How to navigate The Crusher using OsmAnd.

In parts of The Crusher there’s may not be cell phone service, but thanks to OsmAnd you can have great maps on your phone the whole time.

While the base maps and routes in our Garmin and Wahoo computers are pretty good, it’s good to have a backup map on your phone. This gives you more detail when you need to double check things or if your main unit is lost while snorkeling.

Unlike Google or Apple Maps which do offline maps as a secondary feature and don’t display routes well, OsmAnd is designed to show routes and works with maps saved to your phone. It also works perfectly in airplane mode which is important for saving battery during an event like The Crusher.

Here’s how to set up OsmAnd with offline maps for navigating The Crusher:

  1. Download OsmAnd to your phone from Google Play or the Apple App Storeand launch the app.
  2. If prompted to download maps when first launching the app, install the maps for Michigan.
  3. Download the offline maps (if not already done):
    1. Android: MenuDownload MapsNorth AmericaUnited States of AmericaMichigan
    2. iOS: MenuMaps & ResourcesNorth AmericaUnited States of AmericaMichigan
    3. Touch the download icon for the Standard Maps. (If you have a paid version of OsmAnd consider installing the Contour lines and Hillshadesfor more map detail.)
  4. Configure OsmAnd to use the offline maps:
    1. Android: MenuConfigure mapMap source…Offline vector maps
    2. iOS: MenuMapMap type, OsmAnd under STYLES FOR OFFLINE MAPS.
  5. Get the GPS file into OsmAnd:

On Android:

  1. Get the correct The Crusher GPX file and email it to yourself.
  2. Save the file from the email.
  3. In OsmAnd, touch MenuConfigure MapGPX files…ADD MORE…then pick the file you saved from the email.
  4. Information about the GPX file will be displayed. Toggle the Show on map
  5. Click the back arrow a few times to get back to the main map and pan/zoom to the race area and you’ll see the route.

On iOS:

  1. Download the correct The Crusher GPX file from the website — or email it to yourself — and open the file.
  2. When viewing the file (it’s a bunch of XML / text), open it with Copy to OsmAnd Maps.
  3. When prompted by OsmAnd, import as GPX Trip.
  4. Information about the GPX file will be displayed. Toggle the Show on map
  5. Navigate back to the main map and pan/zoom to the race area and you’ll see the route.
  6. Test the offline maps by putting your phone in Airplane Mode and confirming the map still works. This shows you can use the map outside of cell phone range. (If it doesn’t work, be sure you have the offline maps selected.

While this was a basic overview of using OsmAnd and getting it set up with offline maps and a route for The Crusher, it does a whole lot more. From recording routes and turn-by-turn navigation to editing map data and sharing location, there’s a lot it can do. Give the online Help and Features a look for more information.

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