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The John Muir & Appalachian Trail National Geographic Trail Maps now on Gaia GPS
Two things I love for exploring outdoors:
- The Gaia GPS navigation app (read my original post about it here)
- National Geographic parks & trails maps
Gaia GPS has included National Geographic recreation maps as one of their map layer options for a while. They’re great maps for using in National Parks, Wilderness, and other recreation areas. I almost solely use these maps where they’re available. They’re very detailed and show distances between intersections, points of interest, campsites, restrooms, topographic information, etc.
When I use Gaia GPS I download these map layers to my phone for offline use in whichever area I’d be in. Then I would go into Airplane Mode and have these maps immediately accessible when I needed them.
Photographers will love being able to record their tracks on their phone and then go back and sync these GPS tracks to their camera metadata to geotag the photos.
Okay I’m getting sidetracked…
When I hiked the John Muir Trail a few years ago my map of choice was the National Geographic John Muir Trail map. This little pocket booklet presented detailed “strip maps” of the entire 210-mile trail and side trips. The thick waterproof paper made it nearly indestructible. I’d also write little notes on it to keep track of the pictures I was taking.
Gaia GPS has just announced that the John Muir Trail and Appalachian Trails digital National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps are now available on their platform for premium subscribers.
I can vouch that these maps are an exciting addition to the Gaia GPS map library. Get detailed information on your phone, measure distances, track your movement & speed, save mark points, etc. These maps are much more detailed than the standard National Geographic recreation maps.
Some disclaimers about using Gaia GPS National Geographic Trail maps for the JMT & AT (or anywhere else for that matter):
- The prudent hiker always has a paper backup, even if it’s just something printed at home and then folded up into a plastic bag. You can easily print from the Gaia GPS website.
- Having these maps available for digital, real-time use on your phone will give you wonderful capabilities. But remember, phones can fail.
- If you’re going to rely on these maps for long distance hiking you’ll need backup power. Something like the Anker PowerCore battery pack and/or the Goal Zero 7 Nomad Solar Charger.
Gaia GPS is one of those companies that just stays on top of innovations like this. They’re all outdoorsy people, so you can trust that you’ll get your money’s worth with it.