onX Maps
Suggest Map app & communication devices
Contributors to this thread:
Browtine 01-Jul-22
JohnMC 01-Jul-22
'Ike' (Phone) 01-Jul-22
Mule Power 02-Jul-22
'Ike' (Phone) 02-Jul-22
PushCoArcher 02-Jul-22
molsonarcher 02-Jul-22
Jethro 02-Jul-22
Tilzbow 02-Jul-22
jordanathome 02-Jul-22
Beendare 03-Jul-22
elkmtngear 03-Jul-22
midwest 03-Jul-22
From: Browtine
I'm planning my first backcountry backpack elk hunt since 2011 for this Sept. I have On-x on my phone but can't say I'm happy with it. Full disclosure I don't really know how to use it and couldn't really find a good "how to" resource. I don't have much luck with it when out of cell service area. I have seen other apps that might be better for looking over the area you are heading into and seeing detailed views and when back home seeing ownership detail. Also looking for some SPOT or other options to be able to text my buddy who is in the general area with me and to let home know I'm alive every now & then. So looking for brief suggestions for the map app and communication devices (don't really want to rent a sat phone) and reason for your suggestions. Thanks in advance.

From: JohnMC
OnX is great. You can download the area you are hunting and use with no service/air plane mode. Play with it a little more and/or have someone help you, I think you will come around and like it.

What you are probably looking for is a Garmin Inreach.

I run onX and BaseMap...Liking BaseMap a lil better...inReach mini for me...

From: Mule Power
Have you saved offline maps for use in the backcountry where there’s no cell signal?

Yes, pretty easy to do on both platforms…Remember to place your phone on Airplane mode to save on battery also…

From: PushCoArcher
Haven't found anything better then Onx. Learned to download your maps and you won't have to worry about service. If you're using downloaded maps turn your phone on airplane mode and you'll get better battery life.

From: molsonarcher
Onx here. No backcountry exp with it, but it works pretty darn good when downloading the maps in spotty cell coverage areas. Inreach mini also. Ive never had an issue with it, paired to my phone texting is easy. I carry a small battery storage device i picked up from bestbuy for i think $50. Charging the phone and mini on a weeks hunt i still have 1/2 battery storage left.

From: Jethro

Jethro's Link
Lots of Onx how to info out there. The one in link is from Onx's site. All the map apps do what you want. They all have pros and cons. If you don't spend time running it, doubtful any one is easier to learn than OnX.

Inreach will handle all your communication needs, provided your buddy with you has one too. But again its a ton of technology that fits in the palm of your hand. If you don't spend time learning it and using it, won't be much benefit to you.

From: Tilzbow
I’m giving Gaia a try. Among all the other overlays it has hunt unit overlays, a land ownership overlay and I can use it with Apple CarPlay so it shows up on the 12” LCD in the new Bronco I’ll be using for hunting. I’m hoping it pairs nicely with a paper map and will find out soon when I head out to scout. It also appears to be a less expensive option if you want maps for more than one state. I paid $19.99 annually for all 50 states via an introductory offer and that’ll increase to $39.99 after a year. That’s about as much as OnX for one state.

OnX Hunt doesn’t show Apple CarPlay as a feature although OnX does list CarPlay as a feature with OnX Off Road. That said I think OnX has a cool 3D feature that I haven’t yet found in GAIA but I can always Google Earth if I really want to look at that.

From: jordanathome
Gaia is pretty awesome. I was on OnX a long time but don't miss it.

From: Beendare
I’ve been using Gaia for many years. It’s never failed even in remote areas. In the lower 48 you can usually find a mountain top with cell service.

I sometimes rent a sat phone in areas like Alaska if I need phone service to talk to my office.

From: elkmtngear
Phone and Gaia Premium...all I ever needed !

From: midwest
Gaia fan here over OnX. Very powerful, cheaper, but a bit more of a learning curve.

InReach for satellite communication.

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