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Six ways to plan a route for your next adventure

SuuntoRun — 15 September 2020

Sync the route and set forth with confidence.

An essential part of outdoor adventure is planning. The better you are at it, the smoother, safer and more relaxed your trips. 

Of course, there are many aspects to planning, from understanding the topography and distances, through to knowing your group and managing rest breaks. However, knowing your route is key. When that’s sorted everything else is more likely to flow. 

Whether you want to start from scratch, use an existing route or something in between, here are six different ways to create a route for your Suunto watch to guide your next adventure.

Suunto app’s route planning capabilities are very versatile. Depending on the situation you can use the most suitable option – even on the go as all these work on your mobile.

Plan a route from scratch with Suunto App

Planning a route from scratch is just one of the many route planning options on Suunto app.


Plan a route from scratch

Just opening the map and starting to draw your own route is probably the first route planning method that comes to people’s minds. Just mark the starting point and key points along the way to draw the desired route to your destination. 

Tip: To help the route planning process you can choose whether you want to follow “any road or path”, “all road types”, “all road types avoiding hills”, “paved roads” or “free drawing”. Using the most suitable option will make planning more efficient.


Plan using heatmaps

Suunto Heatmaps show the tracks frequently used by Suunto community all over the globe, based on millions of activities. Turn the heatmaps on and choose the desired activity type. Suunto heatmaps are sport specific. This allows you to differentiate between activities, for example, running and trail running. Heatmaps can be on while planning routes. This enables you to see where the popular trails are.

Tip: Suunto app also has “My Tracks”, a new feature showing where you have been during the last week, month or a year. Compare your own tracks with the general heat to spot areas and trails you haven’t yet been to.

Suunto app recommends popular running routes for your location.

Suunto app recommends popular routes for your location.


Use popular routes on Suunto app

When browsing Suunto app’s map view, you can swipe up a menu of route recommendations: the app automatically generates popular routes for the location you have selected. Simply select an activity type, see what others have been doing and select one you like.

Tip: If you want to see more route options, zoom out or change the location for your search and tap ‘Search here’.


Use an existing activity

Would you like to do that awesome run from last year again? Or has your friend been to an interesting trail? You can use existing activities to create routes. All you need to do is tap the three dots on top right of the activity screen and select ‘Save route’. The route then opens in Suunto app’s route planner so you can name the route and sync it to your Suunto watch. 

Tip: If you want to find your old activities more easily,, add a trail name, location etc in the description field. You can then search for them in your Diary on Suunto app and create routes for navigation.

You can sync routes to Suunto app from Suunto compatible route services.

You can sync routes to Suunto app from Suunto compatible route services, like Wikiloc, and get access to their planning tools and route libraries.


Sync from a partner service

Suunto app is compatible with several route planning services, like komootFatmap, Wikiloc, Twonav Land, Openrunner and2bulu (in China). Connect your Suunto app account with the partner service to get routes created there to be synced with your Suunto app – and your watch. You can find thousands and thousands of routes in the partner services and also use their tools, like route libraries, desktop apps and big screen solutions. (Learn more about Suunto's partners.)

Tip: Some of our route service partners are included in Suunto Value Pack. Learn more about it here


Import a GPX file

Have you spotted an interesting route in the media or perhaps a race organizer has offered you the race route as a GPX file? To get that route on your watch, save it in a location you can access on your phone and open it using Suunto app. (Learn how to import a GPX file on Suunto app for iOS or Android.)

Tip: You can also share or save your own routes as GPX files using Suunto app: Go to the list of your routes and click the sharing button. Then select whether you want to share the route or save the GPX file.