A functional GPS and maps are essential gears needed before embarking on any outdoor adventure like hiking; that’s like a rule. There are many phone navigation apps out there. Still, inexorably, one app brand would outperform others in terms of specs and recognition. That brand is Gaia GPS. It comes with great features that have made it one of the best navigation apps.
The Gaia GPS app is straightforward to use, and it comes with the best topographic maps compared to other apps. It also supports satellite maps and road maps. Users get access to easy-to-read maps with a remarkably fast and beautiful rendering.
With this app, just plan, navigate, and stay safer in the woods.
WHAT YOU WILL GET
This GPS app has a lot of exciting features. Therefore, it is not surprising that the mobile app has over a million users.
In this section, we will discuss some of these features.
Map Details and Functionality: The maps on this app are very accurate and detailed. It is even convenient to read on small screens. You can hardly get this anywhere, as other apps are not entirely favorable to small screens. Usually, on a smaller screen, there are lesser details and map sources. But with Gaia, you have an enhanced view. This GPS app provides you with as much detail as you can get on a paper map.
Live Data: While hiking, the Gaia GPS app shows you live data such as speed and elevation graph, highest point, and some other useful information about your movement.
Multiple Map Sources: One of the strongholds of Gaia Maps is that it has many map variety, providing users the opportunity to choose which suits them best.
Some of these maps are National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps, Satellite Imagery, Cell phone coverage Maps, GAIA TOPO Maps, USGS TOPO Maps, USFS Recreation Sites Map, and GAIA with Apple CarPlay Maps (The list is, however, not restricted to these).
Cell Phone Coverage Maps: It is not uncommon to go camping or hunting, and you’ll discover that you don’t have network coverage. This could be very frustrating, especially if you missed the road. Gaia Maps helps you solve this significant challenge.
Once you have chosen your destination, the app can show you if there’ll be network coverage in your destination.
Why is this useful?
That will bring us to the next feature.
Offline Maps Available: Gaia GPS enables users to download maps and waypoints to your phone so that you can use it offline afterward. Suppose you discover there is no WiFi or cellular network available in your destination. In that case, you can download the maps to your phone. Once you get to the track, the maps will be available for use offline and provide you with the navigation you need.
Gaia GPS App comes with three membership levels. Each level comes with different access to different features of the app. You can choose the one that works best for you.
Free Level: This level is only suitable for a preview of the app. You can Use Gaia Free GPS for exploring and navigating different areas. You can also plan routes, record tracks, and geolocate your current position. With this, you get access to only the default map source (Gaia Topo). Also, you will not be able to download maps to your phone for offline use. The following are the features you can have access to with this level:
• Planning routes
• Marking waypoints
• Using GPS
• Recording your trip
• Backing up your tracks to gaiagps.com
• Sharing tracks with friends
Member Level: This level gives you access to all app features. However, it has limited map sources. With this membership level, you can have access to all features of free membership, plus:
• Downloading maps for offline use
• Print maps from the official Gaia website (www.gaiagps.com)
Subscribing to this membership plan costs $19.99 per month.
Note that you won’t be able to download a layered map with this level of membership.
Premium Member Level: This level gives you access to all app features and a full library of Gaia maps and overlay (a total of 250+). You get access to maps like NatGeo Trails Illustrated (including Appalachian Trail, Colorado Trail, and John Muir Trail maps), France IGN, Swiss Topo, ESRI World Satellite Imagery, US Hunting Layers, US Private Land Ownership (including owner names and addresses for parcels), Backroads Mapbooks Canada, Hill-shading, contour-line, slope-angle, and other overlays.
You can also download layered maps with this level. With this, you can apply overlays (contour lines, hill shading, slopes, etc.) to any map.
Subscribing to this membership plan costs $39.99 per month.
HOW TO USE
Download and Subscribe: Download the Gaia app on your smartphone from the Play Store (for Android) and Apps Store (for iPhone). Choose your desired membership level to complete this process.
Download an Area: Choose the area you want to download. The location should include the whole route of your adventure. It is advisable to keep this area a little bigger than your intended route. It will help keep reference during magnification, especially on smaller screens.
Select and Download Layer: Note that downloading of multiple layers is only possible with the premium membership. Tap the layers icon at the top-right section of the screen. Select your desired layers and download.
Download Maps: To do this, tap the Plus (+) button from the top menu and select download map. A red box should pop up; you can resize it by moving its corners.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE GAIA GPS
Speed and Optimized files: The map files on this GPS application are small. And obviously, the smaller the size, the faster the download speed. The speed is just what some users want!
Sharp and Detailed Maps: The app uses a vector-based map to ensure a brilliant display of maps, no matter the zoom level.
User-friendliness: The app is easy to operate. It has an icon-based menu that can be collapsed to enjoy the fullscreen map.
Super Maps Catalogue: There are over 250 maps available for you to choose from. Among these maps include NatGeo Trails Illustrated maps, which are rated the best and most used for outdoor activities in the country.
Gaia GPS has proven to be one of the best navigation systems for outdoor sports and activities. It has everything we could think of for outdoor recreation. This Smartphone GPS app is best used for Backpacking, Day Hiking, Hunting, Camping, Off-roading, Overlanding, Mountaineering, Backcountry skiing, Mountain Biking, and other professional uses.
With the numerous resources that are available on this app, it is a leading choice for GPS navigation. Your phone is something you would go with on an adventure. This means downloading the app will not be extra weight, even if you intend to travel light. The app has proven to be very useful, effective, and efficient for hikers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts.