In the not-so-distant past, if people wanted to navigate an area they were unfamiliar with, they needed to get directions from a local resident or purchase a paper map at the local convenience store. Today when we need to find a destination, we simply ask for an address or google a type of business, ask Siri to plug it into the navigation on our phone, and away we go!

Even in the age of technology and all the information you could imagine at your fingertips, wherever you go on your mobile device, there are some places that wifi and cell towers do not reach. If you are planning to go all out on an RV wilderness camping adventure into a remote location, you are going to need a map you can use without an internet connection.

So where can you find a map to help you navigate these places that cell and navigation service cant reach? If you don’t have a fancy satellite GPS system, you can still make use of online maps even when your phone is offline.

Here is a guide to help you use google maps while offline.

  • First of all, you will of course want to be in the google maps app on your phone.
  • Second, enter the area you want a map for into the white search bar at the top.
  • Third, click/touch the menu button. (The three lines floating in the left side of the white search rectangle)
  • Fourth, a drop down menu will pop up, choose the offline areas option.
  • Step five, click on the area you want to download and then hit the download button on the wi-fi connection. To download using your mobile data plan go to offline settings and choose that option. The map will automatically save to your phone for one month.

When the map is fully downloaded and saved you are ready to use it while offline.

Note: this is the procedure for iOS. You can download offline maps to android phones as well. The process is almost the same: you choose an area, choose the menu, look for save map offline, it will ask you to save the map, it will confirm the map is saved and ask you to name it. To find the map you will need to go into your profile by clicking the person icon on the homepage in the app. Once in that menu, find the offline map section and click on it to find a list of maps you have saved.

Using Hard Copy Maps

It is always in your best interest to have a paper hard copy of a map when you are in a remote territory. Yes, they do still make those, and yes, you can buy them in stores or even online. Many a park ranger and outdoor rescue worker use paper maps and even help those who find themselves lost with them.

Maps issued by Parks and Recreation/The Forest Service/The Bureau of Land Management will give detailed info on the conditions of all roads during certain times of the year. If a road is prone to becoming washed out or blocked there will be a side note to make travelers aware and suggest an alternate route. This is a feature you won’t find on a map saved to a phone, So having a paper copy map of your remote location is always a good plan.

Boondocking (RV camping unplugged in a remote area) is a fun and amazing way to experience some beautiful destinations. Make sure you have an emergency kit, you let people know your travel plans, and you are sure you know how to get around in the area with reliable maps.

For more tips on RV camping or information on RV rental please feel free to browse our website or contact us anytime. NW Adventure Rentals has a luxurious fleets of motorhomes and travel trailers, conveniently located in the Pacific Northwest at our Seattle location! Let us help you have a great outdoor vacation!