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Old 10-01-2020, 09:53 PM   #61
SacandagaSchout
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@ forest dweller -- ^What MTV said. You've got to find the area you're going to be in ahead of time (preferably while on wifi) and move over it, zooming in on it and downloading the maps in detail.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:08 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SacandagaSchout View Post
@ forest dweller -- ahead of time ... zooming in on it and downloading the maps in detail.
This is where mbtiles files come in. I use them on LocusMaps, but they work in other apps as well. Pre-make the files for large areas, and have them on your phone at all times. The entire ADK park coverage for USGS maps of 24k and 100k Topo maps fits in a ~1GB mbtiles file. I have supplied this file in a separate thread here in this GPS section. The 1901-3 USGS Topo set is ~2GB for the entire park, also available.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:09 AM   #63
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I use Gaia GPS and I am very satisfied with it.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:31 AM   #64
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I use Gaia GPS and I am very satisfied with it.
From a quick Google search, it does appear that Gaia GPS supports mbtiles files, although I've never used it myself. So you don't necessarily have to rely on the caching feature on wifi. You could pre-load larger mbtiles files that contain all the data you'd ever need. The files I provided in the other thread here would probably give you 90% of what you'd need. The other 10% you can create for yourself on an "as needed" basis, for custom locations and maps.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:40 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by ndoggac View Post
From a quick Google search, it does appear that Gaia GPS supports mbtiles files, although I've never used it myself. So you don't necessarily have to rely on the caching feature on wifi. You could pre-load larger mbtiles files that contain all the data you'd ever need. The files I provided in the other thread here would probably give you 90% of what you'd need. The other 10% you can create for yourself on an "as needed" basis, for custom locations and maps.
I just download the map to my phone and it has worked fine, even in remote wilderness areas (under tree cover) in the Adirondacks.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:31 AM   #66
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I was convinced that a dedicated GPS unit was the way to go. It can take a beating much more so than a smartphone.

Now that I use GAIA and Cal Topo on my smartphone, I'll never go back. A huge screen is a big advantage and the apps are so much easier to access more quickly.

My eTrex sits at home collecting dust.
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:53 AM   #67
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Sorry, a telephone just does not work for dedicated needs when a real GPS is needed. I couldn't possibly hand anything but a real GPS to a ranger at the end of a day of SAR so they can download my recorded track and analyze the day's incident coverage and prepare assignments for tomorrow. I also can't see mounting a phone in my canoe for guiding me my preplanned and loaded route of the 1000 mile Yukon canoe race (that I have done multiple times), and having internal batteries last for the 100+ hours to complete. Use the right tool for the job at hand.
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:55 PM   #68
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when a real GPS is needed
Not even sure what you mean by this generalized statement? What is a "real" GPS?

If you mean ruggedized or waterproof, then the ruggedized Android phone I linked in a previous post (and below) has a higher waterproof rating (IP68 & IP69K & MIL-STD-810G) than any of the Garmin handheld units (IPX7 & MIL-STD-810G) currently available, including their top of the line units. There are also additional cases you could add to the phone to further improve ruggedness or waterproofing.

If you mean tracking capability, the phone has the ability to track GPS, Glonass, Galileo, and Beidou...which is the same or better than all the Garmin handhelds. This will improve your ability to get a location in tough terrain, and under tree cover. Plus you get A-GPS functionality which gives you faster time-to-first-fix when cold-starting the unit (assuming you have cellular or wifi data at the time of cold-start). You could definitely make an argument that the antenna quality in certain Garmin units may give them a tracking advantage, but I don't believe it would be significant.

If you mean battery life, then the phone I linked running in airplane mode (since you don't need the phone functionality when hiking) with location turned on would give you longer battery life than the Garmin units, assuming comparable screen-on times. In Locus Maps, you can also customize the app location's update times to dial in your battery life, similar to Garmin's "expedition mode". You can also use some other tricks to maximize battery. Bring a USB battery to recharge when needed.

I've mounted my phone on my kayak in it's water proof case on rainy days, it gets splashed regularly. Also mount it on the motorboat with no issues.

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I couldn't possibly hand anything but a real GPS to a ranger at the end of a day of SAR
So turn off airplane mode at the end of the day, and email it to him from your phone ;-) Also not a problem most users have.

The screen quality of the phones, and capabilities of the apps are so far above and beyond those of the standalone units, it's a no-brainer for me. Not to mention the insane costs for stand-alone units. The phone I linked is on par cost-wise with the most basic entry level Garmin units.

Link to phone so you don't have to search back

Last edited by ndoggac; 11-05-2020 at 11:45 PM.. Reason: fix
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