For this episode of The By Land Podcast, I reached out to Gaia GPS to find out more about this idea of using a smartphone as a navigational tool. They linked me up Ashli from Gaia, who is a fellow Thru-Hiker and has been using her phone as a mobile navigation tool for quite some time. I personally used a mobile mapping device on the PCT in 2017 and have been a Gaia user for at least 2 years. Before that, I always used a dedicated GPS receiver like a Garmin to navigate in the backcountry. Either off trail or on trail, I relied on a hand held receiver to get me where I needed to go.
When it was time to replace my GPS, I basically didn't want to spend another 500 bucks on something I wasn't using every day. I began looking at other options and realized that my phone had a GPS in it and soon found Gaia GPS. It was a mobile mapping tool that could do a number of things, but I struggled with the idea of trusting it. After a couple of years of use and more experience using my phone for navigation, I'm happy to say I'm a believer.
This episode is all about using your phone for navigation in the backcountry and about what Gaia GPS has to offer users. Ashli walks me through what features Gaia offers and how it all works. They've recently updated their software to offer even more features so it's even better than it was!
If you're on the fence about using your smartphone as a navigation tool, check this episode out. I think you'll have some questions answered and you can even give Gaia a try for FREE because they've given my listeners a FREE three month subscription to their standard membership by using the button below. You literally have nothing to lose so give it a go!
We even dive into some Thru-Hiking stuff as well so if you're interested in Ashli's experience, you'll want to keep listening!
Show Notes and Links:
- Intro to Ashli and Gaia GPS
- What is Gaia?
- What is mobile mapping and navigation?
- Gaia GPS Features
- Pros and cons to using your smartphone for navigation
- How Ashli uses her Gaia GPS app
- Gaia for Search and Rescue (True Story)
- Emory's experience with using Gaia and his phone for mobile navigation
- How Emory uses his Gaia app
- Ashli's outdoor advice to beginners
- Ashli's Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike story and lessons learned
- Advice on Thru-Hiking
- Gaia promotion for By Land listeners