When hiking the less gear you have to carry the better. Most of us are already hiking with our phones and we don’t want to have to carry another GPS device. We use iPhones and the built in GPS locates us quickly and with pretty solid accuracy. Most modern smart phones come equipped with at least one type of GPS chip in the device however, you should check with the manufacturer before setting out into the wild.
For finding our way on our adventures we use Gaia GPS on the iPhone 7+ or 8+. Gaia GPS is a great app that you can use right on your smartphone to track your hike, geotag photos, and provide you with wonderfully detailed maps, even when you are miles from cell reception.
Gaia allows to save maps to your device so it does not rely on cellular data or wifi. One of the features I really like is the ability to select an area of the map for download instead of downloading pre-detemined trail maps. This is a really cool feature because you can adjust the level of detail (More detail takes more storage), and select the exact map that you want to save. You can also choose which layers to download. The layers are great and you can get additional layers when you become a member.
In addition to downloading maps you can create specific areas, routes, and waypoints. The toolbar at the top can be adjusted to give you the data that you find relevant. Customization really make this app great and fits a variety of people and uses.
Bonus! There is also an Apple Watch App!
Pro Tip: Make sure you have a rugged case on your phone when out adventuring! I like to use the Lifeproof case for my iPhone.
Now grab your phone, download the app and…
Get Up, Get Out, and Go Adventuring!