The word “adventure” summons thoughts of the unknown. But knowing where you are and where you are going can be a challenge. Here are five tips to make your trip both more and less adventurous.
1) Never underestimate the power of a good paper map. They always boot up, they never run out of batteries and they complement all your other navigation equipment. DeLorme or Benchmark state map books are excellent and contain most dirt roads.
2) Learn the many ways to use track logs, both in planning a route and following it. But just because a line on your GPS indicates you can go someplace doesn’t always mean you can. Build alternate routes or bail-out tracks in addition to your main course.
3) There are tons of open-source online databases of rides, open roads, trails and maps. “Borrowing” someone else’s ride may be fine for some, but stitching together your own ride is even better. Using openstreetmap.org, ohvtrails.net and earth.google.com enables you to find just about any route.
4) This may sound obvious, but never adventure into the unknown with just a half-tank of gas. Once you are beyond return-trip fuel range, it’s amazing how many impassable ditches, fences or gates (ones you never saw on Google Earth) block your path.
5) The SPOT Connect GPS Messenger is like having a riding buddy with you at all times, even when you’re alone, but you have to know how to use it correctly. With its easily accessible, shared web page, friends and family tracking your progress and the security of the 911 button, SPOT really is priceless (“SPOT Connect GPS Messenger”).