How to use the BRMB Backroad Navigator

BRMB Backroad Navigator app does so much that we decided to put together this Navigator 101 tutorial to showcase the main features.  If you don’t already own the app, click here to download from google play or here to download from Apple’s App store.

You can read through the whole tutorial from the beginning  or click the links below to fast-forward to the section that applies to you.


Getting Started

Get started with the Backroad Navigator App by following these download instructions and getting to know the features this powerful GPS app has to offer.

App Installation

Step 1) Download the BRMB Backroad Navigator App and install it on your smartphone or tablet.

  • iOS BRMB Navigator for iOS
  • Backroad Navigator for Android

Step 2) Once the app is installed, create your login. Creating a login is mandatory and enables you to save your trip data (more about this later).

Step 3) Choose the basemap of your choice.


Step 4) Adventure Layers

There are up to 11 adventures included with the BRMB Backroad Navigator App.
For android users, you have automatic access to all adventure layers.

For iOS users, you have a choice to purchase one adventure at a time or get all the adventures.

Please note that we have updated our iOS pricing to just $9.99 for All Adventures. Watch the video below to get the finer details on adventure layer pricing on iPhone.

There are up to eleven interchangeable adventures including hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, ATVing, and paddling, depending on the province. You can toggle them on and off for as little or as much map detail as you desire.

You can access the adventure layers by clicking on the layers icon on the bottom right of your app navigation.

Create an offline map with Backroad Navigator

In addition to the ability to view each adventure layer, another helpful feature in the app is the ability to record and download a map that you can use in the backcountry outside of cellular service.

BRMB Backroad Navigator allows you to plan your trip before you go by selecting the area you are about to explore, choosing the scale of map you need for your trip, and downloading it to your device so you can use it when you are off the grid.

Please note: You MUST create your offline map while you are in range of cell service or Wi-Fi.

To show you how this app can help you explore the great outdoors, we have put together a how-to guide for planning a hiking trip with BRMB Navigator.

Step 1) Search for your Adventure Location
There are two ways to find the area you want to visit. From the home page, you can open the maps and scroll to the desired location. Make sure you have your desired adventure switched to “On” in the Layers menu (in this case, Trail Adventures.)

Alternately, you can select the search option from the home page or map screen. Select the Category drop-down menu and choose Trail Adventures. Then type in the area you are looking for – for example, Mount Seymour Park. Select the area and the BRMB Navigator will drop a pin for you onto the map.

Step 2) Choose an Adventure (Trails)
Once you are focused in on a particular area, and you have Trail Adventures turned on in the Layers menu, you can choose which trail you wish to travel.

Both the trailhead and the trail track will appear on the maps. Clicking on the trailhead will allow you to bring up a trail description. These descriptions include everything you would expect from a Backroad Mapbook, including distance, elevation gain, difficulty, access, highlights and more.

Step 3) Record an Offline Map
In most cases, your hike will take you into an area without Wi-Fi or cell coverage. After all, getting away from it all is usually the point of heading out on the trail. For this reason, you will have to create an offline map that you can access once you are out of service. Luckily, this is quite easy.

Turn on any additional Adventure Layers you wish to record for offline use before you click the Create Offline Map button. After you have your Adventure layers turned on — click the two arrows pointing down in your screen’s top right corner and select your desired area and click Next in the upper right corner.

Step 4) Define Zoom / Scale Level
Once the area is defined you can then select your desired zoom level (at the bottom of screen). Note that the higher the level of zoom, the more space your map will take up on your phone or tablet and the longer it will take to download. For an idea on the file size,look to the left of the zoom toggle to see the estimated file size.

Step 5) Save your Map
The next step is to name your map and click Next to download your offline map to your device.

To use your offline map click the Layers button, where you will see the provincial Basemap you have subscribed to, your Adventure layers as well as your saved Offline Maps. To view your offline map, make sure you have your offline map and your Adventure Layer toggled to On (green). This will tell your device to read the map locally instead of searching for a cell or Wi-Fi signal.

You can also easily delete or rename offline maps by selecting the Manage button next to the Offline Maps title in the Layers Menu.

Making and Viewing Tracks

Now that you have a fully functional, detailed map to guide you, you can head out on the trail and record a track for future reference.

Step 1) Creating a Track
Once you are on the trail, press the Track button at the bottom centre of the app interface to begin your track. The app will then proceed to drop a breadcrumb trail based on your movement. When you are done tracking your trip, simply click the Track button to OFF to stop recording.

Step 2) Creating a Waypoint
At any point during your trip you can create a Waypoint by pressing the Mark button at the screen’s bottom right corner. You can also add photos, video or audio to your Waypoint. This is a great tool for recording and keeping track of points of interest along your trip, including trailheads, scenic lookouts, waterfalls or other features.

Once you are back in data or Wi-Fi range your track will be automatically uploaded to the BRMB Backroad Navigator Webmap in addition to your phone. However, you will get a sync error message notifying you that your trips will only be saved locally to your device when you are out of cell range or Wi-Fi. But once you get back to cell range, your trips will be synced and archived automatically for you to access at any time.

This handy feature backs up your tracks and trips to make them available to you even if your phone is lost, broken or replaced.

Step 3) To view a track you have created, open the My Trips tab (found under Tools on your screen’s bottom left corner or from the app’s main menu). Here you will find a map image centred around your track, along with additional data such as distance, average speed, elevation gain and more. You can also edit or delete your tracks, or share them on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Me

To find your current GPS location on the map, click the Follow Me button.The Follow Me functionality will center the map on your current GPS location, and keep panning and centering the map as you move down a trail, route or road.

Plan your Trip with the all-new Web Map
We know it’s hard to plan your trip on a small screen. That is why we have created the Backroad Navigator Web Map for easy trip planning and map viewing on your computer. This bonus feature is part of your App subscription, allowing you to view, create, edit and plan trips. The Web Map is also where your trips recorded on your device sync to when you are in cell or Wi-Fi range.

Click Here to Login to the Webmap for Android

Click Here to Login to the Webmap for iOS

Check out the video below to get more details on how to use this robust trip planning and archiving tool.


Other Features

From the home page of the app, clicking on the top left corner of your screen will bring up several useful features. This includes a Weather link as well as an Information section where you can view frequently asked questions or connect with Backroad Mapbooks’ support staff.

Want more info? Click here to download the app help guide! For those of you who already have the app, we hope this quick tutorial will help you get the most out of it.

You can also click here for more How to Videos.

For those who do not have Backroad Navigator app, we hope you consider getting your hands on the leading GPS navigation and mapping app for Canadian outdoor adventure! At less than $1 per month, per province, our industry-leading maps have never been more sleek, lightweight or affordable.

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