I downloaded the RidewithGPS app but cannot use the offline version unless I pay for the subscription. Also I don't have a data plan so I can't just let the app run. Not to mention how much battery life that would take.
Does anyone know of any apps that will run the route file offline for free? Is it possible to load it into google maps?
I have a paper map as a backup but that takes a lot of stopping, checking etc.
Is it worth buying a gps unit like the garmin etrex 20? What are you all using for navigation?
I enrolled in the the monthly plan for Ride with GPS. It cost around $8.50 for July and then you can suspend the service before August to avoid subsequent payments. It will be worth it to use Ride with GPS to have all Matthew's notes and waypoints on the map. You can download the maps onto your phone for off-line use, if you have available memory. I already have Garmin Earthmate and GAIA GPS on my phone, with downloaded maps. You can use all these apps in airplane mode and low power mode to save the battery. Just turn on the phone when you need to resolve a routing issue.
I loaded Matt's shared route files into my Garmin 810 and will generally try to navigate with those. Where the resolution is inadequate on twisty single track trails, my phone apps will resolve issues.
I was able to use Garmin Basecamp to make 20 route files for the entire loop (they had to be less than 500 points each if memory serves) and load them into my old Garmin Etrex Vista HCx (precursor to the Etrex 20). I don't think I will bring that though, lacking a foolproof mount with bags taking up handlebar space. The Etrex gives many hours of operation to each pair of AA batteries, but I'm bringing a 15000 milliamp-hour USB charger that should charge all my electronics anyway, and can be recharged at a motel or campsite.
You can download Google maps onto your phone. I'm not sure how to import gpx files into Google maps. I don't think Google would snap your route onto some of Matthew's obscure tracks if you tried to make a Google route.
With Strava you could replicate the BT700 route on your desktop computer and then navigate it using the Strava app on your phone. You can manually tell it where you want the route to go, in case Strava doesn't choose the same roads as Matt.
I think the easiest option is to use the Ride with GPS app, followed by the printed cue sheet and google maps on your phone, if you don't have a cycling GPS to follow the files that Matthew has shared.
It no longer supports Google Maps offline, but it has OSM and a bunch of other maps available. You can download the BT700 routes as a gpx file from RidewithGPS, but sure to check off include POI. The app will display the route and POIs. You also have to download the map tiles before you go offline. This can take quite a bit of time, but I would recommend downloading as much detail as you have time for and that your device can hold. It does not do turn by turn navigation. It simply shows where you are on the map relative to a route line.
I was not aware that the offline function of the ride with gps app was a paid service. Sorry about that. But I guess they need to pay the bills as well.
For my ride, I downloaded the 4 route files on my Garmin Edge 820 - it's not ideal to upload a big 715km route at once. When I completed one section I just switched to navigating the next one. It's pretty vital to have some sort of handlebar navigation for this route, especially on the trail sections.
I then had the whole route downloaded on the a tablet (I don't have a smart phone) on the ride with gps mobile app and available offline (I have a paid subscription). I would use this to check in on certain points of interest like food options in a town.
And as another back-up I had Tabi's offline map suggestion.
The other benefit of having the route downloaded with the Points of Interest is that in the evening when resting you can review your ride for the next day to I.D. any places you want to go to or possible route detours if needed.
If you have an Android device (apparently there's an iPhone version too, I've just never tried it), I've been using OsmAnd for my last few trips and really liked it. You won't get the different icon graphics for the POIs imported through ridewithgps but for routing a simple gpx it works great with the offline vector tiles.