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Story 7 - Geo trekking with Andreas

· 8 min read


It feels like summer is finally here and it means that the sun and warmth will be with us for at least three months. What are You going to do? What do You want to see?

Story 7

Let us start this summer with a new inspiring interview. Recently, we have got in touch with Andreas P. Kaiser ( Not only is he a traveller himself, but he also wrote a whole book guide featuring OsmAnd review among others!


Our perception of the world is rooted in our childhood when we were easily impressed and experienced our first feeling of glory after discovering anything new. Do You remember those happy days?

'I was born on 27th December 1969. In spring 1970 my father bought a mobile home and my first trip dates back to the Easter holidays 1970. So I have been travelling for all my life. My parents went somewhere to the Italian Riviera near Finale Ligure in the spring of 1970. I can't remember any details about the trip, because I was only a few months old. The first trips that I really remember more or less in details took place in the early 1970s.'

Andreas also recollects his childhood experiences to answer what his favourite types of travelling are.

'As a child and teenager, I spent a lot of time travelling with my parents in a mobile home. My father was a teacher, so we were able to travel quite a few weeks each year during the school holidays. The beaches of Italy, Greece, and France were our destinations.

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As a young man in my thirties, I loved to travel to the Sahara desert in my expedition like built Land Rover Defender. While teaching I also was spending many weeks each year on those 4x4-expeditions. They ended because of terrorism in North African countries. Travelling there was simply too dangerous and the hijacking of a friend of mine in the Algerian Sahara ended this type of adventure for me overnight.

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I started travelling as an author for travel guides and wrote more than a dozen books about travelling in the USA, Turkey, Egypt and the French, German, Italian and Austrian Alps.

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Two years ago I crossed the Alps from Germany to Italy on foot, with a back bag, tent and camping stove. What an experience! So I discovered long-distance-hiking. I crossed the Alps once again one year later and in spring this year my wife and I hiked 160 km on the Rota Vicentina in the Southwest of Portugal. So hiking is my most favorite mean of travelling at the moment.'

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For every traveler it is always a tricky question which application or tool to use. That is why it is extremely helpful when explorers share their experiences. Andreas did, even more, he wrote a full-size guide on navigation! He made up his mind and chose OsmAnd in autumn 2018.

'The Paul-Pietsch-Verlage asked me to write a handbook about navigation with the Smartphone. Since then I have always used different GPSR hand-receivers to navigate. In preparation and researches for my book I tested many navigational apps. I finally ended up with OsmAnd, as the app, which fitted my navigational needs best.'

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We will not go on discussing how important the preparation is, because, let’s be honest, it has been noted in all our previous interviews. So, move along and just read about the process as described by Andreas!

'I did so using handheld GPSR before OsmAnd and meanwhile, I do it most times with OsmAnd only. Let me explain this with two examples. When I crossed the Alps on foot for the first time, I planned my trip with the computer, using OSM and the Garmin Software "Basecamp". I designed the track, marked important waypoints like shelters, fresh-water-springs, campgrounds or grocery stores near my route. I saved those data as a gpx-file and transferred it to my GPSR-device. So I didn't take any piece of paper-map on that trip. This spring, for the long-distance-hike in Portugal, I did the same pre-work but then I transferred the data to my Smartphone running OsmAnd. This system worked perfectly on tour and the same way like a full-blood GPSR.'

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Everyone tends to use some functions over others. OsmAnd will definitely suit the majority for it provides a great choice! Here Andreas will discuss his favs, but feel free to comment on the ones that are relevant for You! Do not be shy and always tell us what You do like and what can be improved from Your point of view.

'Well, there are only two most important functions of every navigational software: Show me where I am and show me how to get to where I want to be. Mostly it's enough for my needs to be shown by OsmAnd where I am. One glance at the map-display helps me decide whether to turn left, right or in whatever direction. I only use navigational directions in a rental car without Navi, very seldom outdoors, only for Geocaching or so.'

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During a trip, it is important to know that whatever happens, You are prepared. And here, be sure, we do not mean navigational tools! Mental preparation comes first! There has probably never been a trip that would go on as planned. Traveling, therefore, always involves stress. However, if everything could be planned, there would not be any captivating and sometimes hilarious stories to tell afterwards! It would not excite us that much!

'Funny or interesting story? Hmmm, as you know, I'm a teacher. A few weeks ago, spring had just begun, I stayed with my pupils in an outback-camp in the middle of nowhere. One afternoon we wanted to hike to an interesting place nearby and I found a path, a shortcut, on the OsmAnd screen. This was a really hard one because winter's snow had torn down many trees which made it difficult to follow the path. My pupil's mood was still good until we reached a small river which we had to cross. The little bridge, shown in OSM, was damaged and not to use. It was easier to cross the river barefoot, ice cold water up to the knees than going back. In this afternoon a running gag was created by my pupils, fitting every question, saying: ‘Our teacher has some kind of App…’ twisting their eyes.'

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Travels are easier with OsmAnd, which is a proven fact! Actually, Andreas mentioned that it has reduced the weight of his backpack. For our up substitutes GPSR that he had to carry around all the time! Every gram matters when it comes to mountain climbing. But one may state that GPSR holds battery longer than a smartphone. Fortunately, it is not necessarily true. Checking the instructions that go with the devices, it is easy to prove that both devices are equally lasting. However, we use our mobile devices for other matters, for instance, to make a phone call or to check the time. This directly impacts the ability of a device to preserve energy. Andreas, therefore, will not look at his smartphone every second!

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'Usually, I only look at it when I'm not sure which way to choose. Under those conditions, the battery lasts a full hiking day and more. BTW, I'm using an old Samsung Galaxy S7. If I'm logging my track the device will hold up to 10 hours. This is convenient. The batteries of my Garmin Montana 600 last for 8-10 hours, not more. So no difference to the Smartphone with OsmAnd running. Nevertheless, I always carry a powerbank with me. It also serves me as a flashlight.'

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Isn’t it wonderful to have a conversation with such a mature traveler? Being under the impression, we were extremely eager to hear his feedback on the app.

'I think to have a book written about the app is more than just a comment that I can give here within a few words. My advice for the team? Go on and thank you very much for the job you're doing.'

Thank You, Andreas! Be sure that we will! It has become our unofficial motto, to reach higher and when we get there to find a new peak to climb! Be with us, enjoy OsmAnd and share it with Your friends and fellow explorers.

Thank You. Keep calm and travel with OsmAnd!

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