Navigating the road less travelled with ExplorOz

ExplorOz traveller for track logging and navigation

ExplorOz traveller is a recent app from the people who set up the ExplorOz website. The app allows trip planning, A to B navigation and track logging. The latest is especially handy for friends, family and yourself as it allows to see back where you are have been. In general, I have found the app very user-friendly. Here, I will extend on its features and how I use them for my trip.

Using ExplorOz for trip planning

The maps on the ExplorOz app contains the normal road network but also 4wd tracks and points of interest. The base offline map is free and for the price of a case of beer you have a premium offline pack with 8 zoom levels. This provides you with a lot of detail to plan your route to your next destination or to find new 4wd tracks. You can add selected points on the map your trip planner. Next, you can make a nice planning of a trip to your next destination. When I go to a new campsite, I use the trip planner to make sure I see all the fun things along the route. In addition, I use it to discover new 4wd tracks along the way. The points of interest can be literally anything, from a toilet to a historic site. You can also add your own and keep them private or share them with the community. Once you have settled on the planning of the trip, you can use the navigation feature to get to the spots.

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ExplorOz Navigation
ExplorOz Navigation Screen

Using ExplorOz for track logging

One of my favourite features is the track logging add-on. You can buy this add-on but it is free if you are a member, what I would recommend as it gives you access to a 4wd community and heaps of information on their website. Track logging logs your movement in the form of GPS coordinates and sends this to the servers. This information can be kept for your own records or you can share it with friends/family so they can see on a map where you are at the moment. The app collects the GPS position every second (you can set this any way you want) and sends this to the ExplorOz server when you have an internet connection.

Data consumption

Some of you might be aware of this but once you are living on the road, your data consumption changes. Uploading all those photo’s and video’s cost a lot of data. As does download information. The other thing I like about the app that it is built with a low data consumption in mind. Track logging does not require much data exchange and updating, for example, the places feature is only a couple mb’s.

Adding your treks to a trek database

So you can log your own route but what if you come across and awesome 4wd track or scenic drive and would like to share this with everyone? This is something you can do with the app as well. This is very handy. Some of you might remember an earlier facebook post about a Nymboida river campsite. A lot of you had trouble to find it as the route is not well indicated on all maps. With ExplorOz I can now just share this route with you, making it a bit easier for you but also making sure you are in for some nice drives. As my focus is the road less travelled, you will find that I often go for the unsealed roads, often the more scenic roads and I like to share the best ones with you. You can use this feature yourself as well for if you want to share a nice trek with a friend or family member (or maybe with me).

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Treks database
Treks database

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Information
Information Screen

So how do I plan?

At the moment I am using my Camp 8 for finding new campsites and ExplorOz for the route to the place. I also have some paper maps but I often find them incomplete or dated. I am also a member of several facebook groups and 4wd forums and use this information as well. However, with too many resources you find that there is sometimes an information overload. It is then just a matter of “I will see where I end up”. Ultimate freedom without a planning. Also, in this case, the ExplorOz app is very useful as I will end up somewhere and then can see if there are any campsites nearby. You can find more information on the ExplorOz website which is also very resourceful for the camping and 4wd enthusiast.

A big thank you to the team of ExplorOz for letting me to try their new app!

Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to share your way of navigating around Australia.

See you on the road less travelled!

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