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TheMagBumper 04-21-2017 07:47 PM

Gaia GPS for iOS
Anyone here use Gaia GPS to assist with navigation in the backcountry? Is this a decent alternative to a dedicated GPS? Upfront price seems reasonable and I don't think the features of the pro version are necessary. My battery would probably last me quite a few days if the phone was in aeroplane mode so I'm thinking it shouldn't be an issue to flip it on and off periodically as required.

Ideally I would get a dedicated GPS but I also need a PLB which I think is more important and I can't really afford both.

lobo 04-22-2017 08:31 AM

I have gaia on my iPhone and also an Oregon 650 and I used both on multiple trips last summer and when I compared the results I found the data to be very similar. The total distance was off by 0.1 km per 10 Kms, which to me is minimal. It does eat up the battery juice. I had my fully charged phone on airplane mode and the battery lasted about 9 hours with gaia on the whole time. I think that it's a great app

csels 04-22-2017 08:52 AM

I've used it on Android. It's pretty good. The maps are a lot better than the Garmin ones I've used. It's great in combination with physical maps. I only bring out my phone whenever I want to locate myself *exactly* on the map and use my physical maps otherwise. Makes the phone last for days.

TheMagBumper 04-22-2017 12:34 PM

Thanks guys. When you purchase the app does that give you access to a set of global maps? Or do you need to buy them in blocks as in-app purchases?

TheMagBumper 04-22-2017 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by lobo (Post 779489)
It does eat up the battery juice. I had my fully charged phone on airplane mode and the battery lasted about 9 hours with gaia on the whole time. I think that it's a great app

I thought GPS doesn't work when the phone is in airplane mode?

csels 04-22-2017 04:15 PM

I've used it in airplane mode without problems with offline maps.

For iOS:

lemike 04-24-2017 01:48 AM

You can download maps (selection) all included with initial purchase (Combo apps). Bigger selection bigger is the file to download and it is kind of slow to download. It also takes storage on your phone. Phone GPS works in airplane mode no problem. I bought a power juice (fairly cheap) to recharge my phone (6S) as it will need it if phone use extensively. My power pack is 20k ma and technically I should be able to get 11 full recharge. Hope it helps.

guntis 04-24-2017 11:48 AM

Gaia is an excellent product. I use it all the time. The dedicated GPS unit goes in the top of the pack in case I need it. But the maps on Gaia are much better. I don't use it to track my route, just refer to location sometimes (in airplane mode). Download the area where you're travelling to your phone ahead of time. Eats a bit of storage space, but now I finally have a phone that can handle it. Delete files later if you don't need them and get your storage back. There is no extra cost for downloading map sections.

tricouni 04-24-2017 12:08 PM

Can soeone please upload a screen shot of part of one of the maps? I'm not trying to pirate anything, just want to see what they look like and how much detail they have.

guntis 04-24-2017 01:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
There are various map types that you can get. I like the OpenSource ones, but there are others, such as USGS or USFS.

NOTE: I turned my phone horizontal so that I could show the map layers and map at the same time. Usually you'd only be looking at the map onscreen (for more map real estate). Also, it's nice having a big phone...

martin 04-24-2017 02:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Gaia is pretty good, it can take maps from a number of online sources, as guntis's screeshot shows, and store them on the device. I still bring my Garmin along on hikes though.

The one thing that I really don't like about Gaia is the crappy way it displays waypoints on a map. You just get the same icons all over the place, and it doesn't show name of the waypoint beside the icon. You have to touch the waypoint just to show the waypoint name. I've mentioned this on their suggestion box to no avail.

pdomansky 04-24-2017 04:09 PM

I have tried GAIA GPS, and ended up going back to ViewRanger. Suggest trying that one, works with IOS/Apple and Android. There are free maps available for offline use as well, as the higher resolution Canadian Topo map for $6.99 for purchase.

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