[pct-l] Best gps iPhone app?

Laura Newman newmanonthepct at gmail.com
Wed Sep 23 16:26:13 CDT 2009

All great advice. Thanks guys.  I just got the 3gs so I'll play around  
with the suggestions.

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 23, 2009, at 2:00 PM, Bill Burge <bill at burge.com> wrote:

> Dang!
> Now I have to buy (and wring out) another app!
> (Actually, I LOVE doing that.  I could go broke doing that for apps
> and devices!  ;-)
> Looking for a BlackBerry and money for coverage and apps...  ;-) ;-)
> BillB
> On Sep 23, 2009, at 1:46 PM, Denis Stanton wrote:
>> Hi Laura
>> I'd like to add one more to the detailed and excellent analysis from
>> Bill
>> I used Phil Endecott's 'Topo Maps' app on my last section hike and
>> highly recommend it.
>> I was daunted by it at first and it took me a while to appreciate  
>> what
>> it does.  It is not a substitute for Google Maps as it doesn't have a
>> searchable index of every place name you can think of. In the version
>> I used on the PCT in June it could only search by map name.  This
>> seems to have been expanded a lot and it now seems to have a list of
>> geographical points of interest.
>> It is not a substitute for MotionX GPS as it doesn't have all the
>> average speed, distance to waypoint, estimated time of arrival etc.
>> calculations
>> Don't be put off (as I was at first) by what it doesn't have.  What  
>> it
>> does have is fantastic.  It has the ability to download and store any
>> of the thousands of USGS 1:24,000 and Natural Resources Canada
>> 1:50,000 maps.  The maps take a while to download (5 or 10 minutes
>> each for me) so you do this BEFORE you leave home.  The maps are then
>> securely cached so when you are on the trail all you need is the GPS
>> signal (free from the sky above), not the cell-phone connection (from
>> the cell tower which is probably out of range).
>> On my trip in June I did the Rae Lakes Loop.  I spent an evening at
>> home downloading 20 or so maps covering the whole trip from Road's  
>> End
>> to Vidette Meadows, Rae Lakes, Woods Creek and the PCT as far as VVR
>> just in case.  This was a moderately laborious task because each map
>> takes a while to download and then you have to follow the PCT across
>> the map and figure out which map you want to get next.
>> Having done this the Topo Maps application became my best friend on
>> the trail.  Just click a button to place yourself accurately on these
>> really detailed maps that have the PCT clearly marked.  Some other
>> maps are really made for motorists and don't bother much with serious
>> trails, but the USGS 1:24,000 are the ones you would be carrying all
>> the way if you could afford to buy them all and manage the weight
>> I came over Glen Pass in light snow.  The trail was buried knee-deep
>> and although I could see the Rae Lakes in the distance I have to make
>> my own way down.  I post-holed until I felt it was safe to slide and
>> then sat down and glissaded happily down the hill.  Incidentally this
>> was a much nicer experience than last year when I tried something
>> similar on the north side of Forrester, got out of control and
>> discovered to my cost that you can't self arrest by planting your  
>> only
>> hiking pole in the snow between your knees as you slide.
>> When I got the end of the snow I had no idea where the actual trail
>> was.  I came off the snow into a maze of scrubby bushes and small
>> trees, patches of snow and lots of streams.  I thought the most  
>> likely
>> place for the trail was on the stony ridge away to my right.    
>> Another
>> hiker following a similar trajectory down the snow called out to ask
>> if I knew which way to go and I suggested the ridge looked likely.
>> Then I took out the iPhone, opened Top Maps and touched the "show me
>> where I am button".  A couple of seconds later if dropped a blue dot
>> onto the map and I could see the red line of the PCT was nearby on my
>> left.  I shouted back "I think it's about 20 feet that way", walked
>> around a patch of scrub and that's exactly where it was.  That one
>> moment easily repaid the $6.99.  I could have wasted a lot of energy
>> climbing onto the wrong ridge.
>> I see Phil has added a lot more features since my last hike.  I look
>> forward to trying it out.  There are many other GPS apps that are fun
>> and interesting.  This one could really be a life saver.
>> Denis
>> On 23/09/2009, at 5:11 AM, Laura Newman wrote:
>>> Any recommendations? Thanks, laura
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