Best GPS/App

1:23 a.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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for hiking logging trails ? Any suggestions appreciated-Thanks

6:30 a.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Not sure what smartphone you have, but I have an Iphone and use MotionX-GPS. There is a free version as well, the only difference between the free and pay versions is the amount of map space you can download and store on the phone for offline use.

3:11 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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I would be hesitant to use a smartphone for navigation in the backcountry. when the battery dies, you do...

4:58 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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 I know folks who use to carry a spare battery for their camera. Now since their phone is their camera, book reader, music player and GPS they carry a spare battery. 

5:05 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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OMG, lets not start the smartphone navigation apps will kill you debate again. It's complete nonsense.

They are a wonderful tool at ones disposal. They work just as good if not better than my standalone GPS units because of all the other features they bring to the table as well. They are not the only tool you should have though, you still need a map and compass.

I use my iPhone GPS app all the time, for quite a few years now too. I have about 1500 miles under my belt with it and it has yet to ever fail me.

Even if it were to ever fail I would not suddenly keel over dead. Everyone should carry at a minimum a basic paper map and a compass. Many people use gps devices be it a smartphone or not is irrelevant. If you don't like technology then don't use it, but don't make idiotic comments like if you use it you will die if the battery dies.... come on, really?

I have used my iPhone in complete whiteouts, dense fog, torrential downpours and all kinds of normal conditions too. They are very handy and useful devices with loads of features , the GPS apps only being one of them.

Headlamps have batteries too you know. If you use a headlamp you might die....

6:09 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

..Headlamps have batteries too you know. If you use a headlamp you might die....

Actually there is at least one instance where headlamp battery failure is suspected to have contributed to death on Denali.  But that is beside the point.

Ed

9:01 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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TheRambler,

which GPS app do you use?

9:07 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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MotionX-GPS for iPhone

9:58 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Trimble Outdoor: I like it because the waypoints will allow you to get bearing to your next point of interest or trailhead.  The maps are good and easy to use.  For just plan and simple I really like Tom's GPS, no maps just your location.  These are for the iPhone.

8:52 a.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Addressing the battery side of the equation; I use a new Trent 9900mah battery pack. I can charge my iPhone from 0-100% about 6 times with it. I can also use it to recharge my headlamp, steripen, or regular gps if I need to/ have them with me.

Using my iPhone in airplane mode for the elec maps, camera etc, an only turning it on 2-3 times a day to take a GPS fix, check weather, and calling if able to appease the wife I can make my iPhone battery last about 3 sometimes 4 days. The battery pack allows me to go on 1-2 week trips without worrying about battery power. The chances of my battery pack failing is about the same as the chance of any battery failing. It also saves me money in the long run from always having to replace batteries in my devices.

2:13 p.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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how do they fare in cold weather? I have heard that they don't do well in the cold. is that true?

2:43 p.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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The iPhone or the battery pack? I have used my iPhone in temps down to -26, but have routinely used in in the 0f +/- a few numerous times. It's a touchscreen so really cold temperatures can and will affect its operation. The way around this is to keep it in your pocket so it stays fairly warm, then when you pull it out it works fine. If you just leave it out in the cold and then pick it up and try to use it it can be finicky to use until it warms up a little. I have never had an issue where 1-2 minutes in my pocket didn't resolve it.

battery pack same deal, Warmer it is the better it works just like most any battery. I put my battery pak in my pocket for like an hour if its really cold out before I charge anything.

12:24 p.m. on June 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Wow !! Great info here and I have already downloaded the Motion X as I have an Iphone4.I am also looking at one app called the GPS Kit ( I think ?)-but the Motion X is quite nice already.Will also now check out the Trent 9900mah battery pack and I also heard of some type of solar charger that " might" be an option ?The suggestion on the Trent is great as I can also purchase compatible batteries and use for headlamp etc !!!

