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  1. #1
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    Default Guthook vs. AWOL Guide

    Hopefully this topic hasn't been covered.

    I'm wanting to experience a section hike this summer on the AT. I've found some pretty good information on WikiTrail and another interactive online map - but don't know how accurate they are. At this time I'm really only considering TN/NC sections.

    Does anyone have any experience with both Guthook and AWOL guide? What's the difference? Which do you like and why?

    btw, any other advice or info on these sections would be helpful!

  2. #2

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    Used both on my thru. Phones die, even when you have a backup battery..ish happens.
    Guthook is preferred, user comments give you more up to date insight to upcoming towns, water sources etc. but AWOL is spectacular for towns and get phone #s etc


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  3. #3
    North Georgia Wanderer soumodeler's Avatar
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    Guthook on the trail, AWOL for the towns. Have and use both for my section hikes.

  4. #4
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    You can get away just using one or the other, but they do complement each other so having both is worth while.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  5. #5

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    In order to minimize the battery drain on my phone, I use Guthook very sparingly using it only to keep from getting lost. It seems like I frequently miss a switchback or fail to see a turnoff of the trail. It is those times I will pull out my phone and ensure I’m still on the trail. I also use it to see how far I am from my next intended shelter late in the day.

    AS A “hobby”, I like to keep the current page of AWOL’s guide in the clear plastic sleeve he provides, in the side pocket of my pack, and refer to it at every landmark I come to. It’s just what I enjoy doing. I always know my progress, and can see the elevations ahead of me.


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  6. #6
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    I used both. Each is great in its own way. One thing no one mentions is that smartphone touch screens don't work with wet/moist, no matter the battery. Once wet on a rainy/humid day, it's about impossible to get the screen dry enough to work.
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  7. #7
    North Georgia Wanderer soumodeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    I used both. Each is great in its own way. One thing no one mentions is that smartphone touch screens don't work with wet/moist, no matter the battery. Once wet on a rainy/humid day, it's about impossible to get the screen dry enough to work.
    I discovered this the hard way hiking into Erwin last year. Drove me absolutely nuts trying to take photos with my phone. No regular camera. It was intermittently raining, but it was absolutely amazing hiking in to town. I tried for several minutes just to take one photo with clouds rolling down the valley, and by the time I managed to get the screen dry enough to recognize my finger, I was back in the clouds.

    I need to to test this with my new phone though. It’s “waterproof” without a case, so I wonder if the screen is better adapted to touch input while wet?

  8. #8
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhutt View Post
    Hopefully this topic hasn't been covered.
    Does anyone have any experience with both Guthook and AWOL guide? What's the difference? Which do you like and why?
    First, this topic has been covered ad nauseam. You can do a search for other threads on this topic.

    Anyway, Guthook is good for determining where water, view areas, shelters, camp sites, etc. are and how far. It also has information on towns and off trail places to stay. The AWOL guide has the same, but most hikers who have Guthook, too, use the guide for planning purposes more than on trail usage. That's not to say the AWOL guide is not used on the trail. I've seen plenty of hikers pull out a page of the guide to navigate. I, however, use Guthook exclusively when hiking.

    BTW. Ditto on the wet phone. The touch screen just doesn't work when it's wet and/or your hand is wet.
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  9. #9

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    I like them both; have used both; will use both in future. Never hurts to have more information. I agree that AWOL's guide is more helpful for trip planning (intended daily mileages and stopping places) and Guthook's app is most useful while hiking (like how far to next reliable water?).
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  10. #10
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    Used both on my hike; but generally used Guthook while hiking the trail and use AWOL at night in my tent and in town.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    In order to minimize the battery drain on my phone, I use Guthook very sparingly using it only to keep from getting lost. It seems like I frequently miss a switchback or fail to see a turnoff of the trail. It is those times I will pull out my phone and ensure I’m still on the trail. I also use it to see how far I am from my next intended shelter late in the day.

    AS A “hobby”, I like to keep the current page of AWOL’s guide in the clear plastic sleeve he provides, in the side pocket of my pack, and refer to it at every landmark I come to. It’s just what I enjoy doing. I always know my progress, and can see the elevations ahead of me.


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    This is very similar to my thinking. Use guthook for the same reasons you mentioned. If I were on the AT (instead of the PCT, where I use halfmile maps rather than AWOL), I would have a couple pages of AWOL in a plastic sleeve, but I'm using a plastic sleeve for a 3 ring binder. I have a cord thru the hole and it's carabinered to my shoulder strap. So I don't have to fold it and keep taking it out of my pocket. The rest of the guide is in the pack, so I can replace what's hanging from my shoulder as I move along. I did need to reinforce that hole with a little duct tape...

