Updated - March 2020
Thank you for reading This article is from 6 years ago! Gaia GPS is still our favorite navigation app. While this article gives a good general overview of the app it has been updated many times over. Look for our other articles with more up to date information. Here's our updated article on planning trips.
Most of us in the 4XOA family use Apple devices. This review is geared towards the iOS version of Gaia GPS but there is an Android version available.
If you don’t want to read any further, simply put Gaia GPS is one of the best applications for creating, following, importing, and exporting GPS tracks and waypoints period. The application is over 11 years old and is constantly under development. Gaia is very receptive to user feedback via direct email and its user forum on Reddit, https://www.reddit.com/r/gaiagps The goal of this review is not to give you complete lessons on Gaia. The application is well supported. A great real-life of using Gaia happened over Memorial Day weekend. A couple of us had Friday off so we scouted and picked a campsite before others arrived. Phone service was available so we exported both the track and waypoint and sent this to others joining our group. This made it easy for them to join us on Saturday. Each was coming from different directions but with the waypoint and proposed route they were able to easily pick a route that made sense to them to find us.
How We Use Gaia –
Gaia helps us navigate trails, map out new routes, and create waypoints of our favorite spots. It keeps us from getting lost and provides a lot of flexibility to go exploring. If a route/track has been created by someone else Gaia makes it easy to import the track to then follow it.
Creating Tracks & Waypoints –
If you have an iPad without a data plan you will need to have an external GPS. We have a Dual GPS Bluetooth “puck” that works great. If you own an InReach Explorer this could be paired to your iPad and used. Phones and many Android tablets have GPS built-in. All you have to do is tap the trip button from the side menu to begin recording. You can pause track recording as needed as well. Once complete you just select “finish track” and you are done. You can edit the name of the track, change the track color, and add notes as required. Photos can also be included with tracks.
To create a waypoint simply click the pin icon with the + symbol next to it. There are several options on this drop-down menu.