Are Paper Trail Guides Obsolete?
I want to make a confession, I used to obsessively look at my trusty trailguide all the time. Looking for water, camping spots, shelters…I don’t do that any more. Now I look at my phone instead. Guthook’s AT Hiking Guide is the bomb. On my recent section hike from Marion to Springer, I sometimes felt I was a sales rep for this product. I never used my paper guidebook to find any information about the trail on this trip… Not A Single Time!
Before torch bearing anti-technology forces storm my home consider these facts.
- It works in airplane mode and uses the GPS of your phone to find your position.
- You can easily shift between NOBO and SOBO
- Drought conditions exists on a lot the trail. Since Guthook’s users can post comments about water sources, this app gives much more current information than you’ll be be able to find in a traditional trail guide.
- In map mode, your icon is an arrow. The arrow on the map corresponds to the direction the top of your phone is pointing
- It is easy to focus your search to the particular type of information you are looking for.
- Each waypoint has its own write-up often including pictures. It is also easy to view waypoints in either map view or the elevation profile.
7. Here is the map of the waypoint pictured above. There are several map options. The “road” option is my personal favorite
While Guthooks gives you almost no information about resources available in town, the trail information is the best. Since you and other users have the option of posting updates, the information available in the app, particularly about water, is more current than that in the traditional guides.
Guthooks offers trail guides for many trails across the country. I know when I purchased the AT Guide, you just bought the app with all the data in the App Store. With the PCT guide (bucket list material), you buy the maps/data direct from Guthooks within the app itself and seems to cost about half as much as the AT guide did. If you are considering a thru hike or even a long section hike, you should really consider putting The Guthook’s guide for whatever trail on your phone!
If you have any questions about this app, ask it in the comments below this post.
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