For anyone contemplating climbing Ben Nevis, then the right map and a compass is a must as well as the skills to use them. We do recommend using modern technology alongside the traditional maps, with GPS and smartphones being a sensible addition to any hill walker’s kit list. However, they should never be your only form of route finding.
Ordnance Survey Landranger Maps For Ben Nevis
The Landranger maps are the pink maps, and we don’t particularly recommend them due to the lack of detail. They cover a wide area, and are useful for planning but of limited use for navigation on the ground.
Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps For Ben Nevis
This is better! The 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey Explorer maps are the standard for mountain navigation and we’d recommend you get a copy of the Ordnance Survey Explorer 392 Ben Nevis Map – which along with the Mamores and Grey Corries – makes this a map you’ll want to keep on using!
While the OS Explorer is the standard, we have a soft spot for the beautiful Harvey’s Mountain Maps. They show a wider area than the Explorer series while still providing a good level of detail unlike the Landranger maps.
National 3 Peak Maps for Ben Nevis
We recommend the Ordnance Survey National 3 Peak Map as it shows all three mountains completely, unlike some series of maps that only demonstrate parts of the mountains (such as only showing the Llanberis and Ranger Paths on Llanberis).
Finding Your Way on Ben Nevis
The right navigational skills are a must – with the link below to a free online course on navigational skills. One other thing to remember with Ben Nevis is getting off the summit – with this post – detailing the route.
Ben Nevis GPS map
A GPS Device is a welcome addition to the walker’s rucksack with some of the newer ones actually displaying an OS map on their screens. However, this is as a secondary navigation option to your map and compass. We often use GPS on the hill as it’s simply quicker to locate ourselves, but we also know how to use our map and compass when we need to. Though it is a danger to rely on them, become complacent and less skilled in the use of the map and compass simply due to lack of practice.
For a quick location fix, then your smartphone can these days do everything a GPS device can do – though will often be much more delicate. We’ve ruggedised our high end smartphone with an Otterbox case and we also take a power bank to keep it powered up, but that’s mainly as we depend on it to take photos and as a phone rather than any need to keep it powered as a GPS device.
We use the OS Maps on the phone as you get a free digital download with all new Explorer maps (if only they’d back dated it!) The app itself isn’t that special, but it’s simply excellent value. Their online map subscription is also a good deal for keen walkers at around £23 a year to access every OS Map a walker will need.
Unfortunately, you cannot upload a GPX File to the app without paying for one of these subscriptions.