Anyone using smartphone for gps and topo map ?

rye_a

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Apr 23, 2012
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Colorado
No, just a dedicated GPS and topo map. A set of batteries lasts a LONG time and can be replaced with standard AAs when they run out. That way I'm not relying on a solar charger that may or may not work to keep a proprietary and in my case sealed (iPhone) battery charged.

I do carry my phone for its camera, and I also have a simple app that can tell me my coordinates as a backup.
 
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gonepublic

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Apr 14, 2012
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I have been using Backcountry navigator for a little over a year. I am very pleased with the program, but bought a Garmin 62s as my dedicated GPS.
My phone was not rugged enough to depend on as my primary GPS.
I still carry my phone as a backup, and for the camera. I also have other apps on my phone I use reated to hunting.

I use the goal zero Guide 10 kit for charging.
 

Curtis C

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Mar 1, 2012
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Colorado Springs, CO
My experience has been that the GPS function of a smartphone really struggles to find and maintain accurate location when outside of cell range. Battery life was also significantly shorter when the GPS/Phone was working its tail off trying to get a location. I still use mine in areas that have cell coverage but use a dedicated Mapping GPS for back-country travel.

C
 

JG358

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado
Curious what mapping programs people are using on their smartphone and what chargers for the backcountry.
Of the places we've hunted the last 4 years, how many had good enough cell service that you could have used your phone as a GPS?
 

Chesapeake

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Apr 15, 2012
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I have the Topo Maps app on mine as well as, Wind meter, Shooter, Navionics, and RMushrooms. Its not my primary navigation aid but I do use it to look at topo, satalite images, and water navigation charts from time to time. It also runs my ballistics program and has a nice app for identifying mushrooms.

I use a Garmin GPS, and carry map and compass, and often satelite images printed out and laminated.

My apps dont need cell service to use them for looking, but they need it to use as a GPS. I load the maps using Wifi before I head out.

I turn it off and/or put it on airplane mode to conserve battery. Seems fairly rugged in its Otter case.
 
OP
a3dhunter

a3dhunter

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Of the places we've hunted the last 4 years, how many had good enough cell service that you could have used your phone as a GPS?
Don't know, I do know that when I didn't have cell phone service last year hunting whitetails it still was able to identify location through gps signal. Maybe it was previously stored before I lost service, don't know...
 

JG358

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Don't know, I do know that when I didn't have cell phone service last year hunting whitetails it still was able to identify location through gps signal. Maybe it was previously stored before I lost service, don't know...
I'm just thinking the list of places I go that dont have cell service out number the places I go that do. I like the idea of using the phone but I think youd be better off having a dedicated GPS.
 

dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
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I just don't like the battery life on my phone so dedicated gps for me. The added weight of a charger I just don't want to add it.

Also, for a phone it doesn't matter if you have cell service, it obtains the signal just like the garmin. Your battery will last longer if you disable the phone so it is not searching for a cell signal and the gps will function better alsoif the phone isn't running 50 processes to find a cell signal. Also to extend your battery life download the app, juice defender. All that said I still prefer my garmin.

Also I think the garmin will pick up the gps signal better then any smart phone, i think todays smart phone are about as good at aquiring the gps signal as the older dedicated gps. I also like the fact that my garmin etrex 20 locks on to not only US satts but Russian.
 
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MOHunter

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Apr 15, 2012
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Dedicated GPS here as well. I've really considered the phone option, but I just don't think it's quite ready. The battery life and ruggedness are big drawbacks for me. Also, I can use my GPS with gloves on.

I do think the phone is quickly replacing the GPS units for auto-navigation, however.
 

slim9300

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Feb 26, 2012
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Olympia, WA
The one advantage is the ability flip back an forth from high quality aerial photos to a topo map that both show your position. GPS technology really lags in the screen quality department. I can see the tree stump I am standing next to in clear cuts with my iPhone or find a property corner without even trying. It's amazing. Someday they will put an iPhone quality interface and screen on a Garmin platform. Is anyone from Apple taking notes here? ;)

I use AccuTerra and it caches my aerial photos from Google Earth before I leave for the hunt. I keep my phone as kind of a luxury item in the backcounty (I also have a Rino 530 HCX) but it's nice to see the exact lay of the land in HD when you are trying to make your next move or play a little WSOP while laying out in midday sun. :)
 

Chem-E

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Apr 28, 2012
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Location
Lehi, Utah
I use a GPS, but I use my iphone, for my SPOT connect. I use the Duracell rechargable lithium battery. The battery will recharge my ipnone 3gs to about 3/4power. I try to keep the phone off when not linking it the the spot to send a message. The battery does not weigh much, nor is it bulky. Carrying 3 of these would be equal to about 8-10 AA batteries.

I should try to use airplane mode and see how long the charge lasts.
 

T43

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Apr 13, 2012
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I use my Casio commando and the cabelas map app. I turn off the phone function and can get about 2 days out of the battery. The phone is shock proof water proof dust proof etc.
 

wyelkhunter

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Mar 14, 2012
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Kinnear, WY
I have been playing around with my phone as a gps. I can download my maps so I don't need cell service. I put it in airplane mode and the battery will last about 20 hours being on the whole time and using it off and on durring that time to look at maps and to go to differrent way points. It picks up satellites very well even under tree cover. Mine is a samsung galaxy s
 
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Rizzy

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Idaho
I am new to the iphone and like the idea of being able to use maps on it as well as the camera, music, movies, games, flashlight, compass and other stuff I haven't discovered yet. I just don't trust the battery on it, seems to not last long at all even on airplane mode.

So if the GPS function works without service, then where is the emergency SOS application. There should be no need for a spot device or service anymore. The iphone should be capable of this.
 

Mike P

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Mar 5, 2012
Messages
62
iphone

I use my Iphone exclusively now...

I have the new SPOT messenger that links to the Iphone and can send texts, then I use the iphone for my GPS and Topo maps if needed. You don't need cell service to do any of it and if you leave the phone on Airplane mode the battery will last for weeks if you turn it off when you are done with it. Map quality is better than my GPS and then I have a Phone, GPS, SPOT messenger, maps and a second camera all in one.

Cheers

Mike
 

slim9300

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Olympia, WA
I am new to the iphone and like the idea of being able to use maps on it as well as the camera, music, movies, games, flashlight, compass and other stuff I haven't discovered yet. I just don't trust the battery on it, seems to not last long at all even on airplane mode.

So if the GPS function works without service, then where is the emergency SOS application. There should be no need for a spot device or service anymore. The iphone should be capable of this.
You need this...

http://www.newtrent.com/store/iphone-external-battery/iphone-battery-imp500.html
 
OP
a3dhunter

a3dhunter

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Colorado Springs,CO
So, I decided to put the backcountrynavigator program to use this weekend in Colorado, unfortunately it didn't work!

When I hit the button to locate position I couldn't get a map to come up, this was near greenhorn mountain southwest of Pueblo. When I scrolled out, I had a map image south of me, and north of me, but where I needed it there was no topo available in any program.
Not sure what happened, but had to use the old Garmin gps to check what I needed to know.
 

McFly83

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Apr 27, 2012
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Location
Colorado
I've had the same thing happen. You have to zoom out a bit and download the map. You probably didn't have the best reception.
 

Jbirdhunter

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Feb 26, 2012
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Location
Colorado
Yes. I have a samsung galaxy with back country navigator pro for software. Works ok. it does what I need it to. I have a goal zero to charge it in the back county.
 
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