How to Find Off-Road Trails Using Online Maps and Resources

It's great if you know your way to you regular off-road trails, but what if you're branching out? Breaking out the ol' online map may help.

Getting lost in the woods or your favorite off-road trails may sound romantic, even like a country song come to life. But in reality it's a nightmare most trail raiders hate to face. Sometimes even trails you've been to a billion times get confusing and you end up lost.

Fortunately, the digital landscape has taken over and made mapping anything and everything a snap, so you really have no excuse to not know where you're going. Whether it's Google Maps or a trusty GPS, you're better off using handy resources to get you where you need to go, and get you back to civilization.

Here are a few ways you can find off-road trails using online maps and digital resources.

Smartphones and Tablets

Unless you're a time traveler or a cranky uncle, you probably have a smartphone of some sort. Pretty much every smartphone has a GPS feature that can help with locating and being located.

Head to your app store and look through the plethora of navigation apps that are available for free. From there you can download offline maps that can help you find the right off-road trails and get you back to home base when you're done romping around.

Tablets are helping to alleviate the overuse of phones when it comes to getting outside. You'll want to save some energy on your phone's battery if you need to call for help, so having a backup screen, like a tablet, will provide more security. Whatever tablet and operating system you go with, there are platform-specific apps that can help you stay on the right roads.

GPS Navigation Units

When GPS units first came out they were all the rage. Now, even Uber drivers just mount their phones above their dash and use them to navigate.

But a dedicated GPS unit is a solid choice to depend on when heading off-road. There are plenty of options available that include all-terrain and waterproof units, which are handy when you're out in the elements.

Navigation Software

Typical GPS applications that are used with local roads and highways don't hold up so well when it comes to finding your way in the wilderness. There are many types of software available that offer access to different mapping databases. Make sure to download the right maps so you can get to them offline out in the swamps or desert or woods.

There are now specific GPS navigation units available to offer some help to most off-roaders. Make sure to consider components like durability and access to the right maps when you're out on off-road trails.

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