Author Topic: Electronic Navigation Advice for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route  (Read 319 times)

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Online michtanger

I am planning a solo ride of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route in July 2020.  I will be carrying ACA paper maps, but also would like to carry electronic mapping.  I am a relative novice to gpx file usage and have zero experience with the ACA app. My background is in backcountry hiking and I am new to cycling.  I have used dedicated apps (Guthooks) for long distance hiking of the PCT and I have limited experiencing using gpx files in GaiaGPS from several years ago for a hike of the Ozark Trail.  I have always used my cell phone (currently iPhone 8s Plus) for GPS navigation and not another device (Garmin, Etc.).  My preference is to stick with my iPhone using either the ACA app or gpx files in GaiaGPS or another app that experienced users on the forum might recommend. My reasoning is that I will have the phone anyway and I will likely be purchasing a Garmin InReach for emergencies and checking in with family. 
I would prefer to avoid having to purchase, carry and charge a third device on the ride.

That said, I am open to purchasing a garmin etrex or other device, if experienced users on the forum strongly recommend one over using my iPhone for navigation.  If you do recommend iPhone navigation, please let me know if you prefer the ACA app or gpx files.  If you use gpx files please let me know which app you download them to for use.  Thank you in advance from a novice whose head is spinning on this one. 

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Electronic Navigation Advice for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2020, 09:46:15 am »
I used the paper maps with Gaia as a backup for confusing intersections. I liked having the map on my handlebars to keep my mind engaged as I was riding along.

Since you've used Gaia before, you know to download the map tiles prior to departure. I didn't and had to battle with slow wifi in Banff before I started. I wound up deleting old sections and downloading new sections as I moved thru the route.

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Online michtanger

Re: Electronic Navigation Advice for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2020, 08:42:55 am »
Thanks, IowaGriz!  I am more likely to use electronic gps mapping as primary with paper backups.  One of my concerns is battery life on the Great Divide using the iPhone over a Garmin Etrex or other similar device when I am in the backcountry.  Was battery life an issue at all?  Thanks again for your feedback.

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Electronic Navigation Advice for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2020, 09:13:07 am »
No battery problems for me. You hit a town almost every day. I had a large battery pack that I topped off when I hit a town. Just remember to keep the phone in airplane mode. I only checked for messages and on top of passes near towns.

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