Author Topic: GPS or ACA app, or both?  (Read 1962 times)

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Offline Tom66

GPS or ACA app, or both?
« on: April 19, 2022, 12:45:16 pm »
I'm based in the UK and I'm riding the Trans America Trail starting in July. I have downloaded the entire map set onto my phone and I'm very impressed, and it's already useful.
I don't ever use a GPS here in the UK when touring, I just use OSmaps, Google or my nose lol.
I'd rather not add to the pile of expensive things I've already bought, so my question is, would it be advised to use something else as well as/to back up my phone and the ACA maps?

TIA!

Offline staehpj1

Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2022, 05:50:00 pm »
I still like paper maps for ACA routes, but having them on a phone or a small tablet works too.  On the TA I took a handheld GPS, didn't use it, and ultimately mailed it home.  Using the phone for directions in town or once in a great while just to verify a location is helpful, but most of the time mine is turned off to save battery.

I can see using the app though and may do that in the future at some point


Offline Tom66

Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2022, 02:01:24 pm »
Cheers, interested to hear others' views on this

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2022, 05:09:01 pm »
i have always used paper maps but purchased a Garmin 1030 Plus for my TransAm tour in a couple of weeks and love it. I have been in IT all my life but tended to avoid technology when hiking, etc. just to get away from it all. With a TransAm tour you are talking around 10 weeks, not just a 10 day excursion, so this time I embraced the technology. I have also invested in the Garmin rear facing radar after several other riders in the group bought one. Pretty pricey but again, knowing how many cars are about to pass you and how fast to me has been invaluable. I run a dynamo hub so charging is less of an issue. If you are on a budget then the setup I have is a lot of $$$ that could probably be better spent on lighter/better gear.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline jwrushman

Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2022, 05:27:38 pm »
For my modified Northern Tier, I purchased ACA maps and manually inputted the route into RideWithGPS.  I did this so I could use RideWithGPS's turn-by-turn directions - sometimes helpful, but mostly not needed.  And by entering the route into RWGPS, I became more familiar with the route and was aware of congested areas where I'd need to pay better attention.   I do not have a Garmin so I don't know if it would be beneficial, but I managed quite nicely with my Android phone.  I've not used OSMaps but imagine it can be used for navigation similar to RWGPS.  I also had ACA's Bicycle Navigator app but mostly did not use it.  I found the paper maps and RWGPS to be very adequate.

Offline aggie

Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2022, 07:42:02 pm »
I’m doing part of the GDMBR in June.  In the past I’ve only used paper maps.  I really like all the information they provide.  However, for this trip I downloaded the ACA maps to my Garmin as well as having the paper maps.  The downloaded version seems pretty detailed.  Hope it helps me avoid wrong/missed turns.  I will also be trying out the Garmin Inreach mini 2.  Trying to keep in touch even when there is no cell service.  (Peace of mind for the wife.)

Offline ray b

Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2022, 07:47:56 pm »
I have downloaded the entire map set onto my phone and I'm very impressed, and it's already useful.
I don't ever use a GPS here in the UK when touring, I just use OSmaps, Google or my nose lol.
I'd rather not add to the pile of expensive things I've already bought, so my question is, would it be advised to use something else as well as/to back up my phone and the ACA maps?
Everyone's different. Every ride has different demands. If you're on a budget and if you don't wear a belt and suspenders at the same time, you'll likely find the phone sufficient for the TAT.

I lean toward belt and suspenders, and can somehow justify the expense of a Garmin eTrex, the ACA phone app route, and paper maps.

If you like to look at maps, you might find the paper maps informative, fun to look at, and a reassuring backup to digital technology.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline Tom66

Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2022, 03:56:48 am »
I’m thinking of having the paper maps posted to a bike shop in Florence where I start. Are they particularly bulky at all? May be an idea to keep buying them in advance of the next segment?

Offline staehpj1

Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2022, 07:04:26 am »
Are they particularly bulky at all? May be an idea to keep buying them in advance of the next segment?

The whole stack for the Trans America is about 3.5" x 8" and squeezes down to maybe 1" thick.  So no not terribly bulky.  Mine are 11.3 ounces for the set.  I don't think the size or thickness of the stock has changed, but am not sure.

We mailed some home when we were done with them, but enjoyed having maps for the route ahead both for reading all the route info (lots of info on the maps) and for reference and marking up when getting info from riders going the opposite direction.

Offline Tom66

Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2022, 02:17:07 pm »
Makes sense, cheers