Basic in your backyard woods GPS

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by RayseM, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    I've asked this question in another thread but realize there may be more GPS users hanging out here. So, I ask again -

    Any suggestions for an Android compatible GPS app - PRIMARILY - for local off trail hiking?

    I'm basically looking for a simple app - that can tell me where I am in my own "backyard" rather than in an already well mapped park or trail system. What you might call a low level upgrade to a compass, seeing as I have and carry a smart phone too.

    Not looking for anything more than "where the heck am I" type of info when out day hiking and following deer trails rather than human blazed trails.


    Thanks if you have any real world info to share.
     
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  2. Mikel_24

    Mikel_24

    Sep 19, 2007
    Wikilock App and Google Maps both let you download the maps in advance so you can still use them when you don't have cell phone service. I have used both and work well. Maybe Ozziexplorer?
     
    RayseM likes this.
  3. JV3

    JV3

    Mar 17, 2010
    gaia gps and it's free.
     
    RayseM likes this.
  4. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Thanks for the recommendations :thumbsup:
     
  5. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    I sheepishly report that as I was out woods walking with my wife today I mentioned that I have asked on BF about basic map/gps for these walk abouts. She replied - "Do you have your phone?
    You know there is Google Maps on that thing." o_O

    Not usually wearing reading glasses in the woods I never took time to study the options on the phone but sure enough she pulls up MAPS and there we were - properly located in the woods relative to home and the surrounding area. :rolleyes:

    Sheesh - who knew :confused: :D Just what I wanted - already in my pocket.

    Hey - I just got rid of the flip phone 6 months ago. ;)
     
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  6. Mikel_24

    Mikel_24

    Sep 19, 2007
    Carry them, you never know when you might need to do some detail work in whatever. Even if you carry a cheapo/disposable pair in one of those rigid cases. My Dad does that so he can use the phone or GPS or even read something properly.

    Regarding Google Maps... be careful with one little detail.

    Google Maps, as most of the Apps in your phone, rely on cell phone data service to download maps and information on demand. Which means that if you don't use your phone during the rest of your trip (driving there, approach, etc) and open the App when you are deep in the wild... Google Maps will try to download the map of that area in that precise moment. If you don't have cell phone data service, you will not be downloading anything.

    That's why I suggested a few post above to DOWNLOAD THE MAPS of your area of interest well in advance (using WIFI at home if you have a monthly set limit for the amount of data). I know for sure that GoogleMaps allows you to do that.

    The GPS is going to work virtually everywhere you have a clear view of the sky, but if it doesn't show the area (trails), it will not be of much use.

    Mikel
     
  7. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Thanks @Mikel_24 good advice. In my case - MOSTLY - I am really talking about just being in the back yard - about 300 acres. If I walk away from the sun I get to the river. Generally I know where I am and what compass direction I am heading if I turn left or right. Somedays though - with gray skies I can get a bit turned around. In any direction - other than walking in circles - I will come out of the wood lot to familiar territory. The G-Map, as I learned yesterday, always knows where HOME is.

    On excursions away from these woods I certainly carry gear that includes a compass, and emergency supplies. I'll have a smart phone now too but will likely need a battery pack if I intend to use as a GPS. Compass and a topo map have always proved workable.
     
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