There’s a lot of preparation to do before you go on an adventure. From finding the perfect destination, planning your route and checking the surrounding area, to deciding on the right gear and figuring out any potential path closures to get around. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running, mountain biking, hiking or road cycling, you always have to make a plan.
Step forward Komoot. Not only does this app take the stress out of planning your trip, it can also inspire where you go, connect you with other users’ local knowledge and work out the best route for your specific style of running, hiking or riding.
While we might only just be catching on to the Komoot way of adventuring here in the UK, we’re behind on the trend. The app has already got 10 million routes to explore all over Europe and is frequently Germany’s top performing app. Here’s how to make the best of this super handy adventure tool…
Know Your Route
More than anything else, Komoot is a dedicated routing tool. Once you know the region that you want to explore, its clever technology takes over and does the rest. Tell the app what sport you’re going to do, what fitness level you’re looking for and any landmarks you’d like to hit along the way, and it will create an ideal route made just for you.
Many mapping systems only indicate roads and trails, however Komoot goes a step further. The selector considers road surfaces, and can accommodate custom inputs like scenic views, points of interest, restaurants, or other mid-route waypoints. Even better than this, it can actually incorporate a mix of paved and unpaved roads, as well as folds in pathways, bike lanes, and trails to your route upon request.
Each suggested route is accompanied by an elevation profile and can be viewed in a number of different map formats from topographical charts to satellite imagery overlays. Once your on your way, the turn-by-turn voice navigation means that you can be confident that you won't be losing your way at any point.
If you want to download maps to your phone for offline use, you have to pay per area but it’s not much – the package for the whole world costs just US$29.99 (£21.40) and you get given one offline area for free when you download the app initially. Once you’ve created a route, you can share it with other users. Check out the route we created with our mates at Mpora below.
Share The Love With Highlights
The best days in the outdoors have a ‘woah moment’, that second when you finish your hill climb, turn that corner and discover a view that takes your (probably already heightened) breath away. Komoot is all about encouraging each other and sharing the love, so one of it’s coolest features allows you to share those moments with other people on the app.
The highlights function on the app allows you to mark the most amazing parts of your routes for other users to explore and use as a guide of the best things to see and do, when planning their own trip. Imagine taking the most wanderlust inspiring accounts from Instagram and pinning those shots onto a handy map so you can find them for yourself.
"Share your best moments with other explorers"
Not only is this a lovely way to share your best moments with other explorers, it’s also an easy way to point out the not so great parts of a route for people’s attention. Bike up an intermediate MTB route, to find out it’s actually much harder than expected? Create a highlight and let people know. Discover that the once gravel path is now paved over? Take a quick picture and pin it onto the app and you’ll be warning all the future people who want to hike that route.
Even if you’re just playing around on the app yourself and not set on a certain place for a future adventure yet, the highlight feature is still a great little feature for your research. Exploring an area on the app and checking out all the highlights people have already pinned can not only give you a feel of what to expect, it can also provide a sense of what kind of sport it lends itself to and what to look out for if you to choose to visit.
Our favourite aspect of Komoot is its community, where you can follow other users and their activity.
This is an app where being dedicated to adventures and sharing your knowledge to help other users pays off. Each time you map out a route or add a handy tip or highlight, Komoot rewards you with points. Awards are given to the people who’ve contributed the most to mapping out the local area for their sort and experts can earn “Pioneer" status, which indicates that they’re valuable contributors to the community, and particularly worth following.
The more that users share their routes and swap tips, the more that the platform becomes a source of inspirational content for all its keen outdoor enthusiasts. With routes already popping up all over the England, Scotland and Wales, we predict that Europe’s most popular outdoor app is going to be taking over the UK very soon.