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GPS suggestions for Moab

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I know there are a crap-ton of GPS options out there and a billion people have recorded their tracks, but I'm looking for a little more specific information.  I'm planning a trip with my 15yo for his 2018 Spring Break/birthday.  Neither of us have GPS and the units that I used 20yrs ago no longer exist.  I'm looking into unit or android options, but also need to know which tracks are compatible.  With so many options these days, I'm a little overwhelmed.  Please advise.

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GPX is about the most "generic" format you're going to find.  Any modern software or receiver should be able to deal with that.

KML's another format, and it's just as easy to work with as GPX. 

 

GPSBabel can convert between nearly all of them.

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I really like my Garmin Oregon and have imported GPX files from many different sources.  If you look there are a ton of GPX files available for MOAB.

I haven't used one but there are a few guys on this board who can extol the virtues of an old phone as a GPS unit.

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I'm one of the guys who only uses an old deactivated Samsung Rugby as a dedicated GPS (no cell/wifi) and Oruxmaps Free for my main GPS app and Avenza (free also if you have GPS co-ordinated maps). I've posted most of below in a number of different topics on GPS's but I'm going to save this version for the future :)

Phone - I have it completely stripped down and run on flight mode and get at least 48hrs of continuous use but usually turn it off after rides. I also have a 2nd exact duplicate one I carry protected in my pack just it case and I even out of cell range, I usually carry my normal phone protected with the app as well. I have to enable GPS in the Rugby but most phones have always enabled.

Oruxmaps - You can get it for free (andriod only) at their website and IMO this is a FULL feature GPS app that can import GPX tracks to follow but I normally just use it and the GPS in general to record my tracks, ride, get slightly lost, then find my way back to my start point if needed. It can be a bit overwhelming to start with but it's actually pretty simple and I'm sure there are other apps but this work for me. Works

Avenza - This is free for android or iPhone and if you can find GPS co-ordinated base maps for the area your riding, its about a simple as it gets. You need to down load the PDF maps so you can use the app either with or with out cell service BUT IMO its hard to find the PDF maps.

Maps/tracks/routes - This can get slightly complicated but they are usually topo base maps or actual trail maps to try and to try and keep it simple

  1. Online maps - For example if you are riding in cell service, and app like Oruxmaps has lots of great free topo base maps build in but don't usually have actual trail maps BUT you can import those as GPX files.
  2. Offline maps - These are for no cell service and Oruxmaps can open un-locked Garmin Topo maps and I'm using their Topo for British Columbia and IMO these are assume maps with great detail and look great on the colour screen of a good sized phone.
  3. Tracks/Routes - These are recorded trails of an area that someone has done and usually in GPX format.

So if your going to a new area you have never been to before and IMO there is a real issue about getting lost and or running out of gas.

  1. The first thing I would do is try and hook up with a local or someone who has been to Moab and is willing and patient enough to show you the trails.
  2. Or see if you can get good hard copy topo and or trail maps of the area and get a compass and now how to use it.
  3. Then IMO my phone/GPS set-up works 100% for what I need it to do and I played with it locally (cus I can ride most of my trails out of cell service but in flight mode it works the same) and got comfortable with exactly how it works. As I said, I don't load and follow recorded GPX tracks of areas I have not been to before, I just record my own track and use it to explore/navigate to do a loop or worst case, turn around and follow my track back.

Not sure if any of this helps but yeas it can be a bit overwhelming at first but IMO its really not that complicated.

Then it is Moab and I'm sure you could find GPX files of all the trail if not good PDF maps and this MIGHT get moved to the Utah forum.

My set-up

20160515_102848.thumb.jpg.f1eca19c0730c7a5b7477e13605a1f9e.jpg

Recorded track in Oruxmaps

Screenshot_2015-08-09-11-10-35.png.b6bedfbb533eb3da3b25c7035a483526.png

PDF trail map in Avenza

Screenshot_2016-11-25-18-51-18.thumb.png.fb03455fe908b20824201d7572aaa67c.png

 

 

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I went to Moab for the first time last year and GPS wasn't needed for the trails we did*. Easy to find and navigate.

 

* Chicken Corner, Kane Creek, Slickrock, Porcupine Rim, Fins n Things, Poison Spider, Steelbender

 

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With all of these GPS devices the problem will be finding maps;
for the device,
for your riding area,
with the detail you want, or don't want.

