Backcountry mapping made easy

DieselTwitch

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2007
308
108
43
36
Gunnison, Colorado
So Im the type that likes to know where Im at, and where Im going and whats a head before I get there. This has worked well in the past when I got stuck in the snow for a night. Took us 7 hours to hike 1/8th of a mile in 6+' of Fresh powder. One life saving item was a GPS with a Topo Map on it. At the time it was a Garmin Montana 600. But this year it will be the iPhone 6+. Im the the type of rider that like to play in the same area over and over. I like to explore and that often leads to me getting into places that are not always so easy to get out of. Having a Terrain map is a life saver

I wanted to share what I've come up with.

I use only two apps for the process.
  • On the iPhone - Motion X GPS $1.99 + the $4.99 Custom maps add-in. This is the mapping app. It can download maps for off line access, track rides. mark waypoints,
  • On the computer (Mac Only) Adaze - $20.00
I use this to break apart rides so that I can send them to other or store them for my own uses.



In the app I load in custom maps. Google doesn't like people downloading their maps... I've found a way around this. This way I always have Terrain maps and Aerial Photos of where I am. The aerials are the same as those on google maps/google earth.



One the major pluses is I can load in all the wilderness maps. Im not happy about wilderness but I also don't need a $400 ticket because I didn't know where the boundary was. The yellow is the boundary of a wilderness near me. Here you can download all the wilderness boundaries for every state.




You will also need to convert the KML to GPX files, Use this

Adaze is just a simple program that allows me to break about tracks into trails. The first photo is the snowmobile trails I groom with the groomer. the second one shows the mess of wilderness area in Colorado.



These are dirt bike trails in taylor park but help to find ways threw dense trees when there are no tracks to fallow.


I know this may not help many but its saved my *** when I got stuck in the mtns. I also am hoping to get into SAR so having maps to help me get into an area is going to be a must, Let me know if you need more help to set your self up.

There are a few problem I haven't complete solved yet with using the iPhone.
1. iPhones dont do well in the cold. Its not to say they can't handle it, its the battery that doesn't do well. The cold slows the transfer of power in and out of the battery, So one way or another I will have to find a way to keep the battery warm. My thought is to have it always charging on my bike. as a note I will be mounting it inside a waterproof case just in front of the bars behind the light on my 500 or 570.

2. Im a little worried as to how the iPhone 6+ will deal with shock. Mostly Im worried about the camera and its active photo stabilization motors/actuators. Im thinking about some kind of shock isolated mounted.

Using my 3D printer I hope to solve both problems.
 

PowderGirl

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2007
463
258
63
McCall, Idaho
www.facebook.com
Good share! I've been exploring apps on my phone lately looking for the best offline topo source - so far, I am liking Backcountry Navigator for my Droid. It gives you many options for maps to download.

Another app I will use while riding is Strava - its what I use to track my routes for dirt biking and mountain biking, it will track me where there is no phone service but I don't think I can use the map service if out of range.

Battery life on my Droid Ultra in the cold is going to be my biggest concern in the snow! My husbands' Droid Maxx seemed to do awesome all last winter - they sure have good, reliable battery life!
 

t300

Member
Oct 30, 2009
68
13
8
Manitoba
Anyone have a good case solution? I was thinking something like a RAM aqua box, and put a handwarmer element in it (backed onto a plate inside). this way it keeps the elements out, is easily viewable as well as accessible, can transfer to any other ram mounted sled/bike, and keeps things warm so the screen and/or battery don't quit prematurely.



http://www.rammount.com/Products/AQUABOX/MediumWideAQUABOX/tabid/4886/Default.aspx
 

blastco2

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2012
283
80
28
se idaho
Good share! I've been exploring apps on my phone lately looking for the best offline topo source - so far, I am liking Backcountry Navigator for my Droid. It gives you many options for maps to download.

Another app I will use while riding is Strava - its what I use to track my routes for dirt biking and mountain biking, it will track me where there is no phone service but I don't think I can use the map service if out of range.

Battery life on my Droid Ultra in the cold is going to be my biggest concern in the snow! My husbands' Droid Maxx seemed to do awesome all last winter - they sure have good, reliable battery life!
i've been using BCN for 4 years now. love it! i bought the snowmobile and the atv overlays. also govt property lines for wy and id. i'm sure you know this but JIC, put you phone in airplane mode. if thats not enough, get one of the battery pack things of off amazon/ebay. also, if you want a really big gps, the nexus7 and samsung tab3/4 have gps chipsets. i carried one in my handlebar bag all last season, worked really well. for those thinking about this, not all tablets have gps so, buyer beware. :beer;:beer; to a good season

it's not out yet, should be for next year. google beartooth radio sounds like it will turn your phone into a rino like device.
 

christopher

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 1, 2008
74,611
19,152
113
Rigby, Idaho
Another little application I have been using on my iPhone that has worked very well is

SKI TRACKS
http://www.corecoders.com/applications/ski-tracks/


While "designed" for skiers and snowboarders, I have found it works GREAT for snowmobiling as well

Description

Ski Tracks is the premier snowboarding and skiing application on the iPhone, it is the most downloaded ski application in the world. This season don’t forget to take your iPhone skiing or boarding, with the most advanced Ski Tracking application available on the iPhone. Just put your iPhone in your pocket and Ski Tracks will record all your mountain movements and analysis your performance and even provide Run-by-Run analysis or your whole day. Add photographs to complete you day.

Why Ski Tracks?


  • Does not require data
  • Does not require a phone signal
  • Battery efficient
  • Ski/Snowboard specific display
  • Runs in background
  • Simple operation

Read More

Features


  • Up to 14 hours of track recording.
  • Run-by-run analysis
  • Comprehensive Ski Stats and Graphs.
  • Preview ski day on phone or using Google Earth.
  • Share via Google Earth, Facebook and Email.
  • Map Tools *NEW*
  • iPod Controls
  • Battery Monitor

Read More


Below is the main features for Ski Tracks for more information please checkout the User Guide for more detailed information about all the features.

Record up to 14 hours

Ski Tracks uses efficient programming to record the whole day on the mountain not just a couple of hours.


Speed and Altitude Profiles

Press the graph button to see you current or historic track speed and altitude profiles.



Maps with Preview

Show your track, start, finish and even photographs on Standard or Hybrid Maps. Now with the new Run-by-Run analysis show your Downhill and Uphill sections as well. Preview mode allowing you see your day over again.


Sharing via Facebook and Google Earth

Export your track and embedded photographs and email them to your computer to display your entire day, trip or season on Google Earth.



Take Photos

As you take photographs with Ski Tracks they are automatically geo-coded and added to your track.


Access your Music

Ski Tracks provides you with complete access to your music, you can select your favourite tracks, loop, shuffle, previous song, next song, and play/pause.



Battery Monitor

Ski Tracks includes a battery monitor system that checks the battery level and when it falls below a specific level Ski Tracks turns off Tracking, Audio and places the application into a low power mode and allows the iPhone to go to sleep.