. Somehow it’s a more human action and one our brains can comprehend more easily than a little screen. Many of the Linesman have given advice on the best paper maps for their countries. One can either use these or access a specialist map retailer or online e-tailer such as Amazon.

We can only touch on Navigation here. Head on over to the TET Forum for more info and discussion.