So before buying I suggest finding maps for a candidate device.

If you want a GPS device for Moab then I would value input from Moab riders for maps/devices. And even if the area is easy to navigate I suggest taking a handheld GPS to record your track; the track is an electronic breadcrumb trail to help you return to staging.

Initially map choices were few for my riding area but over time the variety of maps has increased.  When I started using hand held GPS units  topo maps were expensive and didn't have much trail info, then a shareware project was started that used actual GPS track data from users to build trail maps, later topo maps were added.  In 2014 the state DNR began releasing geo referenced topo maps for Avenza, and this last year USFS did the same.  There are also subscription services for hybrid maps, I use CritterMap's sat image topo maps with topo overlays. 

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I've been to Moab once before with a group of bike and ATV riders.  My write-up can be found here:

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/877232-first-450-and-first-trip-to-moab/

That was under my old username.  I hadn't logged in for quite some time and I guess the site underwent a pretty good redo, so the admin's created a new username for me that was similar to my last.  Many of those trails we went on connected with others, and being one of the more advanced riders of the group, we went ALL OVER trying to find something for everyone.  My memory is a little fuzzy, so I don't want to rely on memory when it comes to my 15yo going along.  He's good, but not quite at my level, so I'm just trying to play it safe. I'll look into the old phone idea and see what I still have lying around.  Really appreciate the help on this, fellas!

 

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Ya last time I was in Moab was on a mountain bike in 2000 but I'd love to go back now that I'm on a dirt bike :)

Otherwise as @Chuck. posted, see what geo referenced topo maps PDF maps you can find for the area and use Avenza on ANY phone.

When I first start using my set-up I just carried it in my back and would pull it out when needed, but the mount I made cost about $20 and it is nice to be able to occasionally look at it when riding or even stopped with out taking off a pack. Actually my whole set-up cost $20 other than the PDF maps I have but I got them when I joined the dirt bike club for the area and that was only $25 :)

Heres one of the 3 PDF maps I have which I can open in Adobe Reader if I want and the files is only 2MB and This is the whole map from the screen shot in my other post of Avenza.

Clipboard01.jpg.0711964618e58414223091303efd8e3a.jpg

Good luck and keep us post on how the GPS and trip works out :)

 

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20 hours ago, KTM_rider_EK_17 said:

One of my riding buddy's has this system and the map it shows is extremely basic.  Really just black and white track lines.  It is not even close to the full colour topo map I run on my Garmin.  There is no comparison yet the Trail Tech costs just as much as the Garmin.

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45 minutes ago, CDNSXV said:

One of my riding buddy's has this system and the map it shows is extremely basic.  Really just black and white track lines.  It is not even close to the full colour topo map I run on my Garmin.  There is no comparison yet the Trail Tech costs just as much as the Garmin.

Yeah I think the TrailTech system arrived a little late and a little short on nav features, but I no longer use topo maps on my Garmin hand help because it was too much clutter on the screen. Based on my experience I'd say the less cluttered Voyager screen is a plus. If I need detail I stop and get out paper maps or my smartphone.

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On 9/18/2017 at 3:36 PM, notinthedirtagain said:

I know there are a crap-ton of GPS options out there and a billion people have recorded their tracks, but I'm looking for a little more specific information.  I'm planning a trip with my 15yo for his 2018 Spring Break/birthday.  Neither of us have GPS and the units that I used 20yrs ago no longer exist.  I'm looking into unit or android options, but also need to know which tracks are compatible.  With so many options these days, I'm a little overwhelmed.  Please advise.

gpx is the standard, but the good android applications can import and export many more file types. 

 

I've tried the Garmin stuff, but they are pathetically behind the times, cost ten times what a simple rugged phone does, and carrying a computer with me to babysit them just isn't much fun to me. 

 

check out Osmand, Oruxmaps, and Locus. your fifteen year old will probably have it all figured out before breakfast, if he's anything like mine are with tech. 

 

enjoy the ride, it sounds awesome!

Screenshot_2017-09-19-20-55-17.png

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I use a Garmin eTrex but it's obsolete these days.  It's only benefit is ruggedness.  My friends use phones now and I just follow.

You don't need GPS at Moab.  The bicycle shop sells excellent maps and it's straight forward to navigate with a paper map.  There is also a lot of trail information on the paper maps that's useful for planning rides.  Many of the trails have painted markers or Jeep tire rubber on the rocks to help mark trails.

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