How to Plan a Backpacking Trip: Skills, Tools, and Resources
Oct 4, 2020 at 10:00 am #3678410Brian TBPL Member
Good list, several new to me. Windy looks fantastic. Another resource I have come to really appreciate and use often is CalTopo. Great mapping, both desktop and app, with very nice planning, much easier routing than Gaia, and some really useful overlay options (including Sentinel satellite imagery, weather, etc.), and of course tons of trail data. Interface not quite as “pretty” as Gaia, takes some getting used to, but worth checking out for sure.
And of course, there the sites like Alltrails (and here in the PNW, WTA.org) that are great resources for reading trip reports and getting insights from recent hikers about trail conditions.Oct 4, 2020 at 11:48 am #3678414Garrett McLartyBPL Member
@gmacLocale: New England, PNW, Northern India
I see very little on here about them and lots about Gaia. I have tried Gaia and not found it better and it costs more. Locus is probably my most used GPS and Nav app, but it is not available on iPhone, so maybe this is why others use Gaia. Caltopo is an amazing resource, planning, sharing, printing. They now also have a phone appOct 5, 2020 at 12:32 pm #3678528Oliver FieldsBPL Member
Thanks for the tips, there are many good options for covering mapping needs here. Often trip planning also includes setting up a trip schedule/itinerary, commonly done in a separate spreadsheet or similar. I created Ambulate to combine both mapping and scheduling of trips. It is still early days, but any feedback would be welcome:) https://ambulate.appOct 5, 2020 at 1:54 pm #3678534Stewart LogieBPL Member
Gaia GPS has an error in its reporting of ascent when you save a planned route. In the case I submitted to them it was 50%. Their reply was that they were “working on it”, but with no ETA. Reading their forums shows this has been a known issue for at least 2 years. Whilst you are editing the route the ascent looks more believable, but be aware that the number increases drastically upon saving. Do not rely on the saved ascent number for planning.Apr 19, 2022 at 9:00 am #3678282Backpacking LightAdmin
@backpackinglightLocale: Rocky Mountains
Companion forum thread to: How to Plan a Backpacking Trip: Skills, Tools, and Resources
A curated guide to Backpacking Light resources on how to plan a backpacking trip – gear, skills, podcasts, forums, research, education, and more.Nov 22, 2023 at 10:59 am #3793691karl hafnerBPL Member
@khafnerLocale: upstate NY
Here in the east (adirondacks) I find that 2 mph and 1 hr for each thousand foot gain works well when carrying a 30 to 50 lb pack. Our trails are poor and maintenance is minimal. Much better time can be had out west. I see some who do not like gaia. For myself it is a must. I have an interest in old abandoned trails and gaia is the only place where I have access to maps going back to 1900. It is fun to explore the trails that the original explorers used. Without those maps it would be impossible as there has been no maintenance for over 60 to 80 yrs and they have just become a part of the woods.Nov 22, 2023 at 12:30 pm #3793705Brian WBPL Member
It’s fun testing this stuff out. I still have the old Gaia app on my phone before the subscription version. It still works fine, so I keep using it. Much better topos than All Trails, but its elevation gain calcs are wrong when looking at topo maps.
Elevation gain is interesting. My Apple Watch will give me one number. My Gaia app will give me another. And All Trails will give another. None will closely match. But All Trails will be closer to the Apple Watch than Gaia.
For multiple day trips, I’ll print out custom CalTopo maps. Great resource.
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