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Old 07-14-2013, 09:48 PM   #1
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Need a GPS solution and advice.

Hello everyone. Over the weekend a friend and I were doing some wheeling in an area we hadn't wheeled in a long time. We use to know it very well but over the years we kinda forgot a lot of the trail numbers and routes and land marks so need less to say, we made quite a few wrong turns. They had both a hand held gps and one for a car like a tom-tom but not really sure what brand or model it was. The handheld was very difficult to view at a stand still, yet alone while cruising down a bumpy dirt road. The dash mounted one just simply located us in the middle of a mountain with the main road on the map but none of the forest roads.

I've been doing some research and I'm really intrigued on running a system from my cell phone or a tablet and I would like you know what app and/or programs you're using to do so. It'd have to be something that can be usable without cell reception in the mountains so that means maps will have to be preloaded for the designated area your venturing into. I'm pretty dedicated to Android and don't want to go to iOS. I was also wondering what to look for in a tablet when trying to select one for this GPS idea in mind. Like the wifi vs. gps features or running external dongles etc etc. I'm finding a lot of sites do trail reviews and tracking with google earth and you can download their maps to put on your own device to follow their trails/routes. Are most apps/programs now adays compatible with google earth maps? I'm trying to do this without spending all sorts of money on map packs and since I've been wanting a tablet for other purposes it would be neat to use it for this task as well and still be able to use it on my cell phone for hikes and wandering with an even more portable solution. Any input is greatly appreciated as this is all a bit confusing for me with all the different types out there.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:02 AM   #2
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I tried running the demo for Backcountry Navigator, and it looks pretty promising with detailed topo maps. Although I also prefer Google maps, there is more trail information on the app. I am running an HTC One S and the Gps was locked pretty good when I was out in the forest, but I expect YMMV.

Another thing you might want to look at are blue tooth GPS add-ons I found on Amazon:

Dual Electronics XGPS150A Universal Bluetooth GPS Receiver for Portable Devices

Haven't tried any of those yet, but will probably consider getting one if I have problems locking on to GPS satellites. Goodluck and let us know what setup you end up with!
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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I use the back country nav and I Love it. It can do so Much. you can make way points anywhere you want. you can set it where you are if you found a spot you want to remember, or you can set a point on the map that you may want to check out and it can get you their. It will also draw tracks if you want it to. So it can create its owne trail maps. The one thing I found that I do not like is that is wont all ways load up The "Arieal" maps really well. But that is not a big deal as all the way points and tracks are allway their. SO you will never be totally lost even if you cant see the map. I bought the PRO version And I LOVE it, For the price you cant go wrong!
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:19 PM   #4
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I really like the google map on my android phone. It seems to show the map info even without cell coverage. I want to try an android based tablet to see if I get the same results on a bigger screen.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:02 PM   #5
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I downloaded Backcountry Nav to my phone and it seems pretty cool, but I'm using the U.S. Forest Service maps and it's not showing some of the Forest Roads that lead to the trail heads. Anyone know of a different map pack that would work for this app? Planning on shopping for a tablet this weekend as well.
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