Short answer no.So long story short, If I use an ipad for Gaia It needs to be activated like my phone? Im not a huge tech guy, which is why Im asking.
Make sure your iPad is Cell capable. Settings is a good place to look, but also up top near the power button the case will have an area that is slightly different from the rest of the case. That area is the cell antenna area and will be almost a wide as your iPad's back shell.
You do not have to have an active cell data plan for your iPad to receive GPS signals.
If your iPad is not cell capable, then you can tether it with bluetooth to a device like the Garmin Inreach. I have the Garmin Inreach, so I don't really know if other GPS devices offer tethering. Have not looked.
Just make sure that you down load all the maps you need before you leave home. Even if you have a cell data plan, because you will not always be in range of a cell tower.