19 Comments

  1. Steve Netherby
    Steve Netherby August 8, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Always enjoy and profit from your blogs, Ray. Keep ’em coming!

  2. Kathy
    Kathy August 8, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Can anyone recommend a really good GPS app for iPhone? I have yet to dive into using a GPS, but would like to play around with this a little. Always enjoy your blog posts!

    1. Roger
      Roger August 9, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      HI Kathy,

      Gaia recently released a major update of their app. I used it before the update and liked it a lot. Have been playing around with the updated version and like it even more. The display / detail on my iPhone is great, with ability to zoom in for details – and out for reference. The main downside is the learning curve as the Help (in the app’s Settings) is a collection of articles (by subject matter) – so a bit hit/miss. Plus, you need storage space on your phone for downloading maps that cover your Route area. The app allows you to choose the pixel of your download – with greater density providing clearer zooms – but consuming more storage space. Lastly, Gaia offers a great set of maps, including Gaia Topo and OpenHiking. If you pop for Premier, a larger selection of maps is available.

      As long as you limit use of recording tracks to short stints – battery life should not be an issue as long as you use it in Airplane mode (so you will need to download maps and routes to your phone before the trip). To further save battery, I close the app if I’m not using it. My iPhone 7 will last 6-7 days on a charge.

      I plan my trips (save routes, waypoints, etc) at Gaia.com and they sync to your phone app. Though you need to download a map for your route within the app – which is easy.

      Lastly – their support has always been very timely with responses to my questions / suggestions.

  3. Mike
    Mike August 8, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I first learned about Gaia GPS on this blog and used it repeatedly on our recent two week JMT hike. (Had hope to do the whole JMT but trail conditions were too difficult.) It was invaluable. There is also the JMT Hiker app which is dedicated app for the JMT. I used it as well, but depended more on Gaia. A great advantage to Gaia is that you can use it anywhere, even in an airplane to track where you are as you fly high over the terrain. (Great fun)

    1. Kathy
      Kathy August 8, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks Mike! I had heard about it, but nice to hear from people who actually use things. Appreciate it!

  4. Eric Tuma
    Eric Tuma August 8, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Kathy, I’ve not used it yet, but some youtubers that are thru hikers recommend
    Guthook. You can get a JMT guide from them for 9.99 at the app store.

    1. Kathy
      Kathy August 8, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      Hi Eric, that is actually the only one I have tried, and I had a hell of a time trying to figure it out.

    2. Kathy
      Kathy August 8, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      And thanks Eric. I’m going to try it again.

  5. George Greeley
    George Greeley August 8, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    I used my iPhone 5S with Guthook app for JMT through-hike. I would also refer to Elizabeth Wenk’a JMT book to decide area where we would stop each day so we were positioned for easy access to the next pass early the next day.

    1. Kathy
      Kathy August 8, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      George….I’m going to need to spend some time with the Guthook app. I had a hard time figuring it out. I have the Wenk book on my Kindle app, (and love it) and somewhere I downloaded her waypoints. Just need to figure out how to get them into a GPS app. LOL. Thanks for the info!

  6. Eric Tuma
    Eric Tuma August 8, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Hey Kathy, I also heard REI has classes on GPS and compass nav.
    There is also ( affiliated with REI) Adventure University.com. they have online classes on navigation, first aid, rock climbing.etc.It’s really great ! Even after the class, you have access to ALL the material you covered so you can always go back and review! REALLY good stuff!! They also go through finding a stranger hurt and how to “legally” handle it.Highly recommend taking a look!

    1. Kathy
      Kathy August 8, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks Eric, I’m ok with compass nav, but the GPS thing is foreign to me. I actually took a map and compass class at REI, but the online option sounds intruiguing, particularly if they go into GPS! I am definitely going to have to go check that out. Thanks!

    2. Kathy
      Kathy August 8, 2017 at 10:38 pm

      Eric do you have a link? AdventureUniversity.com is not an active website.

  7. Derek
    Derek August 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    My view is that the batteries last much longer in a GPS than my phone.

    I was on one hike where I dropped my radio. The GPS allowed me to mark my current location to drop my gear, then trace back accurately to find my radio, then head straight back to my gear to continue my hike. I do not believe my phone would have been able to do all this and still have decent battery power for the rest of the day.

    Now the phone is nice in that it is my camera and with location services turned on, it will GPS tag my photos.

    1. Kathy
      Kathy August 10, 2017 at 5:10 am

      Good info Derek. I do have a 4 oz. solar panel and a 5 oz. battery bank, so not really worried about power issues. I don’t currently have a GPS, and don’t want to buy one, until I am better able to evaluate the different features. As of right now, I need to learn more about using the GPS features on the phone, and then a real GPS will most likely be the next step. But it’s great to hear that the battery on a GPS is decent. Thanks!

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