Phone as a GPS

drake2h

Member
Joined
May 3, 2010
Messages
13
I personally use on-x, and download the offline maps while I have service, and it has worked well for me. With my phone in airplane mode, it lasts 3ish days, maybe more. We also carry a Garmin mini in case of emergencies so we can have contact, often times we are 40+ miles from phone service. It can track, add way points and markers with photos, and do pretty much anything a basic GPS can do. It costs money, but it is also useful for other things as well. Here are some photos of what it looks like and detail, you can have topo, satellite, or hybrid with both. View attachment 226334View attachment 226335View attachment 226336
+1
I’m running the same system and am happy with it. OnX costs money, but most tools do. Regardless of which software you choose, be cognizant of phone battery life. My iPhone is old and tired. Still does fine in airplane mode in September, but it really struggles in November. I carry a battery bank to also charge headlamp and InReach.
 

ponderosa11

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2020
Messages
19
Location
South Dakota
As a timber tech/wildland firefighter, I use OnX and Avenza a lot. There are a ton of free maps available for Avenza which the basic version is free. You can download free USGS quad maps of the area you plan to go into and use it on airplane mode to conserve battery. There are other maps you can buy too. They have USFS forest maps and some states offer detail GMU maps. Most maps cost 4.99 but then you own them.
Avenza is great. I get the pro version free for work but anyone can use up to five maps at a time (I think) for free. You can find almost any USFS map free online if you look hard enough. Or learn to use open-source GIS software and make your own using publicly available GIS data. Or find a friend who works for the Forest Service and have them make you maps...
 

jimss

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Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
157
One thing I HATE about my Garmin is the screen is so darn small! My Iphone screen is around 2 to 3x larger which is a huge plus for the larger screened Iphones. I always have my Iphone along for photos. It's obviously an advantage to carry 1 item that does multiple jobs.
 

jasonco

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
1,399
Location
Colorado
Nice tablet holder. ???secure?? I just got a tab 5 SE and looking for something to hold it securely so it doesn't flop around and I can see it. What is the brand of the tablet holder?
1613844647061.png
 

jimss

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Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
157
I have one that's very similar that is mounted in my work tractor. It works really well!
 

TimberWalker

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Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Missouri
Thanks for the replies guys. I use an onx chip in my GPS for the two times I have went to WY. My other hunting is much closer as in home and one neighboring state. I believe with onx I would be dinged for each State. Was preparing for a hunt in a neighboring state on only somewhat familiar ground and only looking to mark my stand or maybe mark where tracking a deer. So battery life on my phone not a big deal. Now that I think about it some more, I have a smaller Garmin from a dog tracking system I no longer use. That would be pretty compact for me to carry and do what I need. Thanks again for the replies.
@jebel gave a lot of good points in his post. Figuring out the tricks (especially with conserving the battery) keeps me using just the phone. If you're going backpacking you could bring along a battery pack, they work pretty well. OnX has discounts occasionally from places like camofire, I just get that one and think it's like 60 bucks a year.

Edit: should clarify, that's the premium membership which is for all states.
 
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PHunter

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
18
I personally use on-x, and download the offline maps while I have service, and it has worked well for me. With my phone in airplane mode, it lasts 3ish days, maybe more. We also carry a Garmin mini in case of emergencies so we can have contact, often times we are 40+ miles from phone service. It can track, add way points and markers with photos, and do pretty much anything a basic GPS can do. It costs money, but it is also useful for other things as well. Here are some photos of what it looks like and detail, you can have topo, satellite, or hybrid with both. View attachment 226334View attachment 226335View attachment 226336
I do the same with downloads on On X.
But I also carry GPS with a chip for Montana deer hunts to show the Block Management areas. Maybe this year I will try my phone only.
 

seattleman1969

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Joined
Oct 3, 2014
Messages
313
Location
Missoula, Mt
I do the same with downloads on On X.
But I also carry GPS with a chip for Montana deer hunts to show the Block Management areas. Maybe this year I will try my phone only.
I’ve been using my phone for several years now with OnX and its better than adequate. Of course I know my area inside and out without it, but when exploring a new area I will download the areas maps to my phone and hike it to validate. I have never found an issue other than landowners moving their fences (validated by Montana GIS and BLM Manager for the area), but the program has been accurate and reliable.
 
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