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High Tech Devices?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by 50something View Post
    To all - what are the best smartphone gps apps? and are they useful when the phone has bare minimum reception?

    I recently upgraded from my old flip phone and after getting some great advice from Trail Boss, have been using AlpineQuest on a GS5. I've been very happy with it so far. I don't mind the raster maps and, since the phone has a pressure sensor, I believe the elevation data is accurate. With tracking on a 10 second interval I can get up to about 20 hours of use on a battery charge. I've only ever used a GPS as a recorder and that's mostly what I use the AlpineQuest app for, so that helps with battery life. Navigation will obviously eat up more energy. This winter I have used it for navigation on a few occasions and it has proven to be very accurate. Thanks again to TB et al for the accuracy of the trails on OSM.


    • Trail Boss
      Trail Boss commented
      Editing a comment
      Glad to hear it worked out for you! Also happy to hear the combo of AlpineQuest and Galaxy S5's barometric altimeter work well. If you haven't already tried it, set AlpineQuest to use the GPS for altitude measurements (the default mode) and marvel at the inflated results it produces for total ascent. Good for the ego but nothing else.

      FWIW, it's one of the reasons I switched to Locus Map because it can calculate ascent using an offline DEM (my phone doesn't have a barometric altimeter). AlpineQuest can't do that (yet) but the developer may be heading in that direction. In the last update, you can download the DEM for a given area for shading purposes and "spot altitude" measurements.

      If you bump up the recording rate, you can use your tracks to help update OpenStreetMap. There are missing trails so if you ever find yourself hiking along the West or East River Trails in the AMR, or going to Cathedral Rocks, or Lost Lookout, or along the Colvin Range south of Blake, or ... yeah, there's still a lot of work to be done. Strava's Heat Map is a handy reference, for OSM mapping, but it lacks many of the trails I just mentioned.

  • #17
    on SPOT. I first acquired a Gen1 SPOT in 2008, while preparing for the first ever Yukon River 1000 mile canoe race in 2009, because it was a requirement to use it according to the new race rules. Racers were required to demonstrate they knew how to use it with test messages before coming to the Yukon and being allowed to enter the race. We were cautioned and warned that if we failed to transmit SPOT messages at certain times, a 30 minute time penalty would be added to our official finish time for each missed transmission. Since relatively big money was involved, this could be a big deal. Counter to the cautions and detailed instruction provided, some teams chose to put their device in a pocket or in a pack or otherwise did not mount it correctly so that the antenna was pointed at the open sky. As a result, some teams were assessed as much as 9 hours of time penalties. But since my SPOT was mounted on the bow deck where I could control and monitor it, my team's time was clean. Since then I have taken that same Gen1 and a then new Gen2 on three more races down the Yukon, and am getting ready to do it again this coming June.

    One set of lithium batteries will last at least 3 days of continuous use (minus 6 hours per "night" of required stops to camp in the river).
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 04-02-2017, 06:18 PM.
    "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell


    • #18
      ​There's a good thread on about: inReach Explorer+ and long trips
      Looking for Views!