Should we rely on our phone for navigation?

Should we rely on our phone for navigation?

From a BBC report (by Ross Cadie, Senior Mountain Safety Adviser at Mountaineering Scotland), a recent survey discovered that of 4000 participants 87% used mobile phones or GPS to navigate on hills and mountains, while 40% of those said that their device had stopped working while out and about.

Here are some important tips when using a phone to aid with your navigation in Cornwall:


Charge your phone – Make sure when you set out your phone is at 100% charge. With the apps needed for navigation purposes, your phone battery can quickly drain so it’s important not to start your trip unless your phone has full battery power.


Protect your phone – Although we don’t often get ridiculously cold temperatures in Cornwall, we do get a lot of rain. If your phone isn’t properly protected from the elements then when you’re in the middle of nowhere you may become a bit stuck if it stops working. Have protective casing in case your device is accidentally dropped and keep it well waterproofed.


Download your map – Ross from Mountaineering Scotland says, “When you go on the hills, it’s really super important to make sure you’ve downloaded the maps prior to going up the hill, so you’re not relying on your data. A lot of mountain rescue call outs are to do with getting lost in the hills where people have used their phone, they’ve used Google Maps, or other such things, and it relies on data. So they go up for their walk and then suddenly they lose their data and therefore they lose their mapping. So download maps.”


Extend your battery life – Think how you can extend your battery, such as closing down non-important apps and switching off your data use. Consider taking a battery charging pack for that extra boost if required and have the appropriate cables.


Learn how to use a map and compass – If your device gets wet, damaged or you run out of battery life, you need a plan B. Make sure you have a map of the area(s) you’re venturing out in and a decent compass. And more importantly, know how to use them.

A handy guide can be found here on the Ordnance Survey – https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/beginners-guide-to-using-a-compass/


Thanks to Ross and the BBC for the key info.