Mostly I just head out with a few friends and we just kinda explore and see what we find. No agenda, just kinda go. If I find I spot I like but we don't stop I'll mark it on my GPS for a different time.
For me, it's a combination of things. The destination or general area might be because of something I saw online somewhere. Oftentimes, researching one thing will lead to other things of interest in the same area. I'll do a little map recon first with Google Earth, to see what the area is like and to look at potential campsites, then I'll check iOverlander for potential campsites as well. I like to have a pretty good general plan of where I'm going and what I'm doing, but I also try to keep things loose enough for spontaneity.
We use Backcountry Navigator on our Android tablet and phone. Download areas before we leave home and use it offline out in the bush/trail. Topo, Open Trail, and satellite imagery if one chooses. I'll use my phone as a wifi hotspot if needed to download map tiles. Or failing that, set the app to record our tracks until we get into a service area.
Have been using it since around 2010 or so. And we can set waypoints for future trips...
Lots of great ideas here. I like reading forum reports on trips others have taken. I also like heading out with friends and exploring new stuff. We also pick a the newest travel guide and see where we want to go. Being in Oklahoma there isn't many off the road trails for us to take, so its nice to have the Ozarks close by. One day I will make it back to the PNW to explore again. Was stationed at Whidbey Island in the 90's (that was painful) really want to bring my wife out there so she can see how beautiful it is. Then back to Oklahoma where we don't have to be PC.
Last Edit: Apr 18, 2018 12:55:09 GMT -8 by okt4rcpl
2016 4Runner Trail Classic Silver 1" Cornfed front Spacer Falken Wildpeak AT3W Canvasback Cargo Liner GOBI Stealth Rack Front 42" Curved 240W CREE LED light bar two 8" Single Row CREE LED light bar on back. Cup holders in bumper
I like caltopo.com for making GPS tracks and then I export them to the Backcountry Navigator app on my phone. They both have USFS topo maps which is great because a lot of other map sources have the road numbers wrong or give you a name instead of a number so it doesn't match the signage.
For general info a lot of times I'll use It's a motorcycle website but a lot of what they do can be done on 4 wheels too and they're some busy dudes.
Last Edit: Jul 2, 2018 7:18:23 GMT -8 by razvedchik
Post by Parker1313 on Feb 10, 2020 13:52:13 GMT -8
DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer Maps
They were bought by Garmin a few years ago but can be purchased on Amazon and other sites. They are by state and probably the best maps you can find, tons of detail. I do 95% of all route planning with them. We have them for any state we travel to. I also like Garmin Base Camp for plotting my trip.
I like to watch YouTube for ideas. But use Google Maps as a starting point and then plot in GaiaGPS. I also will carry my Gazetteer as a back-up if I am out just driving around with no real plan ahead of time. I did use iOverlander on my recent trip to Wisconsin to find camping ideas and since it was 24deg and winter found some really nice empty places. My Gaia map has a few tracks in other areas of the country that I would like to get to sooner than later.