View Full Version : smart phone & apps

04-17-2015, 20:41
Looks like I might get a smart phone after all. An I phone 6 ,with 16 gig for $25 or with 64 gig for $125 (your opinion please), It would add $40 to my ex-wifes plan. Split 3 ways, son inc., $60 each not bad. Still might carry the 1/2 lb camera. The camera is a Nikon coolpix 120 with wifi & GPS, I bought too many sd cards, 6 4gig level 4 cards, 2 32 gig level 10 cards, live and learn.
I plan on bringing paper ATC maps & Awols guide, I'm not sure guthooks guide is of any use. screen is too small.
I very much want the weather app. but what other apps should I be looking at? My journal will be on paper, a 5x7 notepad, I'll send home pages when the option exists. That's about it for now.

04-18-2015, 09:44
I'm not sure what exactly you are asking? I will attempt to answer. Get the 65gb. 16 is way too small.


I use Topo Maps. It allows you have all the USGS maps for offline use. You can drop pins if need be and find your location.

I use the weather channel Max for weather. It's older and it's a paid app but it has no ads and has always been the best at prediction.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

04-18-2015, 09:58
If you're a reader, get the Kindle app (free) and buy a few e-books (and there are tons of free books as well). I read about an hour every evening on the trail, sometimes more. FWIW, my wife's I-phone camera is pretty darn good (I carry an Android with a lousy camera). Not sure that Coolpix will be worth it on the AT. Take a couple of comparison shots sometime. one 32GB SD card lasts me forever, even in highest rez mode, but of course they only weight a gram or two.

04-18-2015, 10:09
16 gig would be way too small (I have a 16 gig iPhone 6, and am already having space issues). I section hiked the trail the first time with a Droid 2, and it made it (barely...). Note that some of the newer android phones are water resistant (e.g., Samsung), which is not the case for the iPhone, and you might find that very helpful over 200 days of hiking...I came very close to immersing my phone a few times, especially in the Maine fords.

As for the "apps" I used the most:

1) AT companion PDF
3) 26 page PDF of elevation profiles
4) Google maps

There are a lot of newer hiking apps as well, but I never used them.

Verizon worked out OK for me in many places, but failed in quite a few inconvenient ones...

04-18-2015, 10:20
I have the 16 6+ and on a recent section hike had storage issues, I took a lot of video. I did use the Gutthook APP and it was great, especially the GPS function

04-18-2015, 13:17
+1 on getting the 64 gig version.

You'll want to keep the phone on Airplane Mode while hiking, or you'll drain the battery in less than a day searching for service.

I like Gaia GPS topo maps. You can preload the topos when you're on wifi, then find yourself on the trail. Google Chrome for a web browser, Kindle app for reading, Facebook if you do that sort of thing, Dropbox for storage of documents and photos. I have a lot of camera apps. My wife likes Day One as a journal app, and used it on our hike last summer. Yahoo Weather is good, and My Radar. Yelp and Trip Advisor for traveling.

If you're going to try and keep up with your digital life while hiking, especially banking, enable dual authentication on every account that offers it. This can be somewhat complicated, so get it sorted before leaving (eg., if you set up your phone for texts to authenticate, and there is no service, you won't be able to log into your bank account or whatever).

Take a photo of every journal page before sending it home, and upload your photos to Dropbox or iCloud when you have wi-fi service in town.

04-18-2015, 22:35
I plan on bringing paper ATC maps & Awols guide, I'm not sure guthooks guide is of any use. screen is too small.

I can tell you for me personally - the guthook app pretty much paid for itself in a single 3-day mini excursion I did a few weeks ago. Being able to tell exactly where I am on the trail, how far to the next shelter site, how far to the next water point (and how reliable it is), what the elevation looks like for the next 5-10 miles (only one more 1000 foot climb for the day left, then it's all downhill to the shelter) - all of this information combined made my location-based concerns go away.

I have an iPhone-6, in a lifeproof case. I had zero issues; the screen was plenty large for using the app, I had downloaded the images and maps prior to leaving so didn't need a data connection while on the trail, and I used about 15-20% of battery power a day, periodically referencing the app about 5 times an hour or so (not counting my book reading in the evenings, phone calls to the wife, etc)

Guthook's app is probably the best app I've bought off the App Store in the years I've run apple phones (since iPhone 3GS - so a looonnng time). At a minimum, I'd recommend downloading it and giving the 'free included' first 8-mile portion a look. pretend you're on the trail, hiking along and what info you would like - where the next water is, how much is left of this up before the summit, that kind of stuff. And if you don't get the entire package, try out one section for a real hike - for $8 a section, you can skip a meal at McDs and pay for it if money is tight.

trust me, you won't regret it.

The other app I used a lot of was the Weather app, but it was only good when I had signal. Still - was nice to have, helped me and my buddy realize the next day was supposed to get down to 18 (and have a high of 31 - we were in northVA) and so we came off the trail. I definitely don't hike with 15 degree gear, not for 3-5 day trips at least.

I would give the Guthook app a try though - the iPhone6 screen is plenty large for it to be extremely useful.

04-18-2015, 22:45
and +1 to BigCranky's suggestion - when you AREN'T actively using the phone, put it in airplane mode. I had wifi off, bluetooth off, LTE to cell only - and then put it in airplane mode. so when I wanted to see where I was, I'd switch it out of airplane mode (all the other stuff is still disabled), open the Guthook app, and hit the GPS button. bam, bob's your uncle and there you are in a pretty little dot right there on the trail.

I'll admit - I'm a bit of a technology junkie (my day-job is cybersecurity) so I trust my phone and the info it's giving me. The trail is marked well enough that you don't need much anyway - either the AWOL guide or Guthook's app, but you probably won't need both. The phone is just awful convenient, and can multi-purpose so much more (journal, book reader, compass, locator, etc). each will HYOH - but for me, I doubt I'll carry much in the way of paper products, and trade all that weight for a 10k btty that will recharge my phone about 3-4 times, and still be under if I had a bunch of other stuff.

worst case, I follow the white swatches to the next town and recharge / repair my phone then. But I haven't had a phone fail on me in all these years either

if you are going to rely on your phone though - make sure you get something solid for it to be in, like a lifeproof case. the $5 walmart cases won't protect it from being dropped in the water point while you're filtering the day's water (yup...)

04-19-2015, 09:44
If you are new to iphones, just know there are a gazillion options.

Some are just a slick interface to the Internet-- like my Police scanner app. Some fetch content from the Internet which can be reviewed off-line later-- like my Next Issue Magazine app, and with others all the purchased content permanently resides on your phone-- like with my Sibley's bird book app.

Here are a few of mine-- but obviously the possibilities are almost almost endless.

30598 ......... 30599

04-19-2015, 11:00
Batteries for my Android phone were $5 each. Bought 2, wish I had 4. Easy to swap batteries on an Android, just saying.

04-19-2015, 12:47
Batteries for my Android phone were $5 each. Bought 2, wish I had 4. Easy to swap batteries on an Android, just saying.

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