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Thread: Hiking by App

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Hiking by App

    I suppose it had to happen: "There's an App for that" has come to long distance hiking.

    Here's an interesting article on the increasing popularity and use of the Guthook Guide series of long-distance trail apps.

    Leave your paper maps, trail guides and compass at home, but keep that phone charged and at the ready.

    Trails might eventually look like a typical city street, with everyone constantly checking their phones!

    Welcome to the machine.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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    What's next, sliced bread?!?!

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    I LOVE LOVE LOVE planning my backpacking trips using Guthook's App.

    The app generates the distance - elevation profiles, has viewpoints and water sources called out, and has photos of all major water crossing and trail heads.

    Basically combine your GPS and the AWOL guide into a single phone app. Kudos to him for recognizing that a cell phone app could provide both services.

    I haven't needed to use it as a GPS while hiking, but it does have that figure, i.e showing the cell phone's GPS coordinates onto the preloaded maps.

    Doesn't replace a map and compass but most LD hikers seem to be bringing phone battery cells because their phone is their camera, map set, GPS, guide book, music, and reading material all in one.

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    The comment sections on the water sources, camp sites, trail jcts, etc are invaluable for real time updates and being able to judge seasonal changes and popularity. Plus it gives me 3 maps to look at that are more accurate for trails than the USGS quads or AMC maps.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    The comment sections on the water sources, camp sites, trail jcts, etc are invaluable for real time updates and being able to judge seasonal changes and popularity. Plus it gives me 3 maps to look at that are more accurate for trails than the USGS quads or AMC maps.
    Baaahhh!

    This sh*t is the death of adventure by a thousand cuts (or data points). It's one thing to use an app for planning, but using it while actually on a hike?

    Cool. No need anymore to improvise, alter the plan on the fly, cope with the unexpected or accommodate the unknown cause WE ALL KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE WHERE WE'RE HEADED IN REAL TIME!

    I'd rather watch the YouTube video of the hike.
    Last edited by ChrisB; 07-08-2019 at 07:40 PM.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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    Senior Member dailey7779's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    I'd rather watch the YouTube video of the hike.

    And while you're on there . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ-LivK4-78

  7. #7
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    I bet there is a good number of hikers now who have never carried a paper map on a trai or owned a standalone camera. The convenience of a smartphone seems to outweigh safety concerns for many.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Baaahhh!

    This sh*t is the death of adventure by a thousand cuts (or data points). It's one thing to use an app for planning, but using it while actually on a hike?

    Cool. No need anymore to improvise, alter the plan on the fly, cope with the unexpected or accommodate the unknown cause WE ALL KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE WHERE WE'RE HEADED IN REAL TIME!

    I'd rather watch the YouTube video of the hike.
    By "real time" I mean I'm planning my trip Thursday night and it's nice to know if X water source might be dry or that Y campsite is busy AF in winter or if Z shelter burned down. But whatevs, different strokes.

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    I love Guthooks apps. It works better than Gaia, but I use it in conjunction with paper maps. It does remove a bit of the unknown, but you still have to walk the trail, climb the mountain, experience the sweat, bugs, heat or cold, humidity and be rewarded with the spectacular views. It takes away the unknowns without removing the hard work and rewards. One still can't control the weather and the slope of the mountain or experience the trail.

  10. #10
    Senior Member griffin's Avatar
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    Not doing your research beforehand, unprepared, no business, make them pay for rescue, wah wah wah.

    Doing too much research, should be able to deal with conditions you find on the trail/unknown, where's the adventure, wah wah wah.

    Map and compass was a new idea once, too. Hike your own hike.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    I bet there is a good number of hikers now who have never carried a paper map on a trai or owned a standalone camera. The convenience of a smartphone seems to outweigh safety concerns for many.
    And they end up in the weekly published Forest Ranger Highlights pages.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    And they end up in the weekly published Forest Ranger Highlights pages.
    I try not to be a total Luddite, but I do admit that I'm pretty Old School when it come to outdoor pursuits. Guilty as charged!

    For example, I cringe when I am on the trail and I hear a cell phone ring.

    Funny story -- When I was leading short winter hikes out of Pinkham as an AMC vol, I'd ask participants to turn off their phones or leave them behind for the one-hour duration of the hike (usually Lost Pond). The amount of push back I got was a surprise to me.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  13. #13
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    What's an App?

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    Senior Member Mohamed Ellozy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Funny story -- When I was leading short winter hikes out of Pinkham as an AMC vol, I'd ask participants to turn off their phones or leave them behind for the one-hour duration of the hike (usually Lost Pond). The amount of push back I got was a surprise to me.
    How do you take photos without your phone????

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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Wow, a bunch of us folks with 2003-4 join dates in one thread.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

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