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Hike Trackers?

Hey, what do you guys use to track your hikes? (If you track them at all). I used to use Google Tracks on my phone. It worked really well honestly. The map wasn't always clear (given service limitations), but there was always some kind of a map so you could see where you've been. And I just like knowing how many miles I've gone and how long the hike took. I had all my hikes saved so when I wanted to know how long it'd take me to do this or that, I could check how long it took me the last time.

Google recently discontinued this app though, so I'm looking for a new one. I've been hiking recently without one and I find it challenging to not be able to check how many miles I've gone (so I know how many more there are). Also, at some point, they added how many calories you burned (and it was smart too, it took elevation into account). At first I was like I don't care how many calories I've burned, but one day I hiked a lot up high and I burned like 1500 calories and it was like oh crap that's as many as I eat in a day and I had to go home and eat like 3000 calories. So in that way it was useful.

Anyway, I need something to replace it. I don't know if that's another app for my phone or a for real expensive hike tracking device. Looking for recommendations!

Apps getting discontinued seems common. I used to use EveryTrail for iPhone but once Delorme bought the company they killed the app. Now I use one called GPS Hiker which at least will communicate with the Everytrail website. For casual hikes locally I use Runkeeper but it is not always accurate about elevation. I hiked Baldy a couple weeks ago and it showed over 5000 feet of elevation gain from Manker. The actual satellite tracking seems good, when I look later it appears to follow the trails.

Garmin eTrex GPS.

I like some of the phone apps but they burn up my battery. Backcountry Navigator is very full featured. Not a problem on a 4 hour hike, but it would kill my phone on all day adventures.
Uncle Rico

I've used Backpacker GPS Trails with moderate success. Tracks mileage, elevation gain, shows your track on a topo, and allows you to identify benchmarks with or without an accompanying photo. As is typical with these apps, it burns the battery. In the old days, you could upload your track onto Google Earth. You can still do that, but you've got to purchase the premium version (or whatever they call it).

I use a beat-up Tom Harrison map that I usually keep folded up in my pack, because I've already memorized my route for the day. Then I take a bunch of pictures and figure out how long the hike took by looking at the time stamps. If I'm feeling ambitious, then I'll draw in the track from memory in Garmin Basecamp, not the greatest software map, but it's what I have, since I got tired of replacing my lost GPS machines.

I use the Gaia GPS app on my phone.  It works great!  The only downside is that it's $20.  But $20 well spent.  You can pre-download all sorts of different maps for free (USGS topo, USFS topo, Open Hiking Map, Open Cycle Map, Open Street Map, Nautical Charts, etc.) and then when you're out of cell range you can put the phone on airplane mode (but with GPS enabled) and still know where you are.  It records tracks and waypoints as on any GPS, and you can email them to yourself afterward.

And their support is great.  A few weeks ago, when my phone updated it's OS to Android 6.0, the app was semi-broken.  I uninstalled, then reinstalled the app, but it still wouldn't see my memory card for map storage.  I emailed Gaia and they did their best to help me, and also offered me a full refund if I wasn't happy.  Now that's service!  Luckily for me, I was eventually able to get the app working properly again, because I really didn't want the refund.  I wanted the app.

Their main competition is BackCountry Navigator, which I believe is about $10.  It's supposed to be good, but I can't say if it is.

On my Galaxy S5, on airplane mode, I once bushwhacked for 14 hours while recording a track and I still had 33% of my battery left.  It was in a wooded area, with minimal views, so I took it out to check my position fairly often, let me tell you.  Pretty good!  And, no, I don't work for them...

Thanks for the recs! I'm going to try out some of the apps you've mentioned and look into some of the more hardcore gps devices. Forum Index -> Gear & Fitness
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