My Quest for Tablet Navigation

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TreXTerra

Rank VI
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Advocate II

2,779
Salt Lake City, Utah
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1028

In researching my options between BCN Pro and Gaia, what helps you decide on BCN Pro?
I had to pick one and flipped a coin?

Honestly, it was pretty much that, but I like the BCN ability to pick from different map sources and the ability to quickly import tracks from FunTreks (my go-to book for off road trails).
 

v_man

Rank V

Advocate II

1,250
Redwood City
Does
I had to pick one and flipped a coin?

Honestly, it was pretty much that, but I like the BCN ability to pick from different map sources and the ability to quickly import tracks from FunTreks (my go-to book for off road trails).
Does BCN have map layers like Gaia? Map layers is one of the most useful features IMO. I use a base map, say a National Forest motor vehicle map, and then add a shaded terrain elevation layer on top of that. Seeing forest routes with terrain/elevation works well .
 

toxicity_27

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Minnesota
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Does


Does BCN have map layers like Gaia? Map layers is one of the most useful features IMO. I use a base map, say a National Forest motor vehicle map, and then add a shaded terrain elevation layer on top of that. Seeing forest routes with terrain/elevation works well .
I believe it does. I've downloaded some MVUMs and imported them into BCN and they layer over the current layer I have. I'd have to play it with more, but I vaguely remember doing that a year or two ago.
 

TreXTerra

Rank VI
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Advocate II

2,779
Salt Lake City, Utah
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1028

Yes, there is a layer feature on BCN, but I have not played around with it very much. I am used to paper maps, so I typically run a single USGS layer.
 

Wanderer

Rank 0

Traveler II

My descent into the black hole of tablet navigation happened 3 years ago at west coast expo in flagstaff my son and i were touring the exhibitor booths and got tired of seeing so much stuff so we decided to go explore. There is lots of dirt roads there so we loaded up the jeep and dogs and off we went. He is a grand canyon guide, wilderness first responder and knows his way around topo maps i had just downloaded bcn on to my tab he topousa free version on his phone

His phone tracked us every where we did not have cell service . The topo was usgs 24k and he was able to zoom in in great detail i have yet to be ablie to duplicate that feat with any degree of success. I think he maybe hadbjust the flagstaff area loaded.
I think where it all falls apart is when you try to load large areas . I seem to be fixated on the 100,000 tile size ( that ilearned from the gaia site) limitations. And i am confused about another aspect. That is lets say your trail goes out of 1 of your down load areas (1 of your diwnloads) and into another.
Do you have to open the other file block of tiles that you had previously down loaded? Or will the program do it automatically?
 

madcratebuilder

Rank IV

Advocate II

I pulled my Nexus 7 out of a box once i got my new truck and realized why I had it stored away. The darn thing moves like molasses in the Rockies during the winter. You go to push the open button and go get a cup of coffee and it is still loading.

The GPS dongle thingy you speak of. What on earth does it look like?

Granted 30 seconds to boot can try ones patients. GPS is embedded in the 7

My 16gb Nexus runs Giai and Back Country Nav like lightning.

The tablet and retail Giai Pro and BCN came in under $100.
 
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Bert Fox

Rank 0

Contributor I

30
NV, USA
I've been trying out the free version of Gaia GPS and so far I'm extremely underwhelmed. The program is so buggy and broken in very fundamental ways that there's no possible way I'd be willing to spend money on it. It's a shame, because the program would be outstanding if it actually worked worth a damn.

I'm intrigued by this backcountry navigator that's been mentioned. I'll check that out next.

So far I plan out routes on Gaia on my PC, and then navigate with it in car with my phone, Motorola moto Z play. It has a pretty huge screen for a phone, so it works fine for the time being. I may look into a tablet if I can find a nav program that works reliably, unlike Gaia.
I have the same phone, however I am trying to get my tablet nav up and running for the bigger screen and compatibility for both my UTV and my pickup. Partially because I have the 256gb micro sd card for all my offline maps. Awaiting the tablet to get started.
 

toxicity_27

Rank V
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Advocate II

2,566
Minnesota
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0656

My descent into the black hole of tablet navigation happened 3 years ago at west coast expo in flagstaff my son and i were touring the exhibitor booths and got tired of seeing so much stuff so we decided to go explore. There is lots of dirt roads there so we loaded up the jeep and dogs and off we went. He is a grand canyon guide, wilderness first responder and knows his way around topo maps i had just downloaded bcn on to my tab he topousa free version on his phone

His phone tracked us every where we did not have cell service . The topo was usgs 24k and he was able to zoom in in great detail i have yet to be ablie to duplicate that feat with any degree of success. I think he maybe hadbjust the flagstaff area loaded.
I think where it all falls apart is when you try to load large areas . I seem to be fixated on the 100,000 tile size ( that ilearned from the gaia site) limitations. And i am confused about another aspect. That is lets say your trail goes out of 1 of your down load areas (1 of your diwnloads) and into another.
Do you have to open the other file block of tiles that you had previously down loaded? Or will the program do it automatically?
It depends on how you download it on BCN. I download everything to the main cache and don't do separate folders. You could download into separate folders, and if you go from an area in one folder to an area in a different folder, you would need to select that folder to have the tiles show up. If you did that, the previous folder wouldn't show up any longer. However any tracks you've recorded would still show up (depending on what folder you have it saved to).

