How to navigate and which maps to take are – besides resupply planning and the question which hiking gear to take – essential questions in preparation for a long-distance hike. For the European long-distance trail E1 navigation and maps suggestions can be found online – with a little bit of effort.
In this post I want to sum up the essential and best information I could find for the Scandinavian section of the E1 while researching for my hike from the Danish/German border to the North Cape in 2018.
E1 navigation and maps – MAPS
Initially I wanted to carry paper maps as a backup for my mobile phone which I will use as my main navigation tool. While hiking through Denmark didn’t seem to be too big of a problem in regards to navigation (many towns and villages on the way) the areas in Sweden and Norway can be very remote. Due to missing trail markers in some sections navigation can be a challenge! The Norwegian section of the trail would be well covered by the Norge Serien – a hiking map of the scale 1:50000.
Unfortunately it would take 35 of these maps in total to cover the whole trail from Grövelsjön up to the North Cape. Weight and costs scared me off and I needed to find another navigation and map system.
Online resources for maps and GPS-Tracks
https://e1.hiking-europe.eu/en/e1/ – maybe the best source of information regarding the E1 with maps and GPX-Tracks for the whole trail from the North Cape to Sicily!
http://www.frikart.no/garmin/index.html – free maps for Garmin GPS from all of Europe!
http://www.freizeitkarte-osm.de/garmin/en/index.html – free OS map for Garmin BaseCamp and Garmin devices. Covers all of Europe!
www.norgeskart.no – Online map tool from Norway
http://travelingtosomewhere.com/resources/gpx-kml-files-e1-hike/ – the GPX-files from the first link already converted into KML-files
E1 navigation and maps – NAVIGATION
The European long-distance trail E1 is supposed to be marked in both directions. While there is a own symbol for the trail in most areas (a white x on black), the trail in Scandinavia usually follows local hiking trails and therefore uses their markers.
Here is an overview of the most famous local hiking trails from south to north:
- Horsens – Silkeborg
- Silkeborg – Arhus
Sweden, Norway, Finland:
How to navigate?
Navigation on the E1 in Scandinavia can be an issue as parts of the trail might not be very well marked. Most of the areas are very remote and it is essential to know how to navigate with maps and a compass.
E1 navigation and maps – MY NAVIGATION & MAP SYSTEM
For a while I am already using the App Pocket Earth Pro. which allows me to download maps in advance and use them offline. So far navigation with these maps have been quite helpful and together with the GPX-tracks I imported onto the maps from Denmark, Sweden and Norway this will be my navigation tool no. 1.
Garmin eTrex 30x
I have never used a handheld GPS for hiking before and I am curious how it goes. Especially for this trip and as a backup I bought me a Garmin eTrex 30x. Topo-maps from western Europe are already included and I will also upload the GPX-tracks mentioned above. The GPS will be my backup. Who knows? Maybe I find it more convenient and will use the GPS rather than the phone.
Additional I had a close look at the map and marked POIs in regards to resupply and accommodation ahead of time. For route planning I used the free Garmin software Basecamp in combination with the above mentioned frikart maps.
Back to the overview!