Tracking On the road. Three nice solutions.

There are some really nice solutions for tracking while travelling: free of charge and with costs. We present three of them here.

Our current route in the Garmin Live-Tracker.

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We use the Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator, originally intended as an emergency system, but as a side effect it offers a nice tracking function. As an emergency system it works via GPS even where the smartphone has no reception. With an appropriate search and rescue contract, a rescue team would look for us in an emergency and help us. In remote areas like Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan or Mongolia this was a comforting thought for us (and our families and friends back home).

But the device plus the SOS features are not cheap. Within Europe it may not be necessary, but in more remote areas of the world it makes sense for us. Just for tracking we would not buy this device.

Die Navigations-App Calimoto

Another good tracking feature is our navigation app Calimoto. Since we are back in Europe, we no longer use a dedicated navigation system, but the app on the smartphone. We pay the full price (approx. 40 Euro / year) and thus have access to the map material of all countries).

Calimoto always finds the best routes and avoids cities. She advertises with “no more straight roads” and that is exactly what she delivers. The app can do what we as motorcyclists have always missed in physical devices. The following 4 modes are offered:

  1. Freeway
  2. Fastest route without highway
  3. Normal Curvy
  4. Smallest streets/super curvy

The operation is intuitive: either take a round trip around the location, or enter the destination and go. It is also possible to define further waypoints. This is especially useful if you want to go to a city, for example, or if you are looking for a nice little route, but want to switch to highway mode from waypoint X on so that you don’t have to stop at every suburban traffic light.

All in all, what we like about Calimoto is that we don’t have to plan a route in advance: Just enter the destination and everything else is free skating.

The Tracking App Polar Steps

The app tracks Polarsteps completely free of charge. You can choose between GPS (costs battery) and smartphone tracking, which is not always accurate. For me (Daniela) there are often straight lines between two recognized locations, while Wolfgang has had good experiences with Polarsteps. You can leave photos at the locations and even order a photo book after the trip. Nice idea and many, especially low-budget travelers use the app with good experiences.