  12. #12
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    I used guthooks on CT, and LT. I find it a bit of pain to turn phone gps on, wait to lock, etc. Takes a lot more batt if leave gps on. Or even phone on for that matter. Actually used LT map on LT, guthook to play with. I found guthook better in CT due to unmarked trail intersections, having gps track was valuable to show right direction to go. But I still used mainly the CT data book in pocket.

    Nothing is quicker than a piece of paper n pocket.

    I only used AT guide for AT. Nothing else needed. Profile maps shows you exactly where you are and how far to next peak, gap, water, etc. I wouldn't use guthook on AT personally. Page of data book in pocket in ziplock is so much easier. But a whole generation will disagree with me. Having maps loaded in phone is no brainier though, whether thru guthook or other.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-21-2018 at 01:04.
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  13. #13
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    I bought the Springer section of the Guthook guide, planning to section hike sequentially from the beginning. Through a series of unfortunate events, I was unable to start last fall. I'm making plans to start again, and am blessed to be able to take my teenage grandson. Unfortunately, our schedules only coincide to work out April 1st to start. I want to avoid the Crazyness At Springer so we will start In VA instead.

    I figure Ill Just go ahead and get the full Guthook App now. Should have just fine it from the start. Did I read somewhere that I can get a credit for the first section that I already purchased? If so, how do I go about that?

  14. #14
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog_Kidd View Post
    I bought the Springer section of the Guthook guide, planning to section hike sequentially from the beginning. Through a series of unfortunate events, I was unable to start last fall. I'm making plans to start again, and am blessed to be able to take my teenage grandson. Unfortunately, our schedules only coincide to work out April 1st to start. I want to avoid the Crazyness At Springer so we will start In VA instead.

    I figure Ill Just go ahead and get the full Guthook App now. Should have just fine it from the start. Did I read somewhere that I can get a credit for the first section that I already purchased? If so, how do I go about that?
    Just send Atlas an email and they will help you out.
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  15. #15
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    Just 14 or 15 years ago you would get your butt chewed out on this forum for even mentioning having a phone on the AT!!
    My question (due to ignorance) is are there other devices besides a smart phone that you can use Gut Hook with?

  16. #16
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    It wasn't even that long ago.
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  17. #17
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    Default Guthook vs. AWOL Guide

    my post earlier about the plastic sleeve carabinered to the shoulder strap - I really use that for a halfmile map, not awol. Probably wouldn't need it for Awol.
    But halfmile maps are great. kinda like guthook without the phone. I look at the map from the starting point, and see I've got a road crossing in a mile and a half. When I get to the road, I can see the next waypoint.
    So, hanging in plastic from my shoulder strap, it's easily accessible, it stays in good condition, and it's not folded. Because I can see so easily where I am on these maps, and because I can just quickly pick it up and look at it, it helps my map reading ability also. Say I just passed that stream the map mentioned a few minutes ago, and now the trail veers sharply to the left. I c as n see if I can find that point on the map, then compare what I see to what's on the map.
    So, I find I use Guthook a lot less. if I come to a confusing place, I'll turn it on to make sure I go the right way. Or if I'm maybe 2 tenths of a mile from a tentsite, I might turn on guthook till I get to that spot -- I can look around and make sure I don't go past it...
    So the map for generally keeping me on track and Guthook for fine-tuning.

  18. #18

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    All these methods work, but I sure like my paper-AWOL, I also use the current-area-ziplock thing and reference the darn thing at least once an hour, as someone said below, I like having a preview of upcoming terrain. I like AWOL so much, we just bought a brand new one for our AT section this spring, even though my old 2013 one would probably have been good enough.

    I'm sure Guthook is fantastic, but for the AT, I just don't think I need it. I have my phone and if you open google maps and zoom in, voila, there's the AT shown, along with the Blue Dot of your current location. That helped me out twice when I "lost" the trail by making wrong turns because of not paying attention. Again, I'm sure guthook is fantastic, but it costs $60, and the combo of AWOL ($15) and Google maps (free) covers it all. Yeah, I'm Scottish and cheap.

    Just my own Modus Operandi.

  19. #19
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    One method, following progress on map or with guidebook, requires a degree of mental engagement (read effort) whereas the other requires none.
    Lonehiker

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    One method, following progress on map or with guidebook, requires a degree of mental engagement (read effort) whereas the other requires none.
    Excellent point. Again, not to badmouth Guthook at all, it looks cool and everything, but I was kinda meh about it when a hiking pal kept showing me his phone screen with it. Again, it's nice having some sort of electronic navigational device in a pinch (AKA: if you lose the trail, like I did a couple times!).

    Just a personal preference, not dissing Guthook, just didn't blow wind up my skirt.

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