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GAIA GPS Trail Navigation – How To Not Get Lost GAIA GPS Trail Navigation – How To Not Get Lost
If you have driven a car anywhere in the past few years, I’m guessing you rely on some type of navigation provided by software.... GAIA GPS Trail Navigation – How To Not Get Lost

If you have driven a car anywhere in the past few years, I’m guessing you rely on some type of navigation provided by software. It could be built into your vehicle, a separate navigation specific device, or your phone or tablet. Many years ago I thought it would be cool run mapping software on a laptop next to me while I drove…but I think I was mostly just attracted to the large screen so I could see it!

Times and technology has changed drastically since the days of using my Garmin GPSmap 60CSx. Loading up CD’s and DVD’s of information into limited memory cards is a thing of the past. With there only being 3 main “types” of navigation (celestial, GPS, and map with compass), one would think it was simple…and it actually is as long as you know how to use any of those methods.

Luckily our handheld computers (cell phones & tablets) along with some amazing advancements in GPS technology and software has made navigation not only more accurate but more reliable and easy to use…mostly. Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, MapQuest, etc. are only a few of the choices out there that help us get to where we are going…but most of those are meant for in town or “paved” road travel. What do you use when traveling offroad? Well, the choices and options are mind numbing as well:


ViewRanger (OutdoorActive)


Google Earth

Avenza Maps


GPS Tracks

MotionX, OnX, Maps3DPro, AllStays, MapMyHike…and these are just the ones on my phone!

In fact, if I search online for “offroad navigation app”, Google shows me 5,370,000 results. Thats right, over 5 million hits!

For me, what it comes down to is ease of use, reliability and SUPPORT. How does this software work and where can I get help if I need it? Luckily, GAIA has one of the best help centers and learning portals I have found. Their Help Center is organized and actually useful!

If you have followed some of our past ModernJeeper Adventures stories, you already know that I use GAIA almost exclusively for a reason: It meets my needs. I also understand that there may be other applications or devices or softwares that meet YOUR needs and what it comes down to is knowing how to use the tools we have to NOT get lost! With that said, I going to leave you with this article (written by a GAIA writer) that explains how to read a topographic map to begin with. The learning should never stop and we should never rely solely on electronics to find our way home.

How to Read Topographic Maps

Corey Osborne Co-creator

After 23 years of corporate life, I decided to pursue my passions in the off road industry. Specializing in marketing, visibility, relationship and brand building, and acting as MetalCloak's field marketing representative, I have travelled across the country (quite a few times!) using Metalcloak’s CTI (Corner Travel Index) to educate the off road enthusiast. I have also worked with Jeep Jamboree USA as event staff, to provide additional value and education to its participants. I've been fortunate enough to work with both international as well as domestic media; have attended most of the off-road events across our country; and have driven a wide variety of vehicles. I'm a certified PADI scuba instructor and have a BS in Computer Science.

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