Phones as GPS units

14 Feb 2016 18:13 #67029 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Phones as GPS units
I took my cell phone with Wikiloc installed for a hike this weekend. I was out in the hills near Afriski and thus as far from cell signal as I could be. I downloaded the South Africa map beforehand.

It works really well. I could easily see where I was on a contour map, and hence where I was going (an arrow instead of a round dot might be useful, but that is nit-picking). It shows your current altitude and it is easy to get to the screen that shows stats of your hike (Ghaz gets excited!) such as distance travelled and altitude gained/lost.

You can see your co-ordinates by saving a waypoint.

My battery level dropped by about 25% for 5 hours of recording. I used the phone mainly for recording my trip rather than having the screen on all the time to navigate, but did switch it on occasionally to check all was working fine or to take a few photos.

It always hinted that the GPS signal was weak, but the track it recorded is accurate enough to suggest it was working fine. That was on an open ridge line - it might not be the same in a deep valley or pass.

A dedicated GPS is obviously better, but if you do not have one, this will serve you well
The following user(s) said Thank You: kbresler, andrew r, Redshift3, Coeta, leeuw

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
23 Feb 2016 07:26 - 23 Feb 2016 07:40 #67130 by Oneye
Replied by Oneye on topic Phones as GPS units
If you use Caltopo online be sure to turn on "shaded relief" a choice on the left.

You'd think for you australs in the wrong hemisphere it would be shaded canyons, but you still point your maps North, sheepishly aping us boreals, so no worries.

I bought Waypoint Pro - doesn't use maps, just a goto/save, but very easy on batteries, and so long as you have the GPS co-ords (INCL altitude) it works as a goto perfectly. I navigate finely by altitude since it changes much faster.

I also bought Gaia GPS but have not used it yet. They do have maps in Africa. I'll report back later.

Also bought Stellarium. Gobsmacked.
Last edit: 23 Feb 2016 07:40 by Oneye.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Mar 2016 20:17 #67490 by Biomech
Replied by Biomech on topic Phones as GPS units
I tested Wikiloc on the hike that my wife and I did with Ghaz and Hobbitt at Lotheni last weekend. It worked very well and actually managed to get us out of a slightly confusing misty section in the Little Berg. The offline SA map has got some commonly used or well-known trails hard coded into it, which was interesting and helpful. Especially in the context of the zero path situation in most of Lotheni. We simply set a line to connect with the path that was displayed on the offline map (Waterfall path from Sime's Cottage) and it indeed materialised! Our sore feet were rather happy.

The phone GPS was not ideal and sometimes lost signal when in the upper parts of passes with high cliffs etc, but overall I am more than happy with the result. The battery usage over 3 days required a spare battery to be carried (even in the phone's power-saving mode), but this only added around 170g to the pack.
The following user(s) said Thank You: saros, Redshift3, Coeta

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
29 Mar 2016 16:28 #67520 by Redshift3
Replied by Redshift3 on topic Phones as GPS units
Really chuffed to see several guys trying out the Wikiloc App since I first posted about it on the thread back on the 07th of Jan 2016. Please remember the app is the mobile part, if you use Google Earth there is a standard plugin under Google Earth-Layers-Gallery-Wikiloc. So you can see all available trails (worldwide), you can check them out on Google Earth on your PC (trail info & pics).
Set up your profile on Wikiloc.com and share not only your downloadable route but information and pictures as well. Remember there is no charge to register on Wikiloc.
Wikiloc homepage for sign up or login

“You need special shoes for hiking — and a bit of a special soul as well.”
Terri Guillemets
The following user(s) said Thank You: saros

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
30 Dec 2016 08:22 #70467 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic iPhone as a gps unit
Hi Guys

I am keen to use my iphone 6 as a gps unit, which seems possible - www.adventurealan.com/iphone-gps-map-backpacking/#mapping-apps

Does anyone know a good source of berg hiking maps or map app that i can download and then use. If not an app, I am also not sure of how you go about downloading these maps onto your phone and what app you would use and how you go about using them.

Some help if you have experience in this would be appreciated.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
30 Dec 2016 11:19 #70469 by JSchofield
Replied by JSchofield on topic iPhone as a gps unit
I've tried several apps but keep returning to ViewRanger.

From within the app one can select and download required maps into the phone for off-line use (I use the ViewRanger Landscape series), and it is possible to create a route to follow either in the app, on the ViewRanger website, or by importing a GPX track.

The recent update includes a feature they've called "Skyline" which is truly awesome.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
30 Dec 2016 14:53 #70470 by Andreas
Replied by Andreas on topic iPhone as a gps unit
I could highly recommend Topo Maps +.

I've been using it for about 2/3 years now and at the time it was the best app of probably 10-15 that I tried on the app store and haven't had a reason to try anything else.

There's a subscription to be able to use the detailed maps but you can try out the app with low res maps for free to get a feel.
Easy to import tracks/locations from VE and maps can be downloaded offline which is a non nonnegotiable for a gps to be used in the mountains.

An example of why I stick to the app, on a hike this December we wound up looking for Roland's cave in the mist, the people who have been there before could obviously not orientate themselves and we were on a hunt. From what I read I knew it could be tricky to find so downloaded the Satellite images close to the cave and could easily navigate that way. (along with detailed topographical maps for the rest of the route and available gps tracks on VE)

(I assume this isn't necessary to tell you, but for the rest of the readers just a friendly reminder, a gps is only an aid to navigation, always, I repeat always take along at least one proper paper map in a group and know how to use it)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Jan 2017 08:56 #70497 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic iPhone as a gps unit
I amnot sure if it works on an iPhone but Wikiloc is a great app

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Jan 2017 02:14 #70510 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic iPhone as a gps unit
Thanx for the input, I will check it out.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
06 Jan 2017 08:26 #70528 by Redshift3
Replied by Redshift3 on topic iPhone as a gps unit
Hi Serious tribe,

I have been using my iPhone and Wikiloc for years. You can import tracks into Wikiloc and make them available on your mobile. If you really need you can follow the track down to the meter in the worst viz possible.
Two thing to consider when using a mobile phone as a GPS:

1. How to keep it charged? I use a Solar Power Monkey. Awesome gadget, hold several full charges and if the suns out you can
recharge the battery and keep going for weeks. I spent seven days earlier this year using my iPhone daily without a problem.
2. How to keep it dry and functional? There is a 100% waterproof cover called “Lifeproof” I can vouch for these cases. I used it in the
January rain and the July snow. My phone not only survived without a scratch but I never stopped using it as a GPS.

Lastly even though I love my gadgets and in particular my iPhone, I always carry and old Garmin Etrex for just in case. Below are the two links

Power Monkey
Lifeproof Case

Kind Regards,

“You need special shoes for hiking — and a bit of a special soul as well.”
Terri Guillemets
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rhinoandhedgehog

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum