There & Back Again
If your like me and I assume a few others, we need a little geographic help. I’m referring to being on the trails or in the woods and experiencing a little confusion on the best direction to proceed. If your a little timid about venturing out into the woods without the help of others or just need a little confidence builder, I have a good remedy to ensure you will always be returning home in time for dinner. If the above premise somewhat describes you, the information below may just be what you need to ensure the next time you head out into the woods for an ATV outing or hunting excursion, you will not only get there, but also safely back again.
Computer tablets and smartphones have made finding your way along the trail very easy. I’m NOT referring to hand held GPS units but rather using Bayfield County & U.S. Forest Service trail maps that show a much larger image on your tablet of smartphone. I use two applications, GAIA GPS & AVENZA MAPS. Although there are other applications available, because I don’t have a data plan, I need a system that “loads” all the maps into my device. This eliminates the need for an Internet connection. These applications will not only show you the ATV trails in your area, they will also pin-point your exact location and allow you to set a way-point and track (also called a bread crumb trail) that will allow you to return the way you traveled or save your route to be followed at a later time. In the information below, I’ll discuss the Avenza Maps App.
Avenza Maps is a free mobile map app that allows you to download maps for “offline use” on your iOS, Android, and Windows smartphone or tablet. Use your device’s built-in GPS to track your location on any map. Plot and record information about locations, import and export placemarks, measure distance and area, and even plot photos. You can easily browse for free maps or purchase maps from all over the world using the convenient Avenza Map Store.
See short YouTube video (here).
Download professionally created, high quality maps from the Avenza Map Store, including 1:24,000 scale USGS topographic maps for the entire United States. Many of the maps are “free” however, more detailed maps of specific locations can also be purchased for a small price.
Download the “free” Avenza Maps App (Apple App Store here)
Download the “free” Avenza Maps App (Google Play Store here)
Viewing your location using GPS
Use the built-in GPS within your mobile device to locate yourself on any map (even works offline without network connectivity). Want to record where you’re at? Simply drop placemarks at your location. Navigating along the trails or through a forest, just use the compass to orient yourself.
Recording GPS Tracks
Want to see how far you have walked, hiked, driven or biked? Record your activity using Record GPS Tracks and see exactly where you’ve been. View stats like elevation change and distance traveled on a graph including total time.
Plotting Geotagged Photos
Captured a photo of something interesting and wanted to plot it on your map? Simply add the geotagged referenced photo and a placemark will drop in the correct location on your map. It couldn’t be any easier.
What’s a map without interaction? Drop placemark pins anywhere on the map with the tap of a finger. Need to move it? No problem. Just tap and hold a pin to pick it up, move it to the spot you want, then release it to drop it.
Browse for maps in the Avenza Map Store then simply download the specific map you want directly to your mobile device.
Click here to see how to “download maps” to your device.
DISCLAIMER: Product names provided are for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement from the Trails North ATV’ers.