Off-Road/Backcountry GPS/Apps - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
4x4tographer's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Buckeye, AZ
Posts: 75
Off-Road/Backcountry GPS/Apps

Looking to start a discussion on off-road mapping solutions that other members are using:

Apps? Standalone GPS units? Basic map and compass orienteering?

In some conversations with other members I've seen recommendations/mentions of:

- Gaia (iOS/Android)
- GPS Tracks (iOS)
- GPS Logger (Android)
- Backcountry Navigator TOPT (Android)
- HemaExplorer (iOS/Android)

Curious to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 10:09 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
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I've actually been using my laptop and a USB GPS device. I have GIS software (qGIS) that allows me to import topographic maps, imagery files, and overlay that with streets, contours, etc.

GIS mapping tech is awesome for this kind of stuff because I can record the track straight to my computer, compare it with elevation profiles, and other map layers as I'm going. Plus, I've got a much bigger screen to work off of!

Lol, but as far as portable mapping apps, on my android phone I have both Backcountry Nav, and another that is just called GeoTracker.

I didn't really care for Backcountry, but I haven't used it much. I just use GeoTracker to get a track that I can import to the computer later on if I don't have it with me.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 01:07 AM
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Location: The Inland NW, USA
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On Android, I have "US Topo Maps Pro" I think it was $5 or so and you can download any resolution (zoom-in level) topo for the continental US that you want. The only limit is that a 32gb phone fills up fast if you want a lot of zoom levels and coverage. The app uses GPS for your location.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: NOVA (Ashburn), VA
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Are you looking for location information or navigation? If it's back-country/off-road, nothing beats a physical map and a portable/hand-held gps with batteries. You don't have to worry about the map breaking, the GPS is generally much more rugged, and you can carry around andextra set of batteries to get several days worth of signal.

If you are navigating, "any" device that has offline mode (including andoid/IOS that can download local data or a portable GPS/nav) can be recharged with a power bank or solar charger.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Huh. I didn't realize the handheld units came with maps, now. Of course, last time I used a handheld GPS, it was at most 12 channels, black and white display something like 128x128, and a bit bigger than what's out there now.

'15 Deep Cherry Red TH w/Brown Interior. 3.2L V-6
Safety-Tec, Cold Weather, Technology, Comfort, Tow, Leather.
Gobi Stealth roof rack with ladder. Mopar rock sliders. BFG KO2 245/70R17.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 09:45 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 627
I use the Magellan TRX app. Its fine.

If money grew on trees, and I lived in a place that actually had more than 2 trails, I'd spring for the actual TRX GPS ($650).

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 06:10 PM
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good timing... I'm like 94.3% done with an article on this for our blog.... I love hearing what others use!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 06:52 PM
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Google maps in offline mode. I'm not very exciting :-(
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 07:44 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: The Northwoods
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I was going to use my phone while on my road trip last summer. It does not work well when there is no cell signal. Most places I would have needed it, there was no signal. Honestly, traveling alone with a trailer I may not have gone some places anyway. I wanted to before the trip, but played it much safer than I thought I would.

I saw a few guys on YouTube who had a small screen hooked to a GPS. These guys have awesome maps and software. Maps alone are NOT good enough, trust me I found out.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 10:16 AM
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I was surprised at how many trails are on our NAV and have used it in Death Valley and our local mountains.

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