Thanks to all-much appreciated !! Friend

8:02 p.m. on June 13, 2013 (EDT)
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IMO don't waste your money on a solar charger. IF you are in a location where they will work.... like the open desert then maybe it's a decent option. Otherwise they are finicky and take a really long time to effectively charge anything. IMO a rechargeable battery pack like the new trent is the way to go.

1:14 a.m. on June 20, 2013 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

IMO don't waste your money on a solar charger. IF you are in a location where they will work.... like the open desert then maybe it's a decent option. Otherwise they are finicky and take a really long time to effectively charge anything. IMO a rechargeable battery pack like the new trent is the way to go.

Glad I checked this thread !! I was just about to buy the solar and was thinking the same.I will stick with the Trent-many Thanks !! ~~ 

11:24 p.m. on June 25, 2013 (EDT)
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I tried several GPS apps for iPhone before choosing Gaia GPS.  I'm happy with it and it works great for my needs.  I use it some for recording my tracks, and all the time for checking my location, getting an idea of the direction of the trail if it's unclear, checking elevation, etc.   There are several kinds of maps available for free download once you buy the app.  There's also a feature called Gaia Cloud which enables you to sync maps, tracks, waypoints, etc between your devices.

I've also used a Brunton solar panel to charge both an iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 on the trail.  As long as you have reasonable sun it works just fine.  If I'm out for a weekend the iPhone battery lasts  (with tracking for ~8 hrs of hiking each day) without needing a charge.  If I use the iPhone for other functions (book reading, journaling, flashlight, etc, etc) then battery consumption increases accordingly.  

If you don't want to use a solar charger (or if you don't think it will work where you're going) then there are backup battery options available that enable you to charge the iPhone overnight.  I haven't tried these yet so can't vouch for them...

The Gaia GPS people frequently provide updates so it's just gotten better over the past year or so that I've been using it.

2:00 p.m. on July 9, 2013 (EDT)
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Motion X looks great for the Iphone.  How about for the Android.

6:57 p.m. on July 23, 2013 (EDT)
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I just recently got a new phone Galaxy s4 and got rid of the iphone. Never been happier but I too am looking for a comparable app to the amazing Motion-X-GPS. Any suggestions?

I used to use the goal zero solar panel plus battery pack, it weighed out to about 5 pounds and quickly realized waaayyyyyy to heavy. I found the Anker  Astro3E 10000mah fo4 40 bucks and only weighing 8.6 ounces. Love it!!! Charged my iphone close to 5 full times and will charge my S4 almost the same. The S4 has a bigger battery but still last longer than my iphone. 

4:50 a.m. on July 26, 2013 (EDT)
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I have the Atlogis Canada Topo Maps Pro App for my Samsung Galaxy Discover, and if the Atlogis US Topo Maps Pro App is anywhere near as good, then it'd be a great choice. In the Canadian app they have 4 separate map sources from which you can download all the tiles you want, separately from each source.  (Canada TopoMatrix, Canada Toporama, OpenStreetMap, and Open Cycle Map.) For instance, if the Canada Toporama map isn't as detailed as the Canada TopoMatrix map for a certain area, then I'll download the TopoMatrix tiles for the area I want and then switch to that layer at need. Or vice-versa. (Or you can just download ALL the tiles for the areas you want from ALL the map sources. Takes a LONG time, but if you've got the room (And I do.) then why not? (I do.) The Atlogis app also has a hillshading feature that you apply to any map layer that you choose. Pretty useful actually.  There's also a bunch of maps available if you have a wireless data connection, (and an unlimited data plan.) Bing Aerial, Bing Road, Google Roadmap, Google Terrain, and Google Sat. NAturally it has all the normal GPS features. Tracking, Waypoints, Navigation, Routes, yada-yada. 

In any event the Atlogis Topo Map Pro is pretty dang sweet. And I can only imagine that the US version is just as awesome. It and the Navionics US and Canada Marine Charts have a very special place in my Galaxy's heart.  (And GPS Test!)

Always remember. Airplane Mode! 

GPS Test App by Chartcross Limited


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Atlogis Canada Topo Maps Pro


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Cheers!

September 22, 2014
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