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[Android/GPS/Backcountry hiking filter] Best offline Android navigation for hiking not driving. More inside.
June 29, 2011 2:08 PM   Subscribe

[Android/GPS/Backcountry hiking filter] Best offline Android navigation for hiking not driving. More inside.

Not looking for apps like COpilot. Something more along the lines of mytrails or OruxMaps. It needs to have offline support because I rarely if ever have cell service. I'm currently using Mytracks, which is nice because it does plot my route and prevent me from getting lost but doesn't allow me to import .gpx. There are backcountry maps to certain shelters etc that have waypoints to follow (yes I know how to read a topo map in case I get lost but it'd be nice to just follow waypoints occasionally). Anyone have any other apps to recommend or any experiences with Mytrails, Oruxmaps etc?
posted by no bueno to Technology (17 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Gaia
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:14 PM on June 29, 2011


I use gaia on the iphone and its great.
posted by H. Roark at 2:17 PM on June 29, 2011


(I should also mention that I got the full version of Gaia free from the Amazon Android App Store so it's worth keeping an eye out there in case they again make it their free app of the day.)
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:18 PM on June 29, 2011


Dammit! I can't believe I missed that!
posted by no bueno at 2:21 PM on June 29, 2011


Obligatory mention:

Android (or any smart phone) battery life sucks when using GPS. If you're in the backcountry, use a dedicated GPS device with topo maps loaded. $0.02
posted by devbrain at 2:25 PM on June 29, 2011


That's why I'd like offline support. If you turn off the data connection and just use the gps it lasts all day and then some. There's also portable battery packs that can give you up to 7 charges on the go.
posted by no bueno at 2:28 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, solar chargers are pretty cheap and work well enough.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:30 PM on June 29, 2011


I looked into the solar chargers last year but didn't see anything that filled me with confidence. Being in Colorado it'd be great since it's sunny every day. Do you have one to recommend? I'm somewhat skeptical but would love try one.
posted by no bueno at 2:34 PM on June 29, 2011


I have the top solar charger in that Amazon search results page. It's certainly not perfect, but it will give your device a boost if there's ample sunlight. It also has its own rechargeable battery so even if there's not a lot of light you'll get an extra bump. It's nothing like plugging into a wall charger, of course. Also, if you're going to be hiking around you would need to improvise some kind of clip or attachment.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:40 PM on June 29, 2011


Has anyone tried mytrails or OruxMaps? I'm definitely willing to pay for gaia but only if there's a noticeable difference.
posted by no bueno at 2:49 PM on June 29, 2011


I've got a Power Gorilla, and I swear on it for long trips. It's not solar, but a single charge has lasted days. It's also got a USB connection so I can charge both my phone and my camera.
posted by hnnrs at 3:22 PM on June 29, 2011


Have you checked out Back Country Navigator PRO? It's in the Android App marketplace and you can demo it for free. Seems like you can upload topo maps and stuff so it will work offline.
posted by garnetgirl at 7:06 PM on June 29, 2011


Maverick will cache map tiles. Thus you can see any map you've viewed on-line once, off-line without signal. You can also pre-load the tiles in bulk, but it's a bit arcane.
posted by sisquoc15 at 9:07 PM on June 29, 2011


My Tracks will work when in airplane mode, and it is made by the Googles, which is nice. You can also upload your tracks, etc. I think it was designed more for keeping track of running/biking, but I think it would work for your purposes as well.
posted by Grither at 4:35 AM on June 30, 2011


my tracks doesn't work because I can't import .gpx files, just export.
posted by no bueno at 9:45 AM on June 30, 2011


Haven't tried back country navigator pro but I've definitely been considering it for some time. It sounds like exactly what I need, I just am somewhat concerned about the functionality. Maybe I'll take the plunge. As for anyone watching the thread I'll post back eventually with whichever one I choose.
posted by no bueno at 10:06 AM on June 30, 2011


I'm a bit of a fan of MyTrails.
Is has some 40 map sources (Google, Yahoo, MS, Ovi, OSM) from which you can create offline packages in the app. If you use MOBAC on your computer you can quickly create MGM packages of any shape (ie along a gpx track) of all OpenStreetMap sources.
But that's not even the strongest point of MyTrails. The OpenGL rendering is super-smooth, the interface very clean and in the track manager you can easily load dozens of GPX tracks together and give them a separate color or color them according to altitude. So you're not limited to one track to follow while on a hike.

Also there's gpsies and dropbox integration for in- and exporting tracks.The pro license is worth both euros. Oh, and the developer is very responsive.
posted by Akeem at 7:23 AM on July 1, 2011


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