Because of the different folder situations, this is why I just download to the main cache.
 

Bam

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Benefactor
Member

Traveler II

1,098
Oregon City, OR
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16149

I have a Galaxy Tab S4. How can I use GAIA when my tablet isn't activated through cellular data? I use the app on my Galaxy S9+ all the time but have never done it without data before.
 

Stickbow

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

335
Georgia, USA
Member #

14596

I've been trying out the free version of Gaia GPS and so far I'm extremely underwhelmed. The program is so buggy and broken in very fundamental ways that there's no possible way I'd be willing to spend money on it. It's a shame, because the program would be outstanding if it actually worked worth a damn.

I'm intrigued by this backcountry navigator that's been mentioned. I'll check that out next.

So far I plan out routes on Gaia on my PC, and then navigate with it in car with my phone, Motorola moto Z play. It has a pretty huge screen for a phone, so it works fine for the time being. I may look into a tablet if I can find a nav program that works reliably, unlike Gaia.
Maybe I'm not pushing it to its limits, maybe it works better with east coast maps/cell coverage, or maybe it's different with free vs. subscriber, but I haven't had any problems I can think of - what did you experience?
 

CR-Venturer

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Influencer I

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Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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16340

Maybe I'm not pushing it to its limits, maybe it works better with east coast maps/cell coverage, or maybe it's different with free vs. subscriber, but I haven't had any problems I can think of - what did you experience?
Massive fundamental issues. Won't load properly at all on Firefox, major functionality issues on Google Chrome, ie. routes not saving, tracks not saving from mobile, unable to save waypoints, data loss, etc. etc. A lot of serious issues that make me run from the idea of paying a dime for the program. I like to plan routes on the desktop and save them, then use them for exploring, but the system is so broken it's almost useless.
 

Stickbow

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

335
Georgia, USA
Member #

14596

Massive fundamental issues. Won't load properly at all on Firefox, major functionality issues on Google Chrome, ie. routes not saving, tracks not saving from mobile, unable to save waypoints, data loss, etc. etc. A lot of serious issues that make me run from the idea of paying a dime for the program. I like to plan routes on the desktop and save them, then use them for exploring, but the system is so broken it's almost useless.
Didn't try with FF - pretty much exclusively use Chrome (on android and on Windoze), but I've never had those issues, and have been using Gaia since August. I plan mine on the desktop using the web site, download with my phone.
 

CR-Venturer

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Influencer I

2,279
Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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16340

Didn't try with FF - pretty much exclusively use Chrome (on android and on Windoze), but I've never had those issues, and have been using Gaia since August. I plan mine on the desktop using the web site, download with my phone.
Very strange. I use Chrome now for it, but I still have tons of bugs and issues with it, also with the android platform.
 

Ironhide

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Advocate III

1,354
Camano Island, WA
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13322

Does anybody know if Amazon fire HD 10 will work for Gaia? HSN has a good deal on them right now $79.00 includes 32gb mini SD with Adapter and a coupon for a custom case.
 

Gary Stevens

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1,836
Reseda California
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Does anybody know if Amazon fire HD 10 will work for Gaia? HSN has a good deal on them right now $79.00 includes 32gb mini SD with Adapter and a coupon for a custom case.
It will not, the app is not in the Amazon app store, unless you know how to jail break it, the app will not download to any of the Fire tablets.
 
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chinsH3

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Newport News, VA, USA
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16955

THis may help as I was in the same boat. Couple youtube videos and its all good. I have a Amazon Fire HD 8 I believe (I will check when I get home). I have not purchased a Dual GPS unit yet. But there is a away to convert the Amazon Fire to allow for the Android Based Google Play store. You have to use Amazons Silk browser to do it. Then through the Google Play store you can download and use the Gaia App. I have it loaded on my Amazon tablet as we speak. Just search "how to add google play to Amazon Fire". Took me one evening to get it
 

Cort

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Supporter

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Grand Rapids
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I’ve used GAIA for a couple years and really like it, I also use Caltopo/SARtopo. Garmin Navigator as a back up

I used both for my 5700 mile Labrador/New Foundland/Nova Scotia expedition last fall and they worked flawlessly. I use an IPad Pro 12.9 cellular equipped but no cell service(so I have the GPS). As long as you remember to download the maps I’ve never had a problem. Tracking was great and I could easily enter and manage my waypoints.
 

Ironhide

Rank V
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Advocate III

1,354
Camano Island, WA
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13322

THis may help as I was in the same boat. Couple youtube videos and its all good. I have a Amazon Fire HD 8 I believe (I will check when I get home). I have not purchased a Dual GPS unit yet. But there is a away to convert the Amazon Fire to allow for the Android Based Google Play store. You have to use Amazons Silk browser to do it. Then through the Google Play store you can download and use the Gaia App. I have it loaded on my Amazon tablet as we speak. Just search "how to add google play to Amazon Fire". Took me one evening to get it
Thank you for the information! That's what I love about our community we all have knowledge that we can help others with.