Day 67: Ulaanbaatar , Pr-app-aration

Soviet Military Maps Pro.
Soviet Military Maps Pro.

As a companion to my Nom-Ekhe language notes, I’ve already loaded up my iPhone with language apps.

There's the Mongol Keyboard (opens new window), the Collins English-Mongolian Dictionary, the offline Mongolian <> English Dictionary + Vocabulary trainer (opens new window), and GoStudy Mongolian Cyrillic for iOS.

To this, I’ve added a bunch of maps.

Gaia GPS Pro and the accompanying Topo Bundle, Topo Maps+ (opens new window) (6 Month Map Pass), the Theodolite (opens new window) Augmented Reality Viewfinder, and MapTool – GPS, Compass, Altitude, Speedometer, UTM, MGRS and Magnetic Declination (opens new window). I hope that last one will provide a useful companion to my paper map of the Gobi.

My new Android is also fully loaded. Using Ride With GPS (opens new window) on my laptop, I’ve split my route into one- or two-day chunks, aiming for up to 100km per day.

After emailing these to myself as GPX files, I can open them in Soviet Military Maps Pro (opens new window). This process is prone to error and the maps themselves require a lot of storage space. Sometimes I’m not even really sure what I’m looking at! But I figure that they could be useful if I run out of water, or encounter snow or sand storms that radically change the landscape.

I've already dabbled in wild-camping, but I feel there's more to learn where survival is concerned.

So I've added Knots 3D, How to Tie Knots 3D, the SAS Survival Guide and the Annoying Frequencies – Hearing Test and Dog Whistle (opens new window). I hope the Mongol wolves can’t tell the difference!

And finally, some music to keep me motivated.

Kenny Loggins: Danger Zone and Icehouse: Man of Colours.

I’m not sure whether downloading apps really counts as preparation, but the pre-flight anxiety is kicking in!

And the bill! The grand total comes to... $240! So that’s where all my money is going!!

Still, I reckon it’s better to be over prepared, than under. I’m just not sure whether smartphone apps are a suitable substitute for real skills. I guess there's only one way to find out.

App costs
Mongolian Keyboard $1.46
Mongol Keyboard $1.91
Collins English-Mongolian Dictionary $22.15
Mongolian <> English Dictionary + Vocabulary trainer $5.60
GoStudy Mongolian Cyrillic $7.37
Gaia GPS Pro $76.51
Gaia GPS Pro Topo Bundle $38.25
Topo Maps+ 6 Month Map Pass $22.15
Theodolite $7.64
MapTool $1.97
Knots 3D $3.96
How to Tie Knots 3D $3.96
SAS Survival Guide $11.46
Annoying Frequencies – Hearing Test and Dog Whistle $1.97
Soviet Military Maps Pro $15.68
Kenny Loggins: Danger Zone $2.39
Icehouse: Man of Colours $14.99