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awilsondc
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PostSat May 14, 2016 4:26 pm 
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What do you use?

On a basic day trip I'll often just take my phone.  Takes good enough pictures and has GPS capability.  So far I've been using the paid version of Backcountry Navigator but I was wondering if there was something better out there?  It seems like the stats I get from BCN are way off from what the guide books say in terms of distance and elevation gain for a given trail.  Basically I'm looking for something that's a bit more accurate.  Any suggestions?
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Schroder
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PostSat May 14, 2016 7:27 pm 
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Gaia gps
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HitTheTrail
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PostSun May 15, 2016 7:03 am 
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A big +1 on Gaia. I find it easy to use more than adequate for locating myself and navigating. But I have to admit I have not given it much use for recording tracks. Just because I have no real interest in tracks and want to maintain battery life.
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DigitalJanitor
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PostSun May 15, 2016 1:01 pm 
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Loaded Gia late last year on my Samsung Galaxy 5 after seeing it recommended so many times 'round here. Have to say, it's been bomber. Spent 7+ hours in the Teanaway yesterday on a work party with phone on airplane mode w/ Gia recording the track and came back with ~84% power left, and the recorded track seemed correct. Just hit 'record' and you're good. up.gif

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awilsondc
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PostSun May 15, 2016 3:18 pm 
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Wow, that's three for Gaia!  Looks like it's $20, but sounds like money well spent.
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Hiker Mama
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PostMon May 16, 2016 2:46 pm 
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That looks like a cool app. I'm unclear about the in-app purchases. Is the app functional without buying extra stuff? Do the maps come with it, or do you have to buy a bunch of maps separately? I did read the info on the app store, but I wasn't sure; maybe I need to try again later after another cup of coffee.

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DigitalJanitor
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PostTue May 17, 2016 11:50 am 
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I believe I just paid for the initial app. It had the USGS topo & sat image overlays, which is enough for me, so that's been it.

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Navy salad
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PostTue May 17, 2016 3:06 pm 
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Can you use maps downloaded from GPSFileDepot with Gaia?
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HitTheTrail
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PostTue May 17, 2016 8:08 pm 
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Hiker Mama wrote:
Do the maps come with it, or do you have to buy a bunch of maps separately?

One of the software update a year or so ago made downloading maps even easier. You can just sit in your house the day before you leave on a trip and bring up a map of where you are currently located. Then just drag the map until it is over the area you want to hike (even hundreds of miles away). Find the specific area you will be going to and click download and stretch a rubber band rectangle over the area and save the map as a name of your choice. When you get to that area load that map name as your main map and you are good to go. No cell signal need in any of this except to bring up the original map at your house. Easy as that.
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Navy salad
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PostThu May 26, 2016 2:26 pm 
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I was just on the Gaia website checking it out and saw that they are having a 50% off sale for Memorial day weekend (which means it costs $10)!

By the way, does anyone know if you can use the NWTopos GPS maps (available from www.switchbacks.com) with Gaia? I've been looking and looking and I haven't found any information on this. I guess my question is the equivalent of asking if Gaia can use Garmin-compatible maps?
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Hiker Mama
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PostThu May 26, 2016 2:50 pm 
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Cool to know about the sale, and thanks for your answers. I might just have to spring for that.

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Navy salad
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PostMon May 30, 2016 3:19 pm 
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I just installed it on my phone last Thursday and so far, I really like it. MUCH better map readability than my dedicated GPS. Plus the software comes with an array of maps you can use and based on a couple days of use, the maps and trails seem very complete and detail oriented. It goes thru batteries a lot quicker than a dedicated GPS, so you'll want to at least turn off your screen whenever you don't need to read it, or possibly just turn it off and then back again as needed. Regardless, it's hard to go wrong with a $10 purchase price (assuming you pick it up before Tuesday).
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tigermn
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PostMon May 30, 2016 8:17 pm 
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Yea the major drawback of Phone GPS apps is they eat through the batteries like butter especially if you are using tracking, which for me is a prime reason I carry a GPS I like to record and save tracks of my trips.
I guess you could carry extra power packs and such.....

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Bugs
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PostWed Jun 01, 2016 1:35 pm 
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My iPhone lasts about 20 hours with Gia running in track mode.
There are a number of backup batteries out there that will recharge my iphone as many as 3 times.
I have one that is good for about 2.25 times and weighs about the same as the phone.
I turn it off whenever possible to conserve power.
Also turn off all other apps.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jun 01, 2016 2:12 pm 
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tigermn wrote:
I guess you could carry extra power packs and such.....

If you would be carrying your phone anyway (I want it for the drive to/from the trail;  if there's an accident or mechanical problem with the car I might need it;  but I don't want to leave it in the car) then a battery pack weighs less than a separate hiking GPS.

That was part of my thinking when I bought a GPS watch.  I'm going to wear a watch regardless, I can stop carrying the bulky one if I have GPS on my wrist.   smile.gif
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