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Any Useful iPhone Apps?

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Any Useful iPhone Apps?
December 27, 2011 06:56AM
Does anyone have any tips on useful iPhone apps for trails and backcountry?
avatar Re: Any Useful iPhone Apps?
December 27, 2011 11:44AM
I've found Phil Endecott's Topo Maps iPhone app to be well worth its $7.99 price tag.

iTunes Apps Store: Topo Maps by Phil Endecott

Topo Maps website: http://topomapsapp.com/



avatar Re: Any Useful iPhone Apps?
December 27, 2011 12:18PM
Quote
plawrence
I've found Phil Endecott's Topo Maps iPhone app to be well worth its $7.99 price tag.

Does it work with no signal?
Re: Any Useful iPhone Apps?
December 27, 2011 12:30PM
Quote

Does it work with no signal?

Yup, the iphone4 and later has a real GPS inside, so the GPS apps work just fine without a signal.

I never used to take my phone into the backcountry. Figured why bother as I seldom got reception.
Now I bring it more often than not. The camera is more than adequate for my needs and the GPS is handy as well.
The difficulty is keeping the battery charged. This summer I went on a 10 day trip and the charge was good for the duration, but then I only turned the phone on to take a picture or check position.
avatar Re: Any Useful iPhone Apps?
December 27, 2011 12:48PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
plawrence
I've found Phil Endecott's Topo Maps iPhone app to be well worth its $7.99 price tag.

Does it work with no signal?

Yes, if you already downloaded the topo maps beforehand.

The Topo Maps app is NOT a GPS program. It's just an app that lets you download as many USGS topo maps as you want at no extra cost (that can fit memory-wise) onto your iPhone or iPod Touch. So what I do is that I download all the USGS quadrangle topo maps that I will need for my trip before I leave home. Then out in the field, there's no need to have any type of internet connection to use this app.

I find it handier in many ways to use this app instead of pulling out a traditional paper topo map from my daypack or backpack. Think of it as a topo map that you can hold with just one hand with some additional nifty built-in features.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/28/2011 12:14AM by plawrence.
Re: Any Useful iPhone Apps?
December 27, 2011 02:28PM
Thanks for the info. The iPhone has on-board GPS down to the 3GS model -- so no signal is needed. There is a Cabela's app (I think it can be found on their website) that uses the GPS to mark coordinates -- again, without a cell signal. I was hoping to find something that married the GPS capability with trail maps.
avatar Re: Any Useful iPhone Apps?
December 27, 2011 11:11PM
Thanks for info on that app, I'll have to pick it up and check it out. While $8 seems steep for an app, thats the price of one USGS map, so its really quite reasonable.
avatar Re: Any Useful iPhone Apps?
December 28, 2011 01:37AM
+1 for Topo Maps. It works nice with the GPS on my hand-me-down 3gs. I don't use it as a primary navigation device, but it's great for scoping out routes in the tent, on the train, during boring business meetings and such.

Maplets is another great map app, 3 bucks.
http://www.mobilemaplets.com/
It doesn't serve up Topos, but rather the maps generated by other agencies: state parks, national forests, national parks, ski resorts, transit, bike routes, etc. For instance the Yosemite map they hand out at the park. I use it a lot - it's pretty well stocked.

The folks at the Mountain Project forum recently came out with their own app:
http://www.mountainproject.com/mobileApps.php
It's subscription-based, $5/year, pre-installed with some Colorado stuff. I installed it and it looks good, just haven't had time to subscribe and install all the California stuff. It works offline as a mobile version of their website - a pretty good resource. A little more oriented for climbers rather than hikers, but I have no shame scrapping my way up their descent routes.

I shuffle through all sorts of weather apps. ClimbingWeather is free and pretty fast.
http://www.climbingweather.com/

Gas Buddy to save money burning dinosaurs on the approach.

Another no-brainer is iBooks. I lug around all sorts of PDFs, SuperTopos, my camera manual, junk from the internet.
avatar Re: Any Useful iPhone Apps?
December 28, 2011 01:40AM
If we're talking other apps that I use for backpacking then I do have quite a few weather apps:
Accuweather
The Weather Channel Max are my top two.

I use Sunrise & Set as well as Phases to plan for what time the sun rises and sets as well as what the moonlight illumination will be. It comes in handy if you are planning to hike at night.
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