That's a great idea. Years ago I had the same experiences with groups.


@losthiker I also use the Gaia gps app on my phone. I always take maps and a compass but rarely use the maps and have never used the compass, since they're both on my phone. I only use the maps when I need a larger perspective than I can reasonably see on the phone. I use 7-8% of battery per day, checking the gps every hour or so and taking a dozen or so pictures. Next long trip I have is 151 miles, I'm going to try the tracking feature and see how the battery handles that. I like Gaia because I can enter waypoints at home and print out maps that exactly match what I see on my phone out in the wild. I had a low end Garmin and found it hard to find what I wanted in the menu and hard to enter waypoints, so I sold it when I started using Gaia.

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Yeah, you can't beat Gaia!

I also make my maps at home, using, then upload them to my phone.

I send my caltopo maps to ups and have them printed on 11x17 (1:24,000).

I try to use the paper map as much as possible, but when push comes to shove, I double check with gaia.  There's no doubt that using gaia provides immediate 'location surety'.

I use the altimeter on my watch also as a tool, but use gaia to re-set the elevation every so often.

I also keep my phone either off or on airplane mode to save juice.

I advise folks to forget using the beacons for navaids, unless you want a grid coordinate to locate yourself on the map,(gaia gives this, but what's the point when it shows you exactly where you are anyway on the map you uploaded at home) but most folks probably can't do this either, this is where gaia basically transforms wilderness navigation.

My observation is that most adults don't have basic map reading skills anymore, unless, like me you were in the ARMY, where this was/is important.

I guess you still should know how to read a map, just so you can really understand what you're looking at on the gaia screen.

But it can't be beat.

REI Member Since 1979