Navigation-Gaia or inReach?

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tahoe23
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Navigation-Gaia or inReach?

Post by tahoe23 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:14 pm

I do a fair amount of cross country travel in the High Sierra. This group has been great for information about off trail routes. I generally use paper maps and route descriptions and added Gaia on my phone the past few years. It's so helpful to see exactly where I am and I'm learning to use it more fully. Now I have a new inReach mini to replace my old 1way Spot PLB. My question is: What does the inReach offer for navigation that is better than Gaia? I would like to keep the electronic use to a minimum. Should I just use the inReach for communication/SOS and stick with Gaia for navigation? I guess if the phone breaks/dies then I would have the inReach to use for navaigation. FYI-the phone is also my camera and I carry an anker battery to keep everything charged and I have my phone paired with the inReach for better screen. Thanks! and I hope we all get to experience the amazing High Sierra this summer.








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SirBC
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Re: Navigation-Gaia or inReach?

Post by SirBC » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:42 pm

I have both and much prefer the Gaia app vs. the InReach Earthmate app on my phone. I pretty much only use the Earthmate app when I want to send a message. One feature of the Gaia app that I really like is to take a photo and add it as a waypoint. When I am scouting for photo locations that comes in very handy. I also like to keep track of spots that would make for good camping sites and I add the photo and waypoint to Gaia (and sync back to CalTopo when I get home) so that I can keep my own database of good camping sites (with photos). Gaia also has a lot more map layers and is constantly adding new features and layers.
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grampy
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Re: Navigation-Gaia or inReach?

Post by grampy » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:36 pm

Gaia is wonderful. It also has its quirks; in particular its (occasional) errors in spelling (or mis-location) of geographical features, missing trails, etc in the “default” Gaia map layer. Just take the time to download map data from more than one layer (Gaia plus USGS plus whatever) BEFORE your trip, AND compare it to an authoritative map source (CalTopo or Tom Harrison, etc) and it will be easier/more versatile than a Garmin device - for navigation purposes.

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The Other Tom
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Re: Navigation-Gaia or inReach?

Post by The Other Tom » Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:08 am

I'd take both...Gaia for nav and inReach for backup nav. As you pointed out, inReach also serves as an SOS device, and you can text other people you may be hiking with or family back home.

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CAMERONM
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Re: Navigation-Gaia or inReach?

Post by CAMERONM » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:11 am

GAIA is nicer to use for navigation and maps. However I load up the iPhone Earthmate with its vector-based maps so even if I forget or do something wrong with the preloaded GAIA maps, I can follow something very decent on Earthmate. Generally I keep Earthmate/Bluetooth off to save battery, turn it on for messaging. I also use tracking with the Mini so I usually don't track with GAIA, although it does lay down more points.

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