View Full Version : Phone based trail an topa maps, battery life

bamboo bob
12-07-2011, 12:13
Has anyone found a phone based trail and/or Topo map to be useful in a practical way. Do they use up too much power for a long distance trip? I usually carry a cell phone but keep it off accept for the rare time I use it for logistical reasons. I have been told if i keep the phone in "airplane mode" i could use a map for longer periods. What say the experts?

12-07-2011, 16:37
Earlier this year I hiked Rockfish Gap (Waynesboro, VA) to Harpers Ferry and used apps from Trail Map Magic instead of taking my paper maps - I also carried my guidebook pages for that section. I found the apps to be quite nice and fairly accurate - their maps and elevation profiles were good. Since they use my iPhone's GPS to track exactly where I was, they did eat into the phone's already poor battery life (which I already try to manage by using airplane mode, etc). I chose to carry, as I did on my thru hike, an extra battery that gives 2 full recharges, so I didn't run into any battery problems. If I had turned off the GPS feature, which is pretty cool, I'm sure my battery would have lasted longer. Although I'm not sure they would be good for a longer hike in more remote sections I am glad i tried them and will continue to use them on shorter hikes in areas I am familiar with instead of paper maps.