Here we publish our tips and tricks on an irregular basis.

We always learn new things. Either through our own experiences (and especially through our mistakes) or through the experiences of other travellers. Nice, if you can profit from it.


Once upon a time: We used to have a laptop stowed behind the passenger seat, connected to a separate small screen on the dashboard, a complex software (Touratech: was really good), and a huge tangle of cables with power, mouse, GPS. That did the trick, except that - at this time - there were no shock-resistant hard disks at that time and they just gave up on off-road rides....

Today it looks completely different: We have an I-Pad (only one cable for charging) with integrated GPS, which is secured with a special holder (RAM mount, note the  name!) and can be operated by driver and co-driver without any problems.

In addition to navigation services, the pad also fulfills other purposes, and with W-Lan access to the Internet is possible without any problems. A SIM card could also be integrated, we haven't needed one yet.

As navigation software we once bought the programs NAVIGON for road navigation (this has now been discontinued, but the maps are still sufficient) as well as the TOMTOM and TOMTOM GO for Europe and USA/Canada. Both are really good map-wise, they even have some small side roads on them, or Forest Roads and other tracks.

For off-road and also the long USA/Canada trip we use the APP Guru (formerly Galileo), where the very good Open Street Maps (OSM) can be loaded according to your needs.

This app can record tracks, which can then be used in kml or gpx format, e.g. for embedding into the homepage. Or for sharing with colleagues and for viewing in Google Earth.

But Guru can also do street navigation. This is not as great as TOMTOM, you have to look more at the map, because the direction announcements are not beyond all doubt. Ok for not so complex situations.

Good however is the possibility to set (and save) waypoints quickly and easily, and to calculate the route from the current position to the next waypoint. This is useful for estimating certain distances.

There is also a route planning tool, but this is not top. It is recommended to plan more complex tours in Google Maps.

For the travel preparation Guru (or as alternative Mapsme, which we do not know very well) is top for us, since goals /waypoints / points of interest for the journey from travel guides, Internet or Google Earth can be input very simply in the App.

The search function is also helpful: if you need a pharmacy or a campsite, simply enter the query and OSM searches what is recorded in the map.



On the internet and the app-world , you will find a huge variety of tools.
The main app for mostly free camping sites is the iOverlander, which displays sites worldwide.
For the USA we need the app USFS&BLM, where all Public Land sites (many of them free or very cheap) are indicated. Further possibilities are RV Parky or one of the many "Boondocking" apps, which show free sites.

Don't forget the official apps of the various national park organizations, such as US Parks or National Parks (USA) or Parks Canada.

In Europe we use Google Maps, Park4Night, promobil Parking Radar or the App of ADAC.


If you want to know which stars, planets, galaxies or star images can be observed in the sky, you should download one of the corresponding apps (preferably on a pad).

And: From the naked eye you can see a lot with little or no light pollution. But take a good, bright binocular in front of your eyes, the abundance of additional stars is truly enormous. And also the full or half moon looks different. Ideally use a tripod, or on a warm beach lie in the sand and stare upwards.......... 


Here we found the app "All Trails", which contains a lot of hiking trails in different lengths and degrees of difficulty, as well as the length, the altitude, a track and many photos. This helps with the planning.

Also important for hikes are the suggestions of parks or visitor centers or the corresponding homepages.

For us as «not combat hikers and mountain goats», it is important to know if there is not suddenly a very difficult climbing section;-)