gregorpatsch wrote:I recently bought a GPS app for my phone called Backcountry Navigator. I have played around with it a bit and it looks to be the best $10 I have ever spent. It downloads topo maps (USGS or MyTOPO) to your phone when you are on the network (prior to a trip) then allows you to view those maps and orient yourself using only your phone's GPS when you are out of network (no cell phone service). I don't like using a GPS all that much, and like to keep my phone turned off when hiking/climbing, but this allows for a quick check of location, snap a waypoint, emergency navigating, etc. Pretty sweet in my opinion.
Let me get this straight: you don't like a GPS but you downloaded a GPS app to your cell phone.... ok
- It's so cold that the batteries of your not weather proof phone drain in minutes
- It's raining which makes your not weather proof phone a complete mess
- You are trying to push some tiny buttons on your phone with your heavy gloves because it's freezing temps
- The crappy chipset in your phone can't connect to the GPS satellites anymore
In any case, in my opinion it might be a cool and nice toy but it certainly does not seriously replace a GPS (in addition to a map and compass of course).
gregorpatsch wrote:Valid points, but since I don't typically carry a stand-alone GPS and always bring my phone with me, for $10 I gain a lot of potential usefulness without adding any weight. If the GPS chipset doesn't work, I can still use the app to view topo maps offline. I would never rely solely on my phone (or any electronic device) in the mountains, but I like knowing that it can be used as a back up GPS, camera, flashlight, compass, map, notepad, etc. I keep my phone turned off in a watertight roll-top bag with a see-through front, which allows me to operate it in wet weather, should I need